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Author Topic: Not enough stores for the winter  (Read 1584 times)
SherryL
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« on: October 27, 2005, 11:47:11 AM »

My hives are not going to have enough stores to get them thru the winter.  We had 3 rainfalls all summer, nectar was almost non-existent.  I began feeding them again in August, but their stores are still way too low to get them thru a northern Wisconsin winter.  I will be back up by them this coming week and refill the pail feeders one more time, but after that I suspect the temps will be consistently too low to continue with liquid feedings.  

Here's the question - is there are solid, or semi-solid product that I can place inside the hive to help them feed over the winter months?

TIA,
sherry
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thegolfpsycho
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« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2005, 12:06:56 PM »

you can make fondant.  There are recipes on the web.  I think Robo has a real nice candy board and instructions on his web site.  I would keep pouring the syrup to them.  They can pack away a bunch in a hurry.  We are having "Indian" summer here and the bees are burning up alot of stores still raising brood.  I usually hate to see the snow come, but this year I'm ready for the temps to drop.  I'll be making up some fondant too if this keeps up.
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romduck
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« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2005, 01:09:48 PM »

I have a similar problem after a bear got into my two hives. Stores are depleted and I'm using syrup to buid them back up but with the cold (30 deg F) nights now I'm losing alot of bees in the hive top feeder.

I was thinking of making a hard candy food for them since that sounds less messy than pouring cane sugar into empty cells.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2005, 07:30:24 PM »

They will store syrup.  They will not store fondant.  They will EAT fondant when they are starving.
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Michael Bush
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thegolfpsycho
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« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2005, 11:22:02 PM »

Right.  The fondant is an emergency measure.  They move up using the stores above them.  If they get a little lite in late winter, early spring, the fondant can sometimes get them through.
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SherryL
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« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2005, 11:55:25 PM »

Thanks guys!

I went out and bought the lumber, ect. to make up the "feed boxes".  I think it's their only chance.  I was last up there with them about 9 days ago.  I refilled their pale feeders but they had maybe 7-8 frames  of pollen and capped honey in the bottom box, outer frames were empty - nothing at all in the top box.  Like I said - in another 1-2 weeks, daytime temps will be hovering consistently in the 30's, so not sure the buckets will be of much help.

If they don't eating the "fondant" (hope you guys know that's not really fondant - speaking as a cake decorator) they will most definitely starve.  cry

sherry
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Finsky
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« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2005, 12:16:50 AM »

Solid food helps if bees get water outside all the time. Otherwise they will die lack of water. This is issue which we cannot talk.  Cannot understand.

Odd thing in USA is that hobbyist avoid feed bees for winter with sugar. Beginners are encouraged to leave honey for winter - why?

In cold climate  there is no alternatives and hives goes well over winter when feeded with sugar once.  I may say that teachers are really bad ones when they give such advices. Why, what is the art of feeding sugar all year around  Tongue

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You write : .. but they had maybe 7-8 frames of pollen and capped honey in the bottom box, outer frames were empty - nothing at all in the top box.

You have a good store of food in the hive,  but it is uppside down. With 7 frames of capped food hive goes over winter.  Do this:

* Buy TWO  insulated lanstroth box. Try styrofoam. Good insulation  saves 30% of food.
* Put frames with bees into boxes and put those boxes over your old ones. Bees move to new boxes them selves. Take extra boxes away.
* Put best capped  frames in the middle.

* If you just feeded and it is not capped, put uncapped in the middle and capped next near. They eat uncapped first. At sides uncapped food will be fermented.

You can do it with  30 F weather, but wait that temperature rises.

* If you do not change boxes, do it so: put the capped box uppermost.
* Make a loose insulated  box from styrofoam boards over your hive. Good ventilation at the bottom.
* buy a frost guard which keep the tempereture at level of 40F.  

Styrofoam hive box is sheaper.


If you have capped frames 7 , surely you get them alive to cleansing flight. After that you can feed then again with 60% syrup. Bees consume most of their winter food during spring when they have brood.

Do not give them extra room.

Keep hive in somewhere shelter where they do not get wind into entrance.

I have same problems with some hives and I put there 6 W terrarium heater. I carry a couple of hives to fire wood shelter and connect them to electrict net Tongue .

My bees raised brood very late and some consumed too much winter food in Sptember. I weight hives with person balance and I can see which are under minimum. There I put terrarium heater . Heater cannot be under the winterball. It must be on the side wall.

But it seems to me that you have enough food to the cleqnsing flight
If you give now syrup, it will be fermented.

I have in Southern Finland cleansing fliht at the beginning if Marsh.
I live at 60 north latitude and you live somewhere 42 degree. In Europe it means that cleansing flight is at the beginning of February, not so far. Now they need to survive 3-4 months with that food.

What is your time of cleansing flight?

Training makes a master!
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SherryL
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« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2005, 12:30:04 AM »

Finsky - what are you doing awake in the middle of the night???  wink

I was thinking about taking the top boxes off, especially if I put this feeder box on, they would have to cross empty frames to reach it.  It they eat the fondant, not store it there's no point in empty top boxes.  My hope was that when I see them in a few days, they will have some stores in those top boxes, but it's not likely they'll have much.  I'll go ahead and move any frames with stores into the bottom box.

Our November daytime temperatures will run a high in the 40's to lows in the 20's.  December gets progressively colder, January is downright frigid; 2-3 weeks below 0 is normal.  February is like December and March is finally moving back toward an occasional 40's day.

I lost 2 of 3 hives last winter to starvation (head first into cells) and each hive had 2 full deeps of stores, but I didn't feed them in the spring (didn't know I should).  I'll put the 'feeder boxes' on now, check them (weather permitting) when I'm up there at Christmas and maybe make a trip in February to see if they're still buzzing in there.  Don't see how I could really plan on opening the hives any earlier than March to refill feeders.
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Finsky
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« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2005, 12:55:17 AM »

Quote from: SherryL
Finsky - what are you doing awake in the middle of the night???  wink .


I am on another side of globe. Here  is now morning 7:42

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I was thinking about taking the top boxes off, especially if I put this feeder box on, .

It is not time to feed. It will be fermented.  Let them be in peace and give them insulation on the top and on sides.

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I'll go ahead and move any frames with stores into the bottom box..


Change boxes.

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February is like December and March is finally moving back toward an occasional 40's day..


Bees need for cleansing flight bright sunrise and one day whet temperature rises to 41F.

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I lost 2 of 3 hives last winter to starvation (head first into cells) and each hive had 2 full deeps of stores, but I didn't feed them in the spring (didn't know I should). .


Get insulated brood boxes. It saves your bees. I have had  1,3 inch wooden boxes and they need 50% more winter food than insulated. It is much.

I have normally 15 hives. I loose normally 0,5 hives per winter, but none for starvation. If I feed too much, fermented food will run them away from hive to the snow. Their stomach , you know.

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I'll put the 'feeder boxes' on now, .


After my 40 years experience, it is a mistake.

* Every year I check the food after cleansing flight. I can weight  the hive with one hand and if it is light, I give food.
* I take inner roof away and I look if there seems capped cells, if not, I give food.

* During spring I even food frames between hives.

* I give sugar 40 lbs per hive at September and it is enought to May.
I leave no honey for winter. Our sugar price is 1$ and honey 6$. No idea to feed with honey.
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