Good or Bad idea???
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    Spring Lake MI USA
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    109

    Default Good or Bad idea???

    Has any one ever thought about pressing dampened sugar into regular frames? Have never read or seen anything about it, seems like it would be a simple process. It would allow bees to stay down in box where they belong. Just a thought I had and would like comments, good or bad and why.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Seattle WA
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    1,216

    Default Re: Good or Bad idea???

    I have done a similar thing in top bar hives. I poured the sugar in the comb and lightly sprayed the sugar with water. It kept the hive alive and avoided starvation. I feel it is an unnecessary step in a Langstroth hive when sugar blocks will work just fine on the top of the frames.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Houston, TX, USA
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    646

    Default Re: Good or Bad idea???

    I vaguely remember, but didn't quickly find, a video where someone basically made a candy board in a frame. I'm sure it has been done, but doubt it is much better than a mountain camp on the top.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
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    7,824

    Default Re: Good or Bad idea???

    A soupy to slushy sugar mixture can be troweled in with a four inch putty knife pretty easily. A little messy. I prefer mixing 2 cups of water with a ten pound bag of white sugar and beet is cheaper where I live. I mix it until all the sugar is damp and press it into molds. I like Dixie brand paper soup bowls which weigh about a pound and a quarter when filled. They dry in the cold pretty quickly but one can carefully turn them upside down and lay them on the clustered bees on the top bars and not crush anyone. Lots of ways of doing beekeeping. just don't let them starve and just as bad stuff them so full of sugar the queen has no place to lay.

    I figure anytime a colony does not have equivalent of two frames of honey/syrup, they need fed. When bees are brooding up big and fast they can starve to death in very little time. Do not think because pollen is coming in, that the bees are getting adequate nectar! Often early they are not.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    1,189

    Default Re: Good or Bad idea???

    I think it would disturb the bees to much if you were thinking of doing this as emergency feeding. First off it requires you to remove a frame from the hive, one which may still have some pollen and some honey stores in it, to be replaced with the sugar frame. But to do any good the frame is going to need to go either in or right next to the cluster, which means breaking up the cluster while you insert it. Then after that the bees have to deal with any cold moisture in the sugar frame. Sugar bricks across the frames are reachable by the cluster and can be put in place without disturbing the cluster.
    Zone 6B

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Derry, New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,295

    Default Re: Good or Bad idea???

    I did it. they ate it. I used an empty frame laid on a cookie sheet and filled with sugar like making a sugar cake. it worked but you have to have empty frames on hand and extra ones so i ditched the idea. I also boiled sugar water and poured into a frame with ritecell in it. I used tin foil under it to contain the flow. those were heavy. bees didnt eat so much as it was like hard candy. also makes a heck of a mess. i posted the steps a few years back.
    Terrence

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    4,646

    Default Re: Good or Bad idea???

    I am sure it will work. But here's some things to ponder.
    Bee will always move up for food, and not alway move left or right.
    You may need to split a cluster to get it to where they will use it.
    It would be hard to tell how much they have comsumed and if they need more.
    Lot of work to make the sugar fit in a frame.
    If there is no head space and a feeder shim can't be made then this is a good way to get emergency food on them.

    It's hard to beat sugar blocks for emergency food. No cook easy to make, place them on the hive with very little disturbence, take three seconds to feed a hive, replanish allmost anytime even when it's cold, never had a hive starve when there was a block directly over the cluster.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    ElDorado,Arkansas,USA
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    1,604

    Default Re: Good or Bad idea???

    Dont boil sugar water.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,922

    Default Re: Good or Bad idea???

    >Has any one ever thought about pressing dampened sugar into regular frames? Have never read or seen anything about it, seems like it would be a simple process. It would allow bees to stay down in box where they belong. Just a thought I had and would like comments, good or bad and why.

    Shake the dry sugar into the cells, then spray with a spritzer full of water until it's clumped up. Flip over and repeat. Another trick is make thicker syrup and just spray that into empty cells.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Chicago, ILL. USA
    Posts
    322

    Default Re: Good or Bad idea???

    I've done it in the past. It worked up to a point, but basically 2 things happened; it hardened in the cells and bees moved up and not sideways. Now I have to feed I provide food above the cluster.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    2,640

    Default Re: Good or Bad idea???

    I don't do it. It is not an ideal way to feed.

    Pollen patties go in between the two deeps in 2 small patches that give access to the entire patty.

    Sugar water + HBH and other additives go into a Fatbeeman-modified Miller hivetop feeder.

    A fondant board / quilt box goes in place of an inner cover or hivetop feeder in the coldest weather when liquid feeding is stopped.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Chillicothe, Ohio
    Posts
    1

    Default

    I did this very thing last year when my hive got robbed out right before winter. Just wet the sugar lightly enough to where it clumps together then press it into an empty frame ontop of a sheet of wax paper. Make sure to let it dry for about three days then place it dead center........worked like a charm and my bees made it through. When spring comes around the bees just fill the frame with new comb

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