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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    96

    Default How much fondant will a small hive take over the winter

    Have two small hives that started from packages this year. A little concerned with the amount of feed stored for the winter and was going to give them fondant as a precaution. Any idea on how much fondant a small hive can take over the winter? I guess the easy answer would be to keep checking it - but If I was going to make some I would prefer to do it in one big batch. So, looking for some rough estimates! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,864

    Default Re: How much fondant will a small hive take over the winter

    All my hives are in single deeps and I have been feeding them sugar slush for the last few weeks because of low food reserves, and they are eating it quickly and its not even winter yet. I'm only putting on about 2 lbs. at a time right now on a piece of newspaper, but I plan on making some larger sugar bricks, say about a foot square and couple inches thick. I think that size should be large enough to carry them through till late winter, but I'll have to keep checking on the nicer days to make sure they don't run out.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN USA
    Posts
    685

    Default Re: How much fondant will a small hive take over the winter

    I gave mine a full sized candy board, that took a full 10 pound sack.
    Beekeeper since 2013. Read my bee blog at:
    http://harrisonbayhoney.blogspot.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    guelph, canada
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: How much fondant will a small hive take over the winter

    What is the recipe for these sugar bricks?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Clinton County, IN, USA
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: How much fondant will a small hive take over the winter

    http://www.beverlybees.com

    go to the website, in there is also a link to a video on making candy boards with just sugar and water
    use 1 cup of water (with some vinegar) to every 5 pounds of sugar
    mix and put in your candy board and let set up for a day before putting on hive
    alot easier than heating and no chance of overheating sugar (which is bad for bees)

    when I make mine I am going to put a layer of wet sugar down and then instead of a protien patty,
    I will put a cup of megabee protien supplement spread out in the middle, then more wet sugar to cover
    Last edited by LSHonda310; 10-31-2013 at 05:59 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    guelph, canada
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: How much fondant will a small hive take over the winter

    So do the bees have to leave the hive to get to the board? Or do they just make there way through the mesh screen and wax paper? Sorry I'm a newb...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN USA
    Posts
    685

    Default Re: How much fondant will a small hive take over the winter

    Quote Originally Posted by mikebarber View Post
    So do the bees have to leave the hive to get to the board? Or do they just make there way through the mesh screen and wax paper? Sorry I'm a newb...
    No, you put the candy board in under the inner cover. The bees naturally move up in the hive as the winter progresses, so when they hit the top they're probably going to be low or completely out of stores anyway and the candy board is then right there for them.
    Beekeeper since 2013. Read my bee blog at:
    http://harrisonbayhoney.blogspot.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    guelph, canada
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: How much fondant will a small hive take over the winter

    So I have a top feeder sits inside ther hive with a hole in the middle that they access the syrup through. Could I just fill that with the sugar mix? I think it would work...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,373

    Default Re: How much fondant will a small hive take over the winter

    I think it works better to place dry feed on the top of the bars where the cluster can be in contact with it. I place it on the top of the boxes I am wintering in with a empty box around it under the cover.
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 9 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    guelph, canada
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: How much fondant will a small hive take over the winter

    That is the setup I have but with a hive top feeder. How do u set the dry feed? On paper?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN USA
    Posts
    685

    Default Re: How much fondant will a small hive take over the winter

    Quote Originally Posted by mikebarber View Post
    That is the setup I have but with a hive top feeder. How do u set the dry feed? On paper?
    1) Make or buy a candy board. A candy board is basically a hive body/super except its only about 2 inches deep and has a screen mesh across the bottom of it. Making one is easy, just get some 3/4" wood, make a frame out of the it the same dimensions as the hive body, and get a large holed wire mesh to staple into it (make sure its wide enough for both the bees and the queen to pass through, otherwise it'll act like a queen excluder and she'll freeze when all the workers move up into the candy and she can't follow). Make sure you drill a vent hole into it too to help with circulation.
    2) Line it with thin wax paper (those sheets you get separating foundation work great).
    3) Add the sugar to the lined frame. The wax paper holds it in. You can either premix with a little water until it's clumpy, or you can do what I did and pour some in, use a mister bottle to wet it down, add more in, mist again, etc until its all in there. Optional, put a pollen patty on top of the sugar or even buried in the middle of the sugar.
    4) Put some wooden shims on top of the frames to make sure the mesh doesn't sag down and sit directly on top of the frames.
    5) Put on candy board, put inner cover on top of it, put lid back on.

    Basically what the candy board does is that it doubles as both emergency food stores for the hive just in case, and it serves as moisture control through the winter (as any moisture that condenses on the lid will drip into the sugar, while the dry sugar itself will serve like one of those silica gel packs you find in coat pockets).
    Beekeeper since 2013. Read my bee blog at:
    http://harrisonbayhoney.blogspot.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Haymarket, Virginia
    Posts
    197

    Default Re: How much fondant will a small hive take over the winter

    Could you use a spare shallow, or would that be too much space?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN USA
    Posts
    685

    Default Re: How much fondant will a small hive take over the winter

    Probably be too much. Its generally advised to take extra boxes that aren't brood off for wintering to reduce the space down to only what they need, but I'm not sure what a big open space over a candy board bottom would actually do to them. Someone with more experience will probably come in shortly to explain, but I for one wouldn't try it.

    In fact, I built my candy board myself.
    http://tardisbeehive.blogspot.com/20...g-for-you.html
    Beekeeper since 2013. Read my bee blog at:
    http://harrisonbayhoney.blogspot.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    guelph, canada
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: How much fondant will a small hive take over the winter

    I love you guys! So many great ideas! Thanks soooo much. Candy board all done and the girls are already excited by it. It was a warm day here so I peaked. They were all on top of it checking it out. I used 1/2 inch grid mesh...I hope that's big enough.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: How much fondant will a small hive take over the winter

    1/2" is plenty enough, considering that bee space (where 2 bees can pass each other) is 3/8

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