best way feed sugar bricks ?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    allen,indiana,usa
    Posts
    519

    Default best way feed sugar bricks ?

    Which way is better to feed sugar, place sugar brick directly on top bars, and put empty shallow super or feed shim and cover or quilt box over that, or make feed shim type box with hole in center and place plastic rapid feeder over hole with dry sugar in feeder?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Shickshinny, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,577

    Default Re: best way feed sugar bricks ?

    Just place the bricks directly on the frames with a shim gives the bee's the easiest access then you can put your quilt box on top or 2'' thick blue insulating board works so good I dont bother with quit box's anymore and really no need for inner cover .

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Red Bud, IL, USA
    Posts
    1,803

    Default Re: best way feed sugar bricks ?

    I favor the bricks directly on the top bars and over the cluster. Always found the moisture rising from the cluster an aid in the bees utilizing the bricks and the relative ease to reposition/replace the bricks an advantage. Don't see that happening once the bees ate a hole in sheets of fondant or with any type of sugar feeder. I simply vent and insulate the top of the hive, I don't try to wick or absorb any moisture not captured in the bricks.
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    5,534

    Default Re: best way feed sugar bricks ?

    I, too, just set the bricks or patty on the top of the frames, surrounded by a 2" high shim, which also contains my top entrance. With a quilt box placed on top of that. Tipping up the quilt box to assess and re-supply is easy. You can usually find a nice windless day at 40 F or above to do this. The bees, surrounded by the shim, are somewhat contained and don't spill out down the sides. Quilt box designs that incorporate the shim's height underneath a recessed ceiling don't offer this protection. In essence, with those designs, you are opening the stack at the level of the top of the frames, which can make it hard to get the whole thing re-assembled easily if the bees are disturbed and start to spread around.

    With a separate shim that remains in place while the hive is opened, I can get in and out, usually before the bees are more than just bemused. There are always bees clinging to the underside of the quilt box when it is raised. I used to think I needed to drop them down. Now I just ignore them and do what I have to in order to consolidated the brick or patty below. But I work my bees barehanded (even in winter) so I am pretty deft at it by now. I never take the QB assembly off (unless something goes horribly wrong). I just raise it about 6 or 7 inches and then stick my hand in between the blobs of bees (the ones hanging down from the roof and the ones bustling around the remainder of the sugar bricks). I can do what I need to do in a very short time, usually without any rumpus at all. I kind of like the hand to bee contact - I miss handling m ybees during the winter, but that is an acquired taste, YMMV.

    The first time you open to check on the supply, they are sometimes a bit fussy. But after a couple of resupplies, they seem much more blase about it. "Hey, what's with the cold draft, and that sudden, bright light? Oh, I see it's just the sugar lady. Let's go see what she brought this time!"

    Nancy

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    West Jordan, UT, USA
    Posts
    1,118

    Default Re: best way feed sugar bricks ?

    In all things beekeeping I keep it as simple as I can. Right on the top bars in a shim. AFIK the sugar brick acts as a quilt.
    Never ask a barber it he thinks you need a haircut.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    1,154

    Default Re: best way feed sugar bricks ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hops Brewster View Post
    In all things beekeeping I keep it as simple as I can. Right on the top bars in a shim. AFIK the sugar brick acts as a quilt.
    The same with me. Keep it simple.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Verona, NJ, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: best way feed sugar bricks ?

    I put a queen excluder on the top bars, then my sugar bricks surrounded by the Better Bee shim (the one with the hole and orange plastic cap in the middle), then the inner cover with some Reflectix on top, then the outer cover. One year I didn't get to inspect in the early spring and the bees built comb and brood was laid in the shim, and it was a total mess. Since I started using a queen excluder I've had no comb/brood issues, and it gives the sugar bricks something to rest on.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    frederick, md
    Posts
    832

    Default Re: best way feed sugar bricks ?

    We put the sugar blocks on a queen excluder and place one of the mann winter inner covers over it.

    I leave the excluders on year round. When we put the honey supers on the bees are so used to them we have no issues with the bees working the supers.

    Our bees tended to chimney brood right up through the supers. The excluders stopped that from happening.
    Zone 6b: 27 hives in Maryland, Carniolan, Italian mix mutts: Still learning - started bees spring of 2014.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    7,793

    Default Re: best way feed sugar bricks ?

    Bricks need to be directly on the top bars. I cut feeder rims 2 1/2" deep out of old bee boxes for the purpose.

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