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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Neodesha, Ks
    Posts
    621

    Default Mountain Camp Method;

    Here it is the middle of January and Spring is just around the corner. Do your Bee's have enough food to keep them from Starving? If not, do a Google search for Mountain Camp Method of feeding dry sugar. Don't let your little darling STARVE! I used the mountain camp method last year and my bee's came through in fine shape.
    Sat., the temp was 55* and the bee's were flying so I open my hives and the bee's were right up in the top and the hives were getting light so I decided it would be a good time to put the Dry Sugar just for Insurance against Starving. I fed dry sugar last year and I was sup-prized how much they ate of the dry sugar. Like I said, my bee's came through last winter in good shape and gave me a good amount of HONEY for the kind of year we had, it was dry here also. Any sugar that is left in the spring can be fed as syrup so nothing is lost. Try it, I think you will like the results. It is cheaper than buying more bee's in the spring.
    Just a Reminder to check your HIVES.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Paw Paw, SW Lower Michigan
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: Mountain Camp Method;

    How warm should it be to crack open the hive and add sugar? It's cold and snowy here in Michigan at the moment.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    zanesvile, ohio, usa
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: Mountain Camp Method;

    Quote Originally Posted by NonTypicalCPA View Post
    How warm should it be to crack open the hive and add sugar? It's cold and snowy here in Michigan at the moment.
    I would not open them unless it is 40 degrees up there. If you have no other choice open them and move quick...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Virgil, NY USA
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: Mountain Camp Method;

    we open them in the 20's if they need fed. I have seen good hives spend half the winter with the covers blown off and a snow drift on top and they survive just fine as long as they have food.
    Its better to open and feed than let them starve.
    Nick

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Mountain Camp Method;

    Quote Originally Posted by funwithbees View Post
    we open them in the 20's if they need fed. I have seen good hives spend half the winter with the covers blown off and a snow drift on top and they survive just fine as long as they have food.
    Its better to open and feed than let them starve.
    Nick
    Same here.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Paw Paw, SW Lower Michigan
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: Mountain Camp Method;

    Thanks guys. I don't think they need any but I guess I'm a little paranoid being my first year.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Wisconsin rapids Wi USA
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Mountain Camp Method;

    I put mine on a few wk ago, 36 degrees, but I have a quilt on,so I cut a piece of 1/8 panel the size of the hive. lifted the quilt an 1/8 in and slid the panel in. then took off quilt , put on mountain camp,then quilt on top and pulled out the panel. the Bees were never exposed to the weather ( I didn't think we would get any 50 degre days in Wis untll mid-march)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    YANCEY CO., NC
    Posts
    639

    Default Re: Mountain Camp Method;

    I put mine on a newspaper works great.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Neodesha, Ks
    Posts
    621

    Default Re: Mountain Camp Method;

    It is good Insurance to keep them from STARVING!!!!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Cattaraugus,New York, USA
    Posts
    345

    Default Re: Mountain Camp Method;

    Yes this is a great way to keep the colony from starving. i sometimes make a thick "candy" using bee pro and sugar, and just enough water to make it thick. I make mine thicker than any pollen or sub pattie ive seen. I put down a piece of newspaper, with the center ripped out, and place the thick mixture or dry sugar around the outside. Replace the inner cover and outer cover. I like this method more than candy boards or heavy feeding in the fall with 2:1 that doesnt get capped.
    Allegany Mtn. Bee Farm
    Quality Queens and Honey from Western New York

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    LaGrange; Oldham County; Kentucky
    Posts
    158

    Default Re: Mountain Camp Method;

    Quote Originally Posted by Wesbee View Post
    I put mine on a few wk ago, 36 degrees, but I have a quilt on,so I cut a piece of 1/8 panel the size of the hive. lifted the quilt an 1/8 in and slid the panel in. then took off quilt , put on mountain camp,then quilt on top and pulled out the panel. the Bees were never exposed to the weather ( I didn't think we would get any 50 degre days in Wis untll mid-march)
    What exactly do you mean by "quilt?"

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,802

    Default Re: Mountain Camp Method;

    Please realize that if you adequately prepare your bees in the fall you should not have any emergencies that require the Mountain Camp Method. Emergencies are something to be avoided... not planned to have them occur.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Marysville, WA
    Posts
    476

    Default Re: Mountain Camp Method;

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Dewey View Post
    Please realize that if you adequately prepare your bees in the fall you should not have any emergencies that require the Mountain Camp Method. Emergencies are something to be avoided... not planned to have them occur.
    This is a very good point. It seems alot of beekeepers are emergency feeding all of their colonies all of the time. This is not a good practice. Put them to winter plenty heavy and you'll have to use the "mountain camp" method very seldom. That being said, I did have to put some sugar on 2 (out of 30ish). They were just too lite even though they were heavy in the fall. They may have had enough stores but I felt they were close and decided to play it safe.

    Mike
    Beekeeper? Shoot, my bees keep me!
    100 hives in Western Wa State

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Latrobe, PA
    Posts
    358

    Default Re: Mountain Camp Method;

    I've used the Mountain Camp method in lean years. Right now I have left a super on my hives that were not as heavy as I thought they should be. My question is- can I put the sugar on the super? I don't know if the bees are too far down in the hive boxes to make it worth while.

    Tanya

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,965

    Default Re: Mountain Camp Method;

    Quote Originally Posted by MelanieWoosley View Post
    What exactly do you mean by "quilt?"
    Here's one example (with photos):
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...lang-quilt-box
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,833

    Default Re: Mountain Camp Method;

    Sr. Tanya, if you left a super of honey on the bees they should be ok for now. Unless the cluster has moved up into that super, putting sugar on top of the super now won't do much good. Maybe if you get a little nicer day you can take a quick peek under the cover and see if the bees are near the inner cover hole yet, and if they are then adding sugar either on the inner cover or on top of the super frames on newspaper will help if they are running short on food. With the weather this cold you don't want to pop off the cover if you don't need to, but sometimes you just have to do what you have to do to make sure they don't starve. John

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Latrobe, PA
    Posts
    358

    Default Re: Mountain Camp Method;

    John,

    The weather is supposed to get up into the 50's in a few days. I'll see how they are doing then. I already lost one hive that had lots of stores. Not sure, right now, what happened.

    Tanya

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,833

    Default Re: Mountain Camp Method;

    Sr. Tanya, not surprising that people will be losing hives in the extreme cold we have been having, I have lost two recently, both had plenty of sealed honey within a couple inches of the dead cluster, the problem with mine was that the clusters were too small to keep warm and they couldn't move to get to the honey when the cold wave hit hard. I just hate losing hives hive to starvation, I'm thinking that from now on if I have small clusters entering winter, I should just put them in nuc boxes and bring them into the basement and keep them in the dark and as cool as possible. What have you got to lose? John

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Latrobe, PA
    Posts
    358

    Default Re: Mountain Camp Method;

    John,

    I'm at the point of checking out local bee men to see if they'll have bees to sell. It was a tough year for me bee-wise. Our basement may bee to warm and I can't carry them myself anyway.

    Tanya

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Neodesha, Ks
    Posts
    621

    Default Re: Mountain Camp Method;

    Andrew, I thought mine were good on stores in the Fall but you can't control the kind of winter you will have. Still the Mountain Camp Method is good Insurance and it is cheaper than buying Bee's. Like others have said, you gotta do what you gotta do.

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