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  1. #1
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    Default "SugarBags" feeding sugar from the bag.

    I have prepared 10 pound bags of sugar by soaking them in about one cup of water and allowing them to harden.


    To fit in a 5-frame nuc box I cut the opening in the side.


    A piece of wax paper or plastic wrap is used to hold the sugar in the bag while inverting the bag into a baking pan/dish.




    A cup of water is enough to saturate the bottom inch or so of the sugar.


    Allow several days for them to dry.

    Like fondant, I place the bag directly over the openings in the inner covers. The hardened layer of sugar prevents the rest from cascading into the hive.


    A hive body is used to house the bag of sugar.


    Here is one that had been worked on by the bees...


    I generally do not break the inner covers loose until the first warm days of February or March. The sugar bags may be an economical alternative to fondant, and like fondant (over the inner cover), there's no need to open the hive in winter.
    Last edited by BeeCurious; 12-17-2012 at 04:37 PM.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  2. #2
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    Default Re: "SugarBags" feeding sugar from the bag.

    BC, I know you have more time than I, but you can skip all the above steps and just put the bag of sugar right on the top bars. The bees will chew thru the paper and eat.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  3. #3
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    Default Re: "SugarBags" feeding sugar from the bag.

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    BC, I know you have more time than I, but you can skip all the above steps and just put the bag of sugar right on the top bars. The bees will chew thru the paper and eat.
    I don't remove the inner covers... and the bees don't need to chew paper.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  4. #4
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    Default Re: "SugarBags" feeding sugar from the bag.

    My point is, that if you did remove the inner cover and didn't wet the sugar, the bees ould still be able to get to the sugar. What happens if the colony is clustered to one side of the hive so it can't easily get to the handhold in the inner cover.

    Whatever works for you, keep doing it. I was just mentioning an alternative. That's all.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  5. #5
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    Default Re: "SugarBags" feeding sugar from the bag.

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    I was just mentioning an alternative.
    Gee, I thought I was the one offering an alternative....
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  6. #6
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    Charlottesville, Virginia
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    Default Re: "SugarBags" feeding sugar from the bag.

    Does all of the sugar in the bag harden or only the one side?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: "SugarBags" feeding sugar from the bag.

    Quote Originally Posted by krad1964 View Post
    Does all of the sugar in the bag harden or only the one side?
    Just the bottom. I believe that some moisture will help to maintain the "ceiling" intact.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  8. #8
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    Default Re: "SugarBags" feeding sugar from the bag.

    Why do your bees need such a feeding method? Wouldn't it be better to feed them thick syrup in September/October and be done with it?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: "SugarBags" feeding sugar from the bag.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Why do your bees need such a feeding method? Wouldn't it be better to feed them thick syrup in September/October and be done with it?
    I have one nuc hive that had several chances to clean out some frames and build up some stores... They wouldn't clean frames that were not only above an inner cover, the frames were also upside down. And eventually over two inner covers. The queen even moved up into the upside down comb... I flipped them upright and will attempt to care for them. That nuc has sugar on it.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  10. #10
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    Default Re: "SugarBags" feeding sugar from the bag.

    I personally like dried sugar or sugar bricks better than syrup in my operation. It is an insurance policy on top of any colony not weighing a safe amount. It is easily refilled at anytime during the winter that lasts forever. In the spring the sugar is easily removed because it is all turned into a sugar cube. Then it is easily turned into syrup when weather makes syrup usable by the bees. A lot of ways of doing things.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: "SugarBags" feeding sugar from the bag.

    Gee Mike,I don't know.
    If I could get the same results from plopping a bag of sugar on top of a hive as I can get from mixing syrup,filling feeders,dealing with leaks,and removing feeders(don't use paint cans);maybe it's worth a shot.

    In the north,I've always considered candy boards,fondant or sugar to be emergency feed.If it's not in the comb in the fall,you are risking your bees.But in CT,in full sun and tar paper wrap,my bees want to break cluster and chimney right up the center ,leaving honey below and against the sides.Makes me nervous in early Feb.

    I can see benefits:
    Any sugar not used could be saved(What do you do with the last inch in the feeder in Nov)
    Loose sugar would absorb moisture which the bees could reclaim.

    Nothing wrong with thinking outside the box,especially one beekeepers have been using for over a hundred years.

    I'll still feed 2:1 next fall

  12. #12
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    Default Re: "SugarBags" feeding sugar from the bag.

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    Gee, I thought I was the one offering an alternative....
    I was offering an alternative to your alternative, which is an alternative to Mountain Camp's alternative to the alternative I first learned before I ever knew about beesource.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  13. #13
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    Default Re: "SugarBags" feeding sugar from the bag.

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    I was offering an alternative to your alternative, which is an alternative to Mountain Camp's alternative to the alternative I first learned before I ever knew about beesource.
    Well, that's one way to put it. I guess.

    26 years before Mountain Camp "Johannson" was pouring sugar over newsprint on topbars.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...768#post498768
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  14. #14
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    Default Re: "SugarBags" feeding sugar from the bag.

    So it's the Johannson Method.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  15. #15
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    Default Re: "SugarBags" feeding sugar from the bag.

    I am going to try this ‘Johannson brick Method’. End of the season I put ‘bag feeders’ to the weak hives and poured dry sugar on top of the bags in place for insurance. The bees have to move around the sides to get at it.
    I have heard of this before but with vinegar (Lauri I think) and thought it needed the vinegar to set up hard. $2 for a 4 lb bag, no fuss, nothing to clean up if they don’t eat it (just pick up the bag).
    Most of our days are between 30 and 40 degrees. A cold day here is 20 degrees, almost all of our days are wet. Candy boards were a pain. Candy turned out about half of the time, sometimes it turned brown and I did not want to feed it.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  16. #16
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    Default Re: "SugarBags" feeding sugar from the bag.

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    So it's the Johannson Method.
    The "Mountain Camp" method is what Johannson had done 26 years before...
    Last edited by BeeCurious; 12-17-2012 at 10:02 PM.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  17. #17
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    Default Re: "SugarBags" feeding sugar from the bag.

    I appreciated learning about the sugar bag variant. I might never need it, but had you not brought it up I am sure I never would have thought of it.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: "SugarBags" feeding sugar from the bag.

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    They wouldn't clean frames that were not only above an inner cover, the frames were also upside down. And eventually over two inner covers. The queen even moved up into the upside down comb... I flipped them upright and will attempt to care for them. That nuc has sugar on it.
    Next time place an empty super...no frames...between inner cover and box of combs to be cleaned out.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: "SugarBags" feeding sugar from the bag.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Grimshaw View Post
    Gee Mike,I don't know.
    If I could get the same results from plopping a bag of sugar on top of a hive as I can get from mixing syrup,filling feeders,dealing with leaks,and removing feeders(don't use paint cans);maybe it's worth a shot.

    I can see benefits:
    (What do you do with the last inch in the feeder in Nov)
    I understand the use as an emergency. I misunderstood what BC was saying. I thought he was adding a bag of sugar to every hive.. If a beekeeper HAS to do that I would say there's a management issue.

    Using gallon cans on the top bars, there isn't any syrup left in the feeder.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: "SugarBags" feeding sugar from the bag.

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    I place the bag directly over the openings in the inner covers. The hardened layer of sugar prevents the rest from cascading into the hive.
    Does the rest of the bag get hard over time? If the bees eat through the harden layer the sugar above would fall through the hole in the cover. Maybe there is enough moisture in the hive keeping it intact.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

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