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Thread: Winter feeding

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Oneida NY
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    Default Winter feeding

    Are pollen patties with essential oils as good or better than sugar patties?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    West Paris Maine USA
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    13

    Default Re: Winter feeding

    they are awsome just beware when you start feeding them for the pollen can make the queen to start laying eggs early thinking the pollen is in flow. I usually put my pollen patties on when the drones start flying usually just before dandilion bloom to make sure i got a nice big hive for the bloom but not to early for them to eat up all of the feed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,321

    Default Re: Winter feeding

    Pollen is for rearing brood and will not keep them from going hungry. I've never heard of sugar patties...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
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    Jul 2011
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    Oneida NY
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    Default Re: Winter feeding

    I was going to make "grease patties" with Cisco, sugar, and wintergreen oil to feed my hive. Is that just as good as fondant from the catalogs?

    If sticking with the homemade patties can I add honey too?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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    642

    Default Re: Winter feeding

    My bees have very little interest in eating grease patties - hardly touch them. They much prefer sugar candy. Water, sugar, 1 Tbsp lemon juice per quart, boil and stir continually, take temp to 245F, beat with mixer until somewhat cooled, and pour into molds. There's lots of recipes throughout beesource threads and internet.

  6. #6
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Winter feeding

    Grease patties are not for food, they are for tracheal mites...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    phoenix arizona
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    92

    Default Re: Winter feeding

    The grease is just to cover scent isn't it? not for food...

  8. #8
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    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
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    1,076

    Default Re: Winter feeding

    -Wintergreen oil is for varroa
    -Grease for tracheal mites, also helps spread the wintergreen around the hive
    -dry sugar, fondant, bee candy are used to feed bees when it is too cold for syrup
    -pollen for brood rearing

    bmac1985 what is your goal? to feed a light hive? Treat? Start brood rearing?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Oneida NY
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    Default Re: Winter feeding

    To feed in a cold environment. So, from the responses I am going with fondant or sugar candy as suggested by mgolden.(?)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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    642

    Default Re: Winter feeding

    There is three choices for winter feeding -
    1. Mountain camp - essentially misted/slightly wetted sugar. Easiest and works

    2. Fondant - I personally had problems with getting the consistency right and bees got stuck down in it when the hive temp was up. Can built floats out of wood or thin styrofoam.

    3. Sugar candy - bees quite like it and preferred by me as only a hobbist but does take a little work to make. Have to stir the mixture slowly but constantly so it doesn't burn and a candy thermometer is close to a must - take off heat at 245F. Make a batch and next time adjust the temp up or down to fine tune for your consistency, thermometer and elevation. I line a 8 inch cake pan with parchment paper. Cut into four squares before it cools too much so it can be cut.


    Grease patties are for tracheal mite control and have tried and bees don't really like the taste.

    Sugar syrup doesn't work well as bees quit consuming at about 50F and extra moisture adds to humidity in hive which is not a good thing. And syrup will stimulate brrod rearing.

    And most will agree that the best is to leave adequate honey stores and then topping up food supply in the fall with 2:1 syrup. This mixture doesn't mold/ferment easily and adds less humidity.

  11. #11
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    Jul 2011
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    Oneida NY
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    Default Re: Winter feeding

    Mg, amount of sugar per quart of water?

  12. #12
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    Mar 2011
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    Belchertown, MA
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    103

    Default Re: Winter feeding

    What about straight granulated sugar?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
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    618

    Default Re: Winter feeding

    or better yet honey.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  14. #14

    Default Re: Winter feeding

    Pollen is the bee's protein they need it to rear brood, Sugar is the carbohydrates that keep them alive and warm. Winter feeding, feed them sugar. Unless you are sending bees to pollinate an early crop or you are wanting to do early splits feeding pollen to early can and will result in a lot of swarms in the spring. Usually the bees have enough pollen in the hive and are able to forage early enough for spring build up. If you do start feeding pollen be sure to be feeding carbs as well. The bees will be using a lot of honey up while raising brood.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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    642

    Default Re: Winter feeding

    Been away and will be away in Arizona for three weeks. Drove through the Almond groves and saw the pollination hives and quite interesting. Also saw bees on pansies at campground in La Quinta and they were taking moisture left on the petals after the sprinklers

    Mix I used was a quart of left over 2:1 plus 3 cups of sugar. Mix is not critical but temp is so go 245F. And you need to stir continuously so it doesnt get to hot on edges next saucepan and burnécarmelize

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