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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,973

    Exclamation TBH - Emergency Feeding Experiment

    I tried a new (to me) method of feeding a light top bar hive today, so I thought I'd explain it here. No pictures, as it was getting late in the day and too dark.

    I found one of my nucs (at small tbh) was disturbingly light when I hefted it the other day. So today, when the temps popped up to about 41F (after weeks of 10F or so), I decided to try to get them some sugar.

    What I did was to first remove the outer cover and put my ear to the top bars until I located the cluster. Then I removed the follower board to get some room to shuffle the top bars. I poured some of the sugar, (which had a small amount of water added to make it slightly 'slushy') into the back of the hive on the hive floor, so that the bees might reach it in warmer weather.

    I had the sugar ready, and cut a piece of newspaper big enough to hold the sugar pile. I also prepared two 3" x 3/4" x 1/4" pieces of styrofoam. Then, I used my hive tool to pry apart the top bars at the cluster. As the opening appeared, and I could hear the bees, I quickly covered over the central part of the opening with the newspaper, to keep the heat and bees inside. Then I pushed a piece of styrofoam between the bars at each end, to keep the bars apart, maintain the space, and to keep cold air from getting in from the sides.

    Then I piled the wet damp sugar on top of the newspaper, positioning as much of it as I could over the space. On top of that, I placed my insulating cloth (I normally use between wads of burlap of other cloth to insulate between top bars and the outer cover). The cloth should keep the cold out if the bees come up through the space and eat the sugar.

    We'll see how it goes. It is supposed to be above freezing here for a few days. I will check on it at some point to see if the bees are coming up.

    Adam

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    rockford,mi
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: TBH - Emergency Feeding Experiment

    Concern about humidity is my first thought...all that moisture. Fondant would be better...Make a regular shaped bar frame, then do the fondant mixture, and pour it in there. Put hardware cloth on the back so the fondant has something to stick to...We did it-made 20# of fondant on 2 bars...course, our bees were long dead, and we didn't know it...so it was a waste. Fondant has a lot less moisture...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,479

    Default Re: TBH - Emergency Feeding Experiment

    I don't want it "slushy" just "clumpy"...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Columbia, Maryland. U.S.A.
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: TBH - Emergency Feeding Experiment

    Was thinking an edible beehive shouldn't be too difficult, if B's run out of stores they can eat the inner cover !
    Cheers,
    Drew

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    318

    Default Re: TBH - Emergency Feeding Experiment

    Had someone mention to me the other day that they are doing a similar type feeding and putting a shallow cake pan over the gap to hold bees in and cold out. Not sure how it's working, but sounded good.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,973

    Default Re: TBH - Emergency Feeding Experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I don't want it "slushy" just "clumpy"...
    Yeah, 'slushy' wasn't the right word. I had to use a spatula to scrape it out, and it could be shaped by hand - pretty stiff - but not totally dry. Might have been a cup-cup 1/2 of water for a 5lb bag.

    Adam

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Middletown, Ohio
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: TBH - Emergency Feeding Experiment

    How do the bees get to the sugar pile on the newspaper? Are the openings in the paper or around the edge of the paper?

    Mike

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,973

    Default Re: TBH - Emergency Feeding Experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by Wm.Mike View Post
    How do the bees get to the sugar pile on the newspaper? Are the openings in the paper or around the edge of the paper?

    Mike
    My assumption is that they'll just go right through it. The rising moisture will soften it, and they'll chew it up as they need to. Same as on lang frames.

    Adam

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