Summer Trickle Feeding
For those of us in the south with hot, dry summers, ensuring your hive has plenty of food available is critical. After your summer harvest I recommend “trickle feeding” through the summer months if your hive has less than 30 lbs of honey stored in their second brood box.
Simply put, summer trickle feeding entails feeding ¼ - ½ a gallon of 1:1 syrup each week rather than infrequent large amounts of syrup. This concept maintains this will simulate a natural nectar flow, and will encourage the hive to continue to grow or at least maintain during a time of year when they typically begin to decline in strength. This is especially true in regions that have very hot and dry summers with little nectar or pollen flow.
This is not critical, so if your bees are not located on your immediate property, or you want to go on a vacation for a month, your bees aren’t going to die if you don’t practice trickle feeding. If this isn’t a good option for you, then the goal is to feed your bees more syrup, more quickly, until they have about 30 lbs of honey stored in the second brood box, and 2-4 frames of honey stored in the lower brood box. This will ensure they do not go hungry over the summer. Check back every 2-3 weeks, and feed to help maintain that 30 lb excess in the second box. Remember, a medium box completely full of honey is about 40 lbs, and a deep box completely full is about 60 lbs