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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    2,705

    Default Re: Winter Prep and Sugar Bricks

    You might find some info here:

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...r-sugar-blocks

    I put these blocks on all my singles, heavy or not. The bees relish them. Even if they don't need them, it sure makes me feel better, in the dead of winter, knowing the blocks are easily accessable.



    (Feeder in the hive is empty-just left in to take up space. This is a January 2014 photo)
    I just flip over my screened inner cover to use the deeper side to accomodate the sugar block.



    There is no substitute for fall feeding of syrup and protein.

    I offer the fortified sugar blocks as an additional free choice feed suppliment source for the bees. What I find is they keep more of their honey for brood rearing in spring. I also find it seems to support contentment during the winter months.

    Whether they treat the sugar block as a glass of fine wine or an MRE depends on how well you prepared that hive late summer/early fall.
    Last edited by Lauri; 10-01-2014 at 08:02 PM.
    Lauri Miller.
    Carniolan Hybrids. Glenn & Wild lines.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Caledonia,michigan
    Posts
    208

    Default Re: Winter Prep and Sugar Bricks

    Lauri,
    So what is the difference between feeding the sugar blocks and feeding the patties? One to get them through the last part of winter and the other to kick start brood building in the spring?

    Sorry for sounding dumb here.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    2,705

    Default Re: Winter Prep and Sugar Bricks

    Patties are for brood rearing spring and late summer.
    I put my protein on in February/March for springtime supplementation.

    Protein & a bit of 1:1 syrup in August/September for a good crop of healthy well fed young bees to go through the winter. (Even if they have plenty of capped honey)
    My broodnest in late summer, during our dearth, is rich with royal jelly and pearly white new brood. Not bone dry and fighting to rear brood under dearth conditions. Right now my hives are heavy, but also full of capped brood and lots of newly hatched young bees. Once my winter bees are mostly hatched, I can feed 2:1 for backfilling of some of those now empty cells if the hive is lighter than I'd like.

    Depending on your local climate, your opportunity for stimulating the production of well fed winter bees has already passed. Something a lot of people overlook because they think a heavy hive needs nothing. But a heavy hive can consist of lots of heavy capped honey above a bone dry struggling broodnest area below. Unless you actually look, you can't tell by weight alone. A dry broodnest means a poor crop of young bees going into winter. I never leave that to chance and hope for a fall flow to fill in the gaps.

    Syrup is for
    1:1 stimulating brood rearing/queen laying/wax building
    2:1 to put on fall hive weight. (2:1 will not stimulate wax building)

    Winter sugar blocks are a back up resource/insurance/peace of mind for me. There is generally a hive or two that just won't take up enough syrup to come to weight, usually nucs.I have a few late made nucs out there right now that have so much capped brood in them they have no room to take up & store syrup at the moment. I'll feed them 2:1 as soon as they will take it up. If still somewhat light, They overwinter just fine with a sugar block.

    Any singles that do not have feed directly above the cluster get a block. I think singles with smaller colonies actually do better with a block and a well insulated lid as low as possible, avoiding a big void above them as a box with capped honey frames would provide. I can add honeyframes & frames of comb when broodrearing starts in spring, after the brunt of extreme cold weather has passed. (Or add new frames and a feeder)

    I don't allow many empty cells on the frames going into winter. I want a fair amount of open feed where the cluster is residing, like this frames shows (January Photo)



    Below is a frame from a mating nuc that was fed syrup after most of the brood had hatched. You can see the natural honey at the top and sides, capped syrup in the center



    Here you can see a divided deep mating nuc with a new sugar block directly over the cluster, flipped inner cover with top entrance for ventilation and low 1 1/2" insulation over the inner cover. The top of this mating nuc is warm and a very supportive winter enviroment.



    Another winter frame. There are NO empty cells under the bees. They are all filled with open feed, a little capped honey around the top and sides. They'll cluster on this open feed and come spring, quickly consume it to make room for & feed brood. I never have to feed syrup in early spring-and a good thing too. Many times it's too cold for them to take up syrup, even if they are desperate for it.

    Last edited by Lauri; 10-02-2014 at 03:25 PM.
    Lauri Miller.
    Carniolan Hybrids. Glenn & Wild lines.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Knox Co, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,148

    Default Re: Winter Prep and Sugar Bricks

    Quote Originally Posted by laketrout View Post
    Thanks , I'll give it a try .
    I can attest to the fact that a strong colony will empty gallon paint cans quickly. I have found a can of warm syrup placed on a strong colony in the evening is often empty in the morning.

    Tom

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    402

    Default Re: Winter Prep and Sugar Bricks

    Stupid question, but what metal are the paint cans made of? I'm assuming these are the generic empty cans for sale at Home Depot or Lowes... Food safe?
    Last edited by toekneepea; 10-02-2014 at 12:22 PM.
    There must be a harder way to do that... let me find it for you.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    7,196

    Default Re: Winter Prep and Sugar Bricks

    Standard gallon paint cans with grey epoxy lining...to prevent corrosion.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Shickshinny, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,298

    Default Re: Winter Prep and Sugar Bricks

    I'm not seeing the epoxy lined cans at home depot or lowes , does anyone know where they can be purchased without ordering them online .

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    central mn
    Posts
    323

    Default Re: Winter Prep and Sugar Bricks

    as for the 3 inch brick just dont put the burlap on so tight , let it give a little so the brick will fit all it has to do is hold chips so they say out of the hive

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Torrington, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    673

    Default Re: Winter Prep and Sugar Bricks

    Michael; where are you getting the gallon cans?
    No one famous.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    bridgton maine
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: Winter Prep and Sugar Bricks

    the can is the way to go and it has to flow! just make sure the holes and top and cans are clean when refilled! it has to flow...

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    7,196

    Default Re: Winter Prep and Sugar Bricks

    Quote Originally Posted by laketrout View Post
    I'm not seeing the epoxy lined cans at home depot or lowes , does anyone know where they can be purchased without ordering them online .
    Sherwin Williams or other paint store?

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Pottstown, Pennyslvania, USA
    Posts
    685

    Default Re: Winter Prep and Sugar Bricks

    Quote Originally Posted by laketrout View Post
    I'm not seeing the epoxy lined cans at home depot or lowes , does anyone know where they can be purchased without ordering them online .
    I got mine at Lowes. Check again.
    Dan Boylan, When in doubt "It's mites".

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Torrington, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    673

    Default Re: Winter Prep and Sugar Bricks

    Michael;

    How many holes, and what size holes are you putting in the can?
    No one famous.

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    7,196

    Default Re: Winter Prep and Sugar Bricks

    4, 8p or 5-6, 6p

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Hampshire, MA, USA
    Posts
    440

    Default Re: Winter Prep and Sugar Bricks

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    4, 8p or 5-6, 6p
    Full size 8 or 6 penny holes, or just the tip of the nails?

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    7,196

    Default Re: Winter Prep and Sugar Bricks

    Full size

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Squaw Valley, CA, USA
    Posts
    963

    Default Re: Winter Prep and Sugar Bricks

    Home Depot also carries the epoxy lined paint can

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Andover, KS
    Posts
    83

    Default Re: Winter Prep and Sugar Bricks

    Michael,

    I find your feeding method interesting. It's so hard to find glass jars with good lids that work well for this. I love the gallon can method. If they get too old and crusty, you simply toss the paint can and get another one. I assume that you fill them with syrup and hammer a lid on them to keep suction, then poke the tiny holes in the bottom of the can?

    I really like this idea. I think the only modification I would like to try would be to separate the feeder can and the bees by a piece of screen or combination of inner cover + screen. I prefer this so I can swap feeders without suiting up. Plus, any time I have fed with a deep box on top of a hive, I have ended up with crazy comb running everywhere. Just a thought.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    2,705

    Default Re: Winter Prep and Sugar Bricks

    Open feeding can be productive too if your conditions are right. ( No other apiaraies near you)

    When weather turns cool and days get shorter and the hives refuse syrup, they will usually still take it up from an open feeder. I use a plastic 5 gallon bucket with holes poked in the lid and a couple around the rim, inverted on a mesh or wire table. My plastic buckets are light weight & slightly collapse as the vacuum increases so it is difficult for the bees to get much syrup. A well worked bucket will last a week. Which is just what I want, to keep them busy & less pesky. For actual volume feeding you would have to increase the output.

    I also use this during dearth periods to keep pesky bees away from mating nucs being fed or away from me when I need to collect queens and open up those nucs.

    I prefer to put syrup right where I want it, but there are times I just can't get to all the hives fast enough to keep feed on them. I use open feedign for more of a distraction, but it does get some feed into them at this late date.





    Yellow jacket trap for party crashers. Big tray catches the drippings when you first invert it.



    This is what I use for my syrup mix. For the open bucket method I slosh more vinegar into the mix then I normally would. Helps keep it from fermenting and adds nutrition.
    Other ingredients are electrolytes & vitamins. Citric & ascorbic acids. I also will add essential oils in the open feeder, whereas I do not when direct feeding.

    Last edited by Lauri; 10-03-2014 at 07:41 AM.
    Lauri Miller.
    Carniolan Hybrids. Glenn & Wild lines.

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