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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    nashville tn usa
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    205

    Default Can a hive survive on fondant

    If a hive has only a minimal amount of stores would fondant be enough for winter survival ......in Tn.?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,287

    Default Re: Can a hive survive on fondant

    It's possible, but a very risky situation for them to be in. If the cluster becomes separated from the fondant and then encounters an extended cold snap, they are probably toast.

    Over the years I've had a few with very light stores make it through winter with dry sugar overhead. It's not the condition you want your colonies to be in, but it is possible for them to survive.
    To everything there is a season....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Gray Court, SC 29645
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Can a hive survive on fondant

    Feeding fondant is dependant on weather. If the weather gets too cold fondant isn't your best source of feed but if the days warm then I've had pretty good luck using a 90/10 (sugar to corn syrup) fondant (50lbs from Brushy Creek Bee Supply runs about $98 then you have to add about $15 for shipping). The bees seems to do well and I feed pollen patties along with it. A 5lb block will last, one of my full hives, about a week and a nuc a little longer. I do switch off in later winter to a 2/1 syrup.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,070

    Default Re: Can a hive survive on fondant

    The simple answer is yes as long as it is sitting on top of the cluster and they can get to it in cold weather. Around here I would throw on a pollen pattie or two in late Feb. since an all-carb diet isn't very productive for brood.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,120

    Default Re: Can a hive survive on fondant

    In TN? I would think so. Surely until the temperatures are warm enough to feed syrup. In 2009 I was experimenting with two story nucs. Some drew out their foundation only storing a small bit of honey above the cluster. By February, many clusters were located in the top box with nothing to eat. We added wrapped fondant patties and the clusters survived the winter.

    As Keth said, the cluster must be at the top of the box and in contact with the fondant. One issue I've found...the fondant dries out. So...wrap with waxed paper, rip a strip of paper off the bottom of the fondant patty, and place that side of patty on the bees.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    nashville tn usa
    Posts
    205

    Default Re: Can a hive survive on fondant

    The fondant does dry out and gets hard as a rock....is it any benefit to them in that condition?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,592

    Default Re: Can a hive survive on fondant

    I put a plastic shopping bag over the chunk of fondant to prevent drying. You could weigh the hardened fondant and make syrup with it. I'd take my time...
    Last edited by BeeCurious; 12-20-2012 at 10:13 AM. Reason: Typo
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Shoshone County, Idaho
    Posts
    585

    Default Re: Can a hive survive on fondant

    They will still eat it when it gets rock hard. I have kept bees alive for the entire winter with Fondant in North Idaho. I usually put a patty of it between the brood boxes and 1 under the top cover so they can get to it no matter which way the cluster moves!
    I also add some brewers yeast and soy flour to give them a shot of protein as well.
    Hugus Creek Honey Farm: St. Maries, ID / Lewiston, ID
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,538

    Default Re: Can a hive survive on fondant

    I made deep inner covers and pour candy with a handful of pollen substitute into them. It's hard as a rock and they eat it just fine. Seems to soak up quite a bit of moisture, too.
    Is it solipsistic in here, or is it just me?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lexington, VA, USA
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Can a hive survive on fondant

    That's what I am doing this year but using sugar bricks and Dadant Winter Patties. 3 medium boxes with a sugar brick and the patty between 2 and 3rd box with a shim and the other on top of the 3rd box with a shim and the inner cover on top. I am thinking about putting a piece of insulation on top but I am not sure it is needed. Lexington, VA

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Cornwall, England
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Can a hive survive on fondant

    Have a look at this link.

    http://www.stratfordbeekeepers.org.u...es/Fondant.htm

    Some only feed fondant in winter.

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