Supplemental Spring Feeding of Honey Bees (069)
Play • 20 min

If your colonies make it through the winter, or if you simply purchased more bees as a package or nuc, their next challenge is making it through the changeable spring weather. (Especially this year, it seems.) Your management challenge is deciding what and how to feed them. In this episode, Jim Tew and Jeff Ott discuss supplemental spring feeding.

Specifically, they discuss the feeding of carbohydrates or sugar water. (The supplemental feeding of protein (pollen) will be covered in a future episode.) So how do you feed a sugar syrup? Use a Boardman entrance feeder? A hive top feeder? Division board feeder? Jim and Jeff (who is sitting in this week for Kim) discuss their experiences and pro's and con's of multiple types of feeders.

Is there a preferred ratio for mixing water to sugar? Is tap water OK? What about additives?

What about ditching sugar solutions and going with fondant?

Decisions, decisions... 

What is your preferred way of feeding in the springtime before the flowers are in full bloom? Let us know in the comments section of this episode! Start a discussion.

If you like the episode, share it with a fellow beekeepers and/or let us know by leaving a comment in the show notes. We'd love to hear from you!

Checkout this VideoMoment on hive top feeders from Jim Tew:


Thanks to Betterbee for sponsoring today's episode. Betterbee’s mission is to support every beekeeper with excellent customer service, continued education and quality equipment. From their colorful and informative catalog to their support of beekeeper educational activities, including this podcast series, Betterbee truly is Beekeepers Serving Beekeepers. See for yourself at


Honey Bee Obscura is brought to you by Growing Planet Media, LLC, the home of Beekeeping Today Podcast.

Music: Heart & Soul by Gyom, Walking in Paris by Studio Le Bus, original guitar music by Jeffrey Ott

Photos copyright © One Tew Bee, LLC

Copyright © 2022 by Growing Planet Media, LLC

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