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Author Topic: Candy boards and TBH?  (Read 1966 times)
doggonegardener
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« on: November 28, 2011, 07:54:21 PM »

I am just learning and since I live in Wyoming, wintering is a concern.  As a novice, gauging the amount of honey the bees will need for winter in my planned TBH will be a learning process.  I want to be prepared for winter feeding needs and am curious about a candy board.  Since the top bars form a sort of "inner cover" but without any sort of access hole, can a candy board be used with a TBH and if so, what sorts of modifications would one need to make.  We often see temps in the -20 to -30 range, sometimes for days at a time and I'd also like them to be able to stay clustered as well as possible.

Anyone have any advice?  Should I just feed dry sugar on newspaper on the top bars?  We are REALLY dry here so it doesn't seem like excess moisture will be a big issue?

Thanks,

Rene
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Sundog
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« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2011, 10:12:48 PM »

...Should I just feed dry sugar on newspaper on the top bars?  Thanks,

How will the bees access it?  I would maintain some end space in the hive and feed there.  Put a small hole or two in the follower board.  That way you don't need to open the hive to add food and the bees don't need to leave the hive to access the food.  Or perhaps a hollow follower partition with a feeder built into it.

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Robo
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« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2011, 06:41:46 PM »

I would go with a candy frame and hope the bees can move horizontally.  That is a drawback to TBHs in cold climates.  Bees naturally move up to stores that get warmed by their heat as it is above them.



or go with a feeder right next to the cluster that they can get to without breaking.





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doggonegardener
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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2011, 08:36:17 PM »

So you don't think feeding liquid all winter will be a humidity problem due to our DRY climate.  Is that what I am to understand?  What about pollen?  How much is enough for winter and what's the best way to supplement that during the winter if they don't have enough?

Thanks!

Ne
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VeggieGardener
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« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2012, 12:19:08 PM »

I just modified a follower board and filled it with fondant





Will have to wait and see how effective this will work but so far the winter has been mild and the bees have been able to break cluster frequently.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2012, 12:30:50 PM by Robo » Logged
SEEYA
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« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2012, 10:17:55 AM »

I would go with a candy frame and hope the bees can move horizontally.  That is a drawback to TBHs in cold climates.  Bees naturally move up to stores that get warmed by their heat as it is above them.



or go with a feeder right next to the cluster that they can get to without breaking.










This is a little off topic: I am building a couple of long hives (frameless) and I have ordered 2 packages of bees.
Could either of these feeders be used to help keep the comb straight?
Use three feeders spaced: 1st - 4th - 7th then two more topbars and then the follower board huh
If I used the candy boards. Would I still need to provide syrup?
Also; If I painted a thin layer of honey on the candy board, would that help anchor the package bees?
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Robo
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« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2012, 10:45:38 AM »

Could either of these feeders be used to help keep the comb straight?
I'm thinking you will have more issues if you try breaking up the nest with feeders than if you leave them alone.  My experience has been that the bees will start curving comb when it starts to get wider than 12".   So if you keep your bars 12" or less, you will get nice straight comb.   Over 12" you will most likely need to do some "adjustments" as they draw out the comb.
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If I used the candy boards. Would I still need to provide syrup?
Also; If I painted a thin layer of honey on the candy board, would that help anchor the package bees?
Packages will have no interest in candy.  They need syrup.   Brood is about the only thing that will anchor bees to a hive, and sometimes that doesn't do it either.
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luvin honey
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2012, 01:33:26 PM »

I've dumped sugar into the bottoms of my hives heading into winter. The bees appeared to eat it, although I'm not sure if it happened on warm winter days or in spring. I was hoping for the added benefit of absorbing extra moisture.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2012, 11:10:47 PM »

Nothing beats capped stores, but you can do other things like dry sugar, or candy frames etc. if they don't have enough stores... but you should leave them enough ...
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gjd
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« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2012, 08:39:14 AM »

The idea of breaking cluster to get to a candy board raises a question to me.  I've assumed that fondant and candy boards are replacements for honey stores that have run out, so the cluster parks itself on the sugar and feeds constantly until spring.    It sounds like there's another notion of supplying it as supplemental stores, intended to be accessed when hive temps are high enough to break cluster.    These seem like two distinct different usages to me, and the supplemental idea depends on having a warm enough climate to allow them to break cluster regularly-- as well has having an ongoing honey store at the cluster.   Am I interpreting this correctly, or am I lost in space?   Greg
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