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Author Topic: Sugar vs Fondant  (Read 11398 times)
psbeekeeper
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« on: October 06, 2009, 11:22:14 AM »

Which way of feeding would be best when feeding during and/or before winter?  Feeding sugar on top of newspaper in the hive or fondant?
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« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2009, 11:35:08 AM »

It all comes down to personal preference and availability.   Most folks just can't run to the store and buy a block of fondant, and then there are also those that don't like feeding HFCS to their bees.

Dry sugar is readily available to everyone.
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psbeekeeper
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« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2009, 12:35:52 PM »

Does the sugar on the newspaper absorb most of the moisture contents inside the hive thus not having cold water drip on the bees, or does the cover still need to be lifted slightly to overcome the moisture problem?
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Finski
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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2009, 12:52:39 PM »

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That dry sugar + newspaper play is mere shildren game. It is not serious beekeeping.

In my country 100% of beekeeprs feed with sugar the hives. Honey is like sugar syrup and it must be capper  before winter.

Our bees live with sugar 8 months in year. Fondant and dry sugar frame are used in spring as emergency feeding.

When I have been in US and British bee forum, members have moslty totallly wrrong knowledge about heat economy of hive and about moisture control.

Feeding bees with sugar is the most simple thing in beekeeping but folks invent all kind of tricks to mix simple case.


I feed on average 20 kg sugar to hives. To one langstroth hive takes that amount in 2 days. Then it depens on out temperature, how fast they cap the food. With that system hives live from Sptember to March and I need not to touch hives. Inspection does not help because during our winter we cannot do nothing. So we must feed the hives so that they survive over snow period.
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kathyp
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« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2009, 01:00:55 PM »

it's kind of the same where i live.  i don't open the hives unless we have one of those very rare warmer days, then i only pop the top cover to check the dry sugar.

i don't think all people understand that the dry sugar is not a substitute for getting the hives in good shape to go into winter.  i use the dry sugar for two reasons 1.  i have very wet winters and it does absorb some of the moisture.  2.  if we have really bad winters and springs, i will not look into my hives for many months.  the damp dry sugar will hold them until i can feed syrup.

a lot of people use sugar on newspaper.  i do not.  i use it on the top of the inner cover.  i don't want damp newspaper in my hive.  i can check the inner cover more quickly than checking inside.  
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2009, 01:05:14 PM »

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Emergency feeding

When bees have in March first cleansing flight, it is time to weight with hand, does  it have food enough for next winter month. I can take capped sugar frames from those hive which has too much or I pour syrup directly into combs. If I have cryztallized honey frames, I may give them.

Many use fondant or dry sugar frame after cleansing flight. You may ut upper feeder on hive too and give 5 kg sugar as 65% syrup.

If bees have not made cleansing flight, they disturb them selves and start to bust on frost snow. Thousans will be dead.

I have disturbed the wintering hive and I measured its temperature. It rised to +40C. 12 hours later it was  32C and 24 hours later 23C.


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Finski
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« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2009, 01:16:36 PM »

,
Sugar will not handle the moisture thing in the hive. It is relative humidity and temperature which keep the hive dry.

Warm air can keep more misture than cool. The extra moisture condensates on the most cold surfaces.

Bees generates heat. If you put digital thermometer inside the cluster, the temp is 23C. If they have brood, temp is 32C.

The heat escapes from the cluster, and hives duty is to stop that heat flow outside.
The smaller the room of bees, the warmer is interior of hive and the dryer is the atmosphere.

Moisture makes propbems.  I have noticed that in moist conditions 100% of colonies get very bad nosema.
In open air I  put upper entrance open. In cellar wintering it must be electrict ventilation to get fresh air circulation .

If I have no snow, like Ochtober to December, and in April, there is no problem about moisture. Bees are in winter cluster. But in Arril the cluster temp is 10C higher and there are no moisture problems.

If the hive has plenty of extra room, it is cool and the respiration moisture concensates inside the hive.





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Finski
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« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2009, 01:22:03 PM »

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In winter it is important to put the hive slant a little bit forwarnd that condensation eater comes out from the hhive. Some make slanting bottom boards.

Mesh floor handles the moisture problem with other mechanism but you should protect the bottom against wind. I do not use mesh bottoms. With mesh floor you do not use upper entrance.

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kathyp
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« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2009, 01:30:03 PM »

i use mesh floors and slant the hive.  you probably have cold and dry.  i have cold and wet.  the sugar on the top of the inner cover does absorb some of that moisture.  i never have to dampen my sugar, but it gets damp none the less.    our rain comes sideways  smiley

last year was much better.  we got more snow than rain.  it was a pleasant change in some ways.  100% relative humidity day after day gets old.....
« Last Edit: October 06, 2009, 02:00:00 PM by kathyp » Logged

.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2009, 01:53:31 PM »

Does the sugar on the newspaper absorb most of the moisture contents inside the hive thus not having cold water drip on the bees, or does the cover still need to be lifted slightly to overcome the moisture problem?

Yes, the sugar will absorb moisture. Set a bag on the concrete floor and see what happens.  "Most" is subjective to how much additional water you pump into the hive feeding syrup.  In all my feral colony removals, I have yet to find one that is not sealed up as tight as can be and I've never seen one with winter moisture issues.
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Finski
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« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2009, 02:17:39 PM »



Yes, the sugar will absorb moisture. Set a bag on the concrete floor and see what happens.  

I have handeled sugar and wintered bees 47 years. But never put dry sugar over winter.

I use fructose in my patties because it catchs moisture from hive.

My opinion is that when bees uncap combs in the hive, it takes moisture from aira and so bees get "drinking" water in the hive even if they cannot come out during 5 months.

When I give syrup to hives, they dry up the syrup during  one week anbd start to cap cells.
Bees ventilate moisture away. And you must feed them in time that weathers are good to do the job.

Moisture comes from sugar when bees "burn" it in theirs bodies. When the hive has 25 kg winterfood, it generates 10 kg water in respiration.

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kathyp
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« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2009, 02:19:25 PM »

well, look at it this way.....of all the things we do, or don't do, dry sugar is probably pretty harmless.  if it works, great.  if it doesn't, the hive is lost anyway if they run out of food.  no harm done by the sugar.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
Finski
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« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2009, 02:27:06 PM »

well, look at it this way.....of all the things we do, or don't do, dry sugar is probably pretty harmless.  if it works, great.  if it doesn't, the hive is lost anyway if they run out of food.  no harm done by the sugar.

So it works in mild climates. Well, my hives do not run out of food because I feed them enough and   with 47 years experience.
Syrup feeding is the most simple job in the world. My feeding box is 8 litres and bees suck it in 12 hours.
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psbeekeeper
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« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2009, 02:33:54 PM »

Sooo.. what would be my best bet of feeding in my climate of area?  I would just like it for my hive to make it this winter since I lost my other one   Undecided
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kathyp
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« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2009, 02:35:04 PM »

finski, if keep being patient with me, i hope to last long enough to get that many years of experience.   whip

Be patient, for the world is broad and wide.

Shakespeare-Romeo and Juliet

 grin
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2009, 02:37:22 PM »

Finski,
I ate some popcorn and bit my lip awhile back as you were suggesting that unless you live at the same latitude as you, that others may not know what they were speaking of.

For the past year, I heard boo-hoo about "finski" being somehow being upset and taking his ball and going home. But yet time and time again, I see you denigrate others, calling what others do, less than what you do. On this thread alone, calling people who use sugar or fondant a "shildrens game" is not only insulting, but perhaps not relevant, seeing your not from Pennsylvania. I say whooopdidooooo! on whether your bees eat sugar 8 months of the year. Nobody in Pennsylvania has bee eat sugar that long.

It may not be "serious" beekeeping to you, but perhaps you should bite your lip a bit. I am freakin dead serious about my beekeeping, even if less than 100% of beekeeper here do not use sugar...as if that matters. Calling what others do as "Not serious" beekeeping is again, insulting.

You suggested that because others did not live as far north as you when the beekeeper from Alaska was seeking advice, making their advise was somewhat irrelevant. But would not your advise be just as irrelevant based on the same suggestion that your advice is for much further north climates?

psbeekeeper,
Being FROM Pennsylvania I feed fondant. I can place a 50 lb block on a very light hive and they will feed off the fondant block for 3-4 months till the weather breaks. Fondant does not inject moisture into the hive as syrup does. I place on the inner cover hole, and they will eat up thorough, using the available moisture, while your not breaking the propolis seal or opening up the hive after the initial placing of the block.

May I suggest you go with Robo's advice or other beekeepers in YOUR area that can make suggestions based on previous experiences in the same environment as you. I am sure they are serious about beekeeping and it is not some "shildrens game".

Here is a picture of fondant on the inner cover. It is 25 pounds....

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Finski
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« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2009, 02:56:36 PM »

.
I wonder where have you get idea that syrup slit moisture into the hive? That is nonsence.
Bees dry up the syrup and cap it.

That is one of your domestic errors in your beekeeping knowledge.
Fondant is same sugar and when in burns to carbondiokside and water in bees body, it 25 pounds fondant makes 9 pounds water.  Bearbee, maybe you are clever but not enough.


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charmd2
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« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2009, 02:58:18 PM »

Well said Bjorn.   I was eating popcorn too.  

I use dry sugar on the top of mine.  I am just a mere beginner in the light of all the experience on here, and this will only be my second winter.  But.....   I figure a twenty lb bag of sugar on top of newspaper in a shallow is a good precaution incase they use more than I leave them.   My bees do not take the "20 kg of feed" in two days.   I do not have that equipment available to me.  I merely have a gallon jug on top of the hives.

 and I'm betting that six of my eight hives are going to be going into winter to light anyway.   Feed as I might, they are using it as I'm giving it to them.  Our weather has been anything but stellar this year.  So I will give dry sugar, cross my fingers, and hope that most make it through the winter.  
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Charla Hinkle
Finski
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« Reply #18 on: October 06, 2009, 03:00:31 PM »

.
Do you have really winter in Missouri and difficulties to get bees over winter?

I read here once that dandelions bloom in January in Texas. Our dandelions bloom at the beginning of June  28.5 - 10.6. First flowers will be open in willows first of May.

Popcorn makes me fart.
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charmd2
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« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2009, 03:03:39 PM »

Not compared to Finland..   My bees fly on average once every other week during the winter.  But I will go from now until approximately the end of march with no blooming plants. 
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Charla Hinkle
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