Suspended sugar bricks in a topbar hive for winter
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
    Posts
    2,748

    Default Suspended sugar bricks in a topbar hive for winter

    Since there is lots of talk on how to add sugar bricks to langstroth hives, I wanted to share what I do with my topbar hives. Since we have mild winters, I usually only add one of these to each hive, but I have found that if I add them in November, the bees have pretty much worked through them by December and need another one. Since we really don't get our cold "winter" until January, the bees are not in cluster and moving around quite a bit, so I figure it gives them something to feed on.

    I will mix 3 cups of sugar with 1/4 cup of water and mix well. It is the consistency of sugar sand. That is dumped into a rectangle pie tin from the Dollar Tree, and pressed down hard. Allow to dry for 2 days and flip over in pan to dry the other side. Then it is loaded into a mesh bag. I prefer the ones that the popsicles come in from Walmart as it has a handy plastic label that I use to attach the contraption to an empty topbar. Because of the weight of the sugar, the bar wants to "roll" unless it is put up against a piece of drawn comb.

    My winter configuration for my TBH's is one comb of pollen, all the brood combs, natural capped honey combs, then the sugar brick and empty drawn comb to stabilize it. What I've found over the past 5 years is that the bees work the sugar and leave the natural honey until late winter, so that they are raising brood with the natural honey, which is my preference.

    The link to my FB post on this is here. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=baf264b308

    I've also done the fondant in the empty comb, but that was way too much work, so I wouldn't bother with that again.

    Sometimes, if the comb isn't all the way drawn to the floor of the hive, I will just set the pan of sugar brick on the hive floor.

    sugar brick.jpg

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Hall, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    313

    Default Re: Suspended sugar bricks in a topbar hive for winter

    I like this a lot, but what I like even better is that bar holder. Is that a hanging-file insert? That's a really cool solution. I just gave a bunch of those to charity and now wish I had one back!

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
    Posts
    2,748

    Default Re: Suspended sugar bricks in a topbar hive for winter

    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarDad View Post
    I like this a lot, but what I like even better is that bar holder. Is that a hanging-file insert? That's a really cool solution. I just gave a bunch of those to charity and now wish I had one back!
    yeah, that's an old trick from my first year. Thought everyone had seen that by now. It's a legal size hanging file folder insert, the kind that go in a filing cabinet drawer. My work was getting rid of them so I brought a few home. You bend the wire to just the right length so it can sit on top of the topbars of the hive for easy inspection (and photography, in my case)
    IMG_0281.jpg

    Also good for holding bars of honey. One year, I uncapped the topbar comb and just let it drip into a pan. (too much work but fun video on FB)
    https://www.facebook.com/topbarbeehi...9385243754671/

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Wise County, Texas, USA
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Suspended sugar bricks in a topbar hive for winter

    I made a sugar brick feeder that replaces 3 top bars. I can refill it with out disturbing the bees. The bees have access thru the side of. my feeder. Just pull off the top cover & remove the filler insert cap. Fill it and close.20180424_175414.jpg20180424_175414.jpg20180424_132500.jpg

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