It is obvious that bees consume honey as their primary food source. But we, as beekeepers, may not live in regions with enough nectar year-round to meet their needs. When this happens, bees have only one option- to deplete the stored honey in the hive.
This can happen when you have a new hive (as a package of bees comes with very little syrup and nucs may only have a frame or two of honey), during summer dearth (when nectar and pollen production goes down in local flowers), if a hive is struggling (such as when a queen dies and hive numbers decrease for a while), or over winter (where bees need somewhere between 50-100 lbs of stored honey to make it through to the following spring) to name a few.
Since we, as beekeepers, like to take excess honey for ourselves, any scenario that causes the bees to deplete their stores may delay or outright prohibit our ability to harvest honey when nectar is flowing abundantly. So many beekeepers turn to feeding their bees food, in the form of sugar syrup, to help get them to build up their stores and allow us access to harvesting that sweet, sweet honey when the time is right.
So in this one, we thought we'd share a bit more about feeders you may want to consider for your beehives, and why a simple top feeder may be the best option!