When feeding bees sugar syrup, I have tried many methods, and I like the zipper bag method best. Here is another of our beginning beekeeping 101 videos, this one on how to feed bees sugar syrup.
I have tried various sugar feeders with some success, but it seems that most feeders drown bees also. My friend Rick Kennerly introduced me to this zipper bag sugar feeder method.
The advantage of many sugar feeders is that you don’t have to open the hive to add more sugar syrup. With the bag method, you do open the top of the hive, but its not much more work than filling up a sugar feeder. When the first bag of syrup is empty, I leave it on the top frames of the hive, and just lay another one on top if it. This keeps the bees from making too much burr comb in the space where the feeder sits. Its also less intrusive that way, you aren’t peeling off a bag every time you open the hive, you peel off all the bags when its time to stop feed sugar syrup.
You can add essential oils to the sugar syrup, we do. Here is a recipe for essential oil mix for honeybees, or you can buy it pre-mixed. Either works well.
You may have to experiment to find the best zipper style food bags. The store brand ones work fine for us. Transporting them when they are full can be tricky, I put them in a wide tray or bucket when I drive to the beeyard. You don’t want syrup spilling in your car or your yard, it creates bee chaos.
I fill up the bags by putting them in a metal pasta pot, with the opening spread over the top of the pot. Don’t fill it up all the way, or the bag will burst.
Here is our overview of how to overwinter honeybees, with all sorts of good info.
A video and information about sugarcakes, which you give the bees for winter: