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Author Topic: Granulated sugar feeding question  (Read 1940 times)
twb
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« on: December 03, 2007, 05:42:31 PM »

For those of you who have rescued colonies over the winter by using granulated sugar or sugar fondant, can you give me an idea how effective it is?  How light or how small were some of the colonies you rescued?  I am not too optimistic over mine that have sugar on top currently.  One hive has bees in the upper deep already so I am thinking they are gonners.  If you have saved a colony this way did it turn out to be worth it?  Did the colony take off in spring and produce honey for you?
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« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2007, 06:30:35 PM »

what do you mean about being in the upper deep?  that's where  mine are most of the time.  they were there last winter also.  i'm not opening the thing, so i don't know if that's where they cluster when it's really cold...

guess we need to know where they were when they started.  did they  have any stores?  where they enough bees to fill two supers?  did you feed in the fall?  are they using the sugar you are putting on?  what makes you think they are in trouble?
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2007, 02:12:45 AM »

To use the granulated sugar directly and not in syrup you need to feed it on a sheet of paper (butcher paper is best) cut 1 inch smaller all the way around as the inside of the super.  Moisten the sugar until it clumps.  Spoon the sugar onto the paper about 3/4 inch thick and replace inner cover. 

Success varies on timeliness.  If you feed to late you may not be able to save the bees, to early and the sugar might mold before the bees start to use it.  It can make the difference on whether or not a hive survives but it's an emergency measure and should be used as such not as a normal feeding method.  I've found hives that required such feeding to be slow to build up in the spring so if you get a surplus it will be from the summer flow not the spring flow.
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Robo
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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2007, 07:37:31 AM »

I've seen cases where the bees where in the upper deep and did not move back down to the bottom, where there where still stores, and starved to death.   I have not had this happen since I started putting sugar candy on the innercover.

http://robo.bushkillfarms.com/beekeeping/emergency-feeding/

The bees natural tendency is to move up,  so as long as you don't have any empty frames between them and the innercover, they will find the sugar.
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Finsky
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« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2007, 10:21:19 AM »

I've seen cases where the bees where in the upper deep and did not move back down to the bottom, where there where still stores, and starved to death.   I have not had this happen

To me it has happened many times. It happens too that the ball start from middle and move to another side. Another side has food, but when it is very cold, bees do not know and they cannot move onto food, because "they have not plan and they do not know".

That is why long ,strong frost periods is difficult to bees because on their site food will be finish.
During a warm period ball expands and will meet the edge of food store.

One gap of bees may too die if food is consumed to finish in that gap. Bees drop to bottom board.

Small colony is in a danger if it has ball in the middle of combs. They will not drill a hole through the comb.

But this happens mostly in late winter.
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2007, 10:50:35 AM »

I have used Robos recipe and placed it into teflon pie pans. I think I heated it too much and became like rock Candy and was very difficult to remove from pan. I also waited about a week to attempt to remove as well. It was very liked by my bees however. My hives had brood until mid january and then a long very frigid stretch of temps. By that time (late march)they needed some feed. I feel confident in saying it saved one of my hives. I will use the same recipe, stop cooking it at 240F as it continues to rise in temp for some time. I will experiment w/ a diff mold this time. I have less snow here than Robo so I dont need a hole sugar boards worth. I might try ziplock bags for smaller blocks and see if it releases from the bag. I placed it over the inner cover hole and the bees ate it up. It softened w/ time. I will also be adding some honey B healthy w/ the vinegar this year as well.
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« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2007, 11:00:44 AM »

Just be careful.  If you get it too soft, as it absorbs moisture it can become gooey and start dripping down into the hive.  I find erring on the side of too hard is safer.
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2007, 11:05:37 AM »

Just be careful.  If you get it too soft, as it absorbs moisture it can become gooey and start dripping down into the hive.  I find erring on the side of too hard is safer.

Agree. I have the Honey Run Apiary all season cover on two hives and it comes w/ a screeen for the hole. i am planning to use it to stop it from collapsing into the hive.

What mold do you use for the sugar syrup and does it release well?
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« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2007, 11:12:24 AM »

What mold do you use for the sugar syrup and does it release well?

I line the pan with GLAD wrap and just pull it out of the pan when hard.  I leave the wrap attached to the blocks and just invert them over the inner cover.  The wrap makes handling cleaner too.
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twb
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« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2007, 04:02:38 PM »

When I tipped my hives forward for the winter I noticed one was alarmingly light, to my surprise and disappointment.  I added gran. sugar and and at that time noticed many bees already near the top bars.  This hive did not take sugar syrup very well this fall for some reason.  I blamed it on mite meds but it was probably some other thing.  So, I was just wondering if I should order a replacement pkg for this one or not.  This was a good honey producing hive and I will be hoping for the best.  Thankyou for your replies.

Also curious, doesn't placing your fondant over the inner cover hole negatively impact the ventilation of the hive?  I am certain I will be trying this, too.  Gotta go order those replacement pkgs now Smiley.
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« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2007, 04:09:53 PM »

Also curious, doesn't placing your fondant over the inner cover hole negatively impact the ventilation of the hive?  I am certain I will be trying this, too.  Gotta go order those replacement pkgs now Smiley.

With hard candy,  it doesn't seal off the hole like fondant could,  but I guess you could skew the fondant to leave a space as well.  I usually have a small upper entrance anyway for ventilation.
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twb
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« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2007, 04:27:31 PM »

OK, thanks.  I guess I use the term "fondant" and think of it as the same as "hard candy".  Someone will probably be able to enlighten me as to the difference between the two.
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2007, 04:33:44 PM »

In this case fondant isn't rock hard, but a little gooyey, especially w/ the heat of the hive. I too use a top entrance for winter.
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« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2007, 09:04:04 PM »

What mold do you use for the sugar syrup and does it release well?

I line the pan with GLAD wrap and just pull it out of the pan when hard.  I leave the wrap attached to the blocks and just invert them over the inner cover.  The wrap makes handling cleaner too.

Try putting door screen onto of the candy when it's poured into the mold.  Lining the mold with GLAD wrap is a good idea.  Then when you put it in the hive the screen holds it together and the wrap can be removed.  Another good thing about the top entrances is that the cand can be slid into the hives without distrubing the bees and the bees can still get around the candy for cleansing flights etc.
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