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Thread: This poor hive

  1. #21
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    Default Re: This poor hive

    I can't believe it won't get warm enough for you to get in your hives until May or June!! Today the temp got into the mid 60s so I took advantage of the nice weather to take a quick look in my two hives and take some pictures of the candy bar and hardware cloth feeder bar for you. My hives have "honey" because I fed them in the fall but they have almost no pollen so as you can see I went ahead and put some protein in the candy I made for them after all. The clusters are fairly small so if they brood up a bit it might help them. They should have enough food based on what I've read they need.

    The "candy bar". I used non-stick foil under and up the sides of the mold but not the top because I wanted it to adhere to the bar. The hardware cloth fits down in a slot I cut as a supporting armature and then I bent it over the top of the bar. I was going to screw it down but decided I didn't need to. I couldn't find anything better to cover the slot so I threw some painters tape on it as a temporary fix.
    DSC02601.JPGDSC02605.JPGDSC02606.JPGDSC02615.JPG

    The feeder bar with harware cloth pouch filled with "bee fudge". (I have the other half in the freezer.)
    DSC02603.JPGDSC02604.JPG

    as a bonus I spotted the NWC queen. (And maybe some larvae in those cells? Like I said, I was trying to be quick so I didn't look too close.)
    NWC Queen Dec 2012.jpg

    The Buckfast queen isn't marked and is smaller so I rarely pick her out but I also don't tend to move the main brood bar in that hive because it is still a bar from the chop and crop. It is the only one and I hope I can take it out in spring after the cluster has moved away from it.
    Last edited by Colleen O.; 12-15-2012 at 09:36 PM.

  2. #22
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    Question Re: This poor hive

    Hehe well, I live in Montana Colleen, on top of that at 7000ft in the rockies. i have stayed in MO for a while so I know your climate, very different.

    FYI NWC queens will stop raising brood and kick out the drones to shrink the colony for winter. I know it is mo but I am not sure it is a good idea to stimulate the queen yet. PPL?

  3. #23
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    Default Re: This poor hive

    Thank you for all the Pics! I am too knew to know about the brood cells, I can't see anything.

    What recipe did u use for the "fudge"?

  4. #24
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    Default Re: This poor hive

    Quote Originally Posted by brianbonner View Post
    Hehe well, I live in Montana Colleen, on top of that at 7000ft in the rockies. i have stayed in MO for a while so I know your climate, very different.

    FYI NWC queens will stop raising brood and kick out the drones to shrink the colony for winter. I know it is mo but I am not sure it is a good idea to stimulate the queen yet. PPL?
    I used to live in Michigan but usually by April the weather was breaking into spring. I'm guessing for you the elevation plays a role as well as the Jet Stream. Here usually we get the odd warm day or two in February and then late March it starts to warm a bit more reliably but the last frost date is in the third week of April. Then when July and August hit it is miserable hot and humid.

    I thought the bees reduced the brood nest but some raised a few through the winter. I do realize my decision might have been a mistake, we'll see. (I went with my intuition but since this is my first year my bee intuition may be flawed.) I didn't put the bars in the middle of where they cluster, but where I anticipate the cluster will move to as they work through their honey bars over the winter. Unless it is a warm day they won't be able to get to the candy until February.

    I was suprised to see some drones in my pictures, at least in the Buckfast hive. I expected them to be kicked out but it hasn't gotten dependably cold yet so that may be why they are still there.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: This poor hive

    Quote Originally Posted by brianbonner View Post
    Thank you for all the Pics! I am too knew to know about the brood cells, I can't see anything.

    What recipe did u use for the "fudge"?
    I used the one from Megabee that is on that honeybeesuite link I posted on here before. I made the 4% candy but used all sugar instead of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) like Megabee says you can (here is the megabee candy recipe link). I will not make it like that next time, it was so thick with all that sugar and so little fluid. If I make it again I will make some 2:1 syrup up and use that for the HFCS. I also added 2T vinegar for the PH. I am hoping to leave enough stores on them in the future, this year was just a bad year for it with getting them so late, the drought, etc...

    I called it "bee fudge" because I used to make 'Old Time Fudge" and it seemed VERY similar. Smelled pretty much the same until I added vinegar instead of cocoa . I almost had to make some just to be fair to my stomach.

    You are welcome for the pics, my pleasure.

  6. #26
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    Default Re: This poor hive

    Don't listen to me, that is why I asked for people to chime in. I am all theory no practical eexperience

  7. #27
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    Default Re: This poor hive

    I think they call that Burlap. get them from the local coffee shop (that roasts their own beans) for $.50.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: This poor hive

    Colleen O,

    What is the consistency of the "bee fudge" and do you mind sharing the recipe? Also, great idea. I think this could be used on langs as well.

    Thanks
    Beeman
    All things may be lawful; but not all things are advantagous.

  9. #29
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    Default Re: This poor hive

    Quote Originally Posted by beeman2009 View Post
    Colleen O,

    What is the consistency of the "bee fudge" and do you mind sharing the recipe? Also, great idea. I think this could be used on langs as well.

    Thanks
    I linked the recipe from Megabee in post 25 of this thread but I found that from what honeybeesuite had on their site (link post 6 of this thread). I like the megabee one a bit better because it explains more.

    My deviations from their recipe : I added 2T cider vinegar and used all sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup (but as I state above next time I will use 2:1 syrup instead of the HFCS) I added 1lb pollen at the end and not the megabee powder (that was what I had). The pollen mixed in really well (I was surprised) but it was fresh frozen. The consistency was almost exactly that of old time fudge. It feels hard to the touch but soft/melts in your mouth (yes, I tried it...tastes better than a spoonful of pollen but not good like fudge). I let it cool withou stirring to 180 (from 265) before I stirred in the pollen. I poured it immediately into the molds, bar one first. (It was starting to thicken before I finished cleaning it all out if the pot so you want to fill the mold quickly so that it flows through the hardware cloth.)

    The form idea came from Megabee's candy board form. (Not my original idea, just my spin on it.) The hardware cloth pouch idea was from someone else on the forum. I used both because I made only one form but knew I would have more candy than the form would take. I just poured what wouldn't fit in the form into a foiled pie tin and scored it in half after it had started to set up but was still warm (like you do with old time fudge). I put the other half from the pie tin in the freezer for spring use.

    I had problems with SHB and have been working on how to feed but get it in the nest where the bees can "own" it. I hope this does it.

    Oh, I also put spacers on both sides of the bars to give them beespace.
    Last edited by Colleen O.; 12-18-2012 at 05:31 PM. Reason: Forgot recipe step

  10. #30
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    Default Re: This poor hive

    We had a really warm few days with the temperature today in the mid sixties. I suspected my hives were light where the cluster was so I took a quick look at how they are doing with the feeder bars. In the Buckfast hive I moved the empty combs out of the way and put the feeder bar right next to where they are clustering. (The bees were all over the side of the feeder bar closest to the cluster.) In the NWC hive, the cluster had moved to adjacent the pouch feeder bar so other than moving some empty combs to the other side of the follower board I didn't need to do anything. It looks like they are clustering on the candy. Feeder Bar.jpg

  11. #31
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    Thumbs Up Re: This poor hive

    That is awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  12. #32
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    Default Re: This poor hive

    I'm bumping this thread because a member might benefit from the candy recipe and how to feed it ideas.

    I should note it didn't work out for my bees that I gave this candy to last year. The reason was only the bees on the bar next to the candy bar could use the candy when it was cold. They froze due to starvation in a late February cold snap.

  13. #33
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    Default Re: This poor hive

    Since teh back comb is empty I woudl jsut remove soem of those bars. make a brick of sugar.

    2 cups sugar 1.5 ounces of water mix together and put on a loaf pan. let it harden. then knock it out of the pan and place it in the empty space at the back of the hive. keep it a close to the bees as possible. Repeat as needed through the winter. I would start with a 5 lb block. 2 cups of sugar equals a lb. one of my small colonies with no stores went through 3 lbs in 2 weeks.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  14. #34
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    Default Re: This poor hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Colleen O. View Post
    We had a really warm few days with the temperature today in the mid sixties. I suspected my hives were light where the cluster was so I took a quick look at how they are doing with the feeder bars. In the Buckfast hive I moved the empty combs out of the way and put the feeder bar right next to where they are clustering. (The bees were all over the side of the feeder bar closest to the cluster.) In the NWC hive, the cluster had moved to adjacent the pouch feeder bar so other than moving some empty combs to the other side of the follower board I didn't need to do anything. It looks like they are clustering on the candy. Feeder Bar.jpg
    Update: My hive survived! it is triving actually, I used a candy recipe and pplaced the candy on wax paper, the candy about 12" x 3", and slid it under the combs as far as I could, they ate all the candy and most of the wax paper; i removed the remaining wax paper in june. It appears they have plenty of honey for this winter, btu we will see what the spring harvest yeilds!

  15. #35
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    Default Re: This poor hive

    YAY!! I was afraid yours didn't make it when I didn't see you on the forum this year. I am really glad to hear yours made it. I think sliding the candy under the combs was the key difference between them surviving or not. Mine was on the bar adjacent and while they were eating it when the cold snap hit the ones a couple bars over wouldn't leave their brood to get the food and froze. Last year they hadn't drawn the comb all the way down so I could have fit some in. This year almost all the comb is fully drawn so there is only a bee space under them and it wouldn't fit.

    Despite my loss it worked out though. I learned a lot and the comb gave the spring replacement package a huge head start and even with losing a swarm they built up enough that I am going into this winter with 5 nucs of bees. Even if half don't overwinter I'll be positioned to have the two hives I want to keep. Most of the nucs look good on honey stores, I just worry about pollen on some of them and the mite counts were high in two.

    Let me know how your harvest goes in the spring.

  16. #36
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    Default Re: This poor hive

    Thank you! I am sad to hear about your bees, I thought the idea of the candy comb was a good one. I guess all we can do is learn from the bees & our mistakes.

    Mites? arg have you tried dusting the bees with powdered sugar?

    My hive looks good to survive this winter with 17 bars filled out, my hive is 42 inches long so they have a third of the hive to fill up. My next goal is to split the hive after they fill it all up. but that would be the following year for that experiment. I will need to build a new hive and this time it will have a window!

  17. #37
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    Default Re: This poor hive

    Despite the poor results from last winter I decided to try the candy again but changed the recipe a bit to be more in line with that old-time fudge recipe. (I liked it better and the bees were right on it.) I fed a lot this year and should be okay but after some unseasonably warm weather that had the bees out flying. Seeing that I thought I should give them a way to reserve their honey stores now but didn't want to open feed and invite robbing. I put a block in all but the heaviest nuc today.

    As to the mites, I only tested to get a baseline and not because I was seeing mite related problems. We'll see how things go but if I lose the two with the high mite numbers this winter I will be right at the number of hives I want to maintain. Being able to lose a few is in this winter's plan.

    I finished a new hive this summer which has a slightly bigger window in it (which I really like). I plan to make at least one more and another nuc this winter. (These will have a bit different design from what I have now.) A friend at work would like bees at his place but is nervous about beekeeping so if I come out of winter with three nucs I will take my older hive out to his place and put the new one out here.

    Are you going to build your new hive and nuc this winter or next? I bet this spring your bees go gangbusters now that they are established. Do you know what type they are? Is it still your original queen?
    Last edited by Colleen O.; 11-18-2013 at 10:08 PM.

  18. #38
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    Default Re: This poor hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Colleen O. View Post
    I finished a new hive this summer which has a slightly bigger window in it (which I really like). I plan to make at least one more and another nuc this winter. (These will have a bit different design from what I have now.) A friend at work would like bees at his place but is nervous about beekeeping so if I come out of winter with three nucs I will take my older hive out to his place and put the new one out here.

    Are you going to build your new hive and nuc this winter or next? I bet this spring your bees go gangbusters now that they are established. Do you know what type they are? Is it still your original queen?
    Men make plans and God laughs! I will try to do it this summer, as I don't have a heated shop in winter, that fails, fall, that fails winter etc! there is so much to do and so little health.

    It is nice you are giving a hive to your friend, I may have to convince my buddy to start a hive

    I have new world carnolians with the original queen. They fly in the wind, in the rain, and at temps below 50 degs! They really amaze me.

  19. #39
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    Default Re: This poor hive

    Quote Originally Posted by brianbonner View Post
    Men make plans and God laughs! I will try to do it this summer, as I don't have a heated shop in winter, that fails, fall, that fails winter etc! there is so much to do and so little health.

    It is nice you are giving a hive to your friend, I may have to convince my buddy to start a hive

    I have new world carnolians with the original queen. They fly in the wind, in the rain, and at temps below 50 degs! They really amaze me.
    Too true, but I keep trying to make plans anyway. Guess I'm just dense that way. You mention health, are you not well? Hope you are okay.

    I think my friend will like it after he gets exposed to keeping bees. It falls in nicely with his orchard and planting plans for his property.

    NWCs, nice! One of my two hives last year had NWC bees and they sure did fly earlier, later, and in colder temperatures than the bees in the other hive. They also used propolis to reduce their entrance. If what I have doesn't work out I would definitely try them again. They would have turned that hive around if I had gotten the queen earlier and fed earlier.
    3rd yr - 1 KTBH & 4 KTBH nucs - TF - USDA Zn 6b

  20. #40
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    Default Re: This poor hive

    I suffer from ankalosing spondylitis fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue which gets in the way. Right now my focus has shifted to cutting wood! The Bees are on their own this winter with any luck we will both survive!

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