Time to switch to stronger syrup?

General question: is it time to increase the concentration of syrup from 1:1 to 2:1?

My hive is light on stored honey, and I recall that last year there was a cutoff date after which they stopped taking syrup. I think the ambient temperature was probably too cold to evaporate it down.

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7 Responses to Time to switch to stronger syrup?

  1. simplebees says:

    General question: is it time to increase the concentration of syrup from 1:1 to 2:1?


    Gareth, West Oxfordshire

  2. danieljmarsh says:

    you definitely need to use the stronger syrup! Light syrup is fine as a spring or top up feed, the winter syrup is being stored in the hive for use in the spring when the brood starts to expand and hive activity increases but the spring nectar flow has not started. The water content must be reduced to less than 19% to stop it fermenting so you want to do this whilst there is warmer ambient temperatures and the colony is still large enough to process, reduce, store and cap the syrup. Most beekeepers in the UK feed August into September, after any honey crop is removed. You should carry out your mite treatment at the same time.

    Good luck!

    • simplebees says:


      I notice from your own blog that you appear to be what most here would call a conventional beekeeper. Whilst your contribution is appreciated, it may seem confusing to those who do not practice routine, or indeed any, mite treatments. The basis for not treating is, of course, that the only way to allow bees come into balance with varroa is to do just that, allow bees to come in to balance with varroa. The more we treat the longer we delay that day.

    • Ali Twigg says:

      Most bee keepers feed…. You should carry out your mite treatment at the same time.

      Are you natural bee keepers or are you on the wrong site?

  3. Paul says:

    I’m a low intervention / laid back beek who has TBH’s in his garden and took a small amount of honey from one hive this year. I treated with Apilife Var a month or so ago, which should put me towards the “user of evil chemicals” end of the spectrum, though oddly, hardline natural beeks don’t seem to class it as a “chemical” as it contains “natural” ingredients.

  4. ruth talbot says:

    My colony (a swarm from mid-summer) seems to be healthy and happy as the bees are active whenever the rain stops. I haven’t opened the hive up but can see through the window that there is comb filling about 12 bars of the hive and that the bees are gathered round all but the two nearest the entrance – the comb there looks pale and the cells are fairly flat.about when they’re flying about 1/2 of the bees come in with heavily laden pollen sacks and I assume the others have been collecting nectar. I thought that at this time of year their focus would be on gathering nectar for the winter honey stores and that the pollen was food for the brood. is brood laid all through the year? can they store pollen for use overwinter? I’m not sure where the bees are foraging at present. there has been a lot of activity on the ivy in recent days but I cant see anything else in the garden they are visiting. not much in the nearby fields at present. anyone who can help me understand what’s happening?

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