Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive? - Page 3
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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
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    5,592

    Default Re: Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive?

    Quote Originally Posted by yukonjeff View Post

    I use the three inch shim, and a jumbled, pile of broken pieces, so they can climb up through the cracks and feed on them.
    That's my preference as well. I'll make up dozens of small blocks and have them ready to go. If I check a hive and see they have eaten most of the blocks directly above the cluster it's very quick and easy to just set in 4 or 5 blocks to replace them with very little disruption.
    To everything there is a season....

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  3. #42
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    frederick, md
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    840

    Default Re: Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Gillmore View Post
    That's my preference as well. I'll make up dozens of small blocks and have them ready to go. If I check a hive and see they have eaten most of the blocks directly above the cluster it's very quick and easy to just set in 4 or 5 blocks to replace them with very little disruption.
    Good idea I will break up the blocks I add this winter. They don't seem to have a issue eating though the solid blocks, but might as well make it easier for them.
    Zone 6b: 27 hives in Maryland, Carniolan, Italian mix mutts: Still learning - started bees spring of 2014.

  4. #43
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Park County, Montana, USA
    Posts
    464

    Default Re: Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    So what is everyone favorite Sugar brick making process/recipe ?
    12 cups sugar, 7/8 cup water packed into various sizes of plastic containers about an inch and a half thick, carefully popped out the next day to finish drying. I'm switching from MC, we had a warm spell after a year I used MC and I'm pretty sure most of the sugar was hauled out as trash before it had a chance to harden. As you can see I'm using a clothes dryer this year, but I don't think they dry any faster.

    IMG_1205.jpg
    5 Production colonies, 1 side by side 5 frame nuc for support- 7 working queens is all I want.

  5. #44
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Lassen, California, USA
    Posts
    668

    Default Re: Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive?

    I'm only a 5th year, but every fall, when I button up my hives, I put in sugar bricks. And every spring, when I open them up again, they've eaten most, if not all of the bricks. I've not lost a hive to starvation in the 5 years I've been keeping. Last year I was in a panic, as I'd never had a chance to make sugar bricks. Bought some Dadant 'Winter Patties', my bees did just fine with those. This year I was able to make sugar bricks, so I'll go with those again.
    Some days it's not even worth chewing through the restraints.

  6. #45
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,916

    Default Re: Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive?

    Quote Originally Posted by sjj View Post
    Does the quality of the fat body in the following spring depend on the consumption of white sugar in winter?
    The quality of the fat body depends on how much protein the larva was fed and the young bee eats as it is maturing. A lack of pollen will produce weak winter bees. Nutrition is just as important as treating for mites if you want strong colonies coming out of winter and carbs are only half of the equation. Problem is, we can add carbs anytime, the pollen must be fed early while the bees are still brooding. I put dry pollen sub out for open feeding as soon as the dearth starts and will leave it out until Spring. In my climate, the bees are able to do some foraging during the winter months.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  7. #46
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Plumas County, California, USA
    Posts
    241

    Default Re: Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive?

    I suppose I'm more reactive than proactive, by which I mean it depends on the health of the individual hive. I try to get them ready but sometimes a hive just needs more help after the weather turns cold. Or for example, lat year there was a sudden warming trend through late november and into early january and bees were active. I added sugar bricks. And also during the long, cold, wet spring when it was still too cold for syrup.

    But as a routine matter I do not.

    Favorite sugar brick recipe: I used Lauri's recipe last year here.
    The bees seemed to like it. Those hives who needed it consumed the bars, others not so much. I did try MC one year, but like the bars better.

    I also feed some pollen sub in the fall.
    Year 3
    Zone 7b 3500 ft.

  8. #47
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    frederick, md
    Posts
    840

    Default Re: Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive?

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    The quality of the fat body depends on how much protein the larva was fed and the young bee eats as it is maturing. A lack of pollen will produce weak winter bees. Nutrition is just as important as treating for mites if you want strong colonies coming out of winter and carbs are only half of the equation. Problem is, we can add carbs anytime, the pollen must be fed early while the bees are still brooding. I put dry pollen sub out for open feeding as soon as the dearth starts and will leave it out until Spring. In my climate, the bees are able to do some foraging during the winter months.
    I have never thought of putting pollen out in the fall. I do see a lot of pollen being brought into the hives, yellow (goldenrod) and a white pollen. What we are lacking this fall is nectar.
    Maybe next fall I will put out some pollen sub.

    Do you have a way to keep it dry i.e. a feeding station. I tried a mail box, but it blew out, a corrugated tube, it blew out and got wet.

    Our bees are flying almost all winter. I even see them out when it is in the 40's, coming and going.
    Zone 6b: 27 hives in Maryland, Carniolan, Italian mix mutts: Still learning - started bees spring of 2014.

  9. #48
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Northeast PA
    Posts
    296

    Default Re: Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive?

    Do bees need to add water to fondant to consume it, or can they just eat it directly?

  10. #49
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    New Haven, CT
    Posts
    408

    Default Re: Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive?

    Condensation of water vapor exhaled by the bees in the winter cluster onto the bottom surface of the fondant will provide sufficient moisture for the bees to be able to make good use of the fondant.

  11. #50
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,916

    Default Re: Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive?

    Missybee, I considered the big blue BeePro sombrero feeder but it is too expensive for my needs. Instead, I place several wide mouth quart mason jars full of pollen sub on their sides inside a hive body or nuc body with a bottom board and top. Bees have no trouble finding it and using it when needed. They have taken less this year than last, and I have more hives. I also put pollen patties on any hive that does not have ay least 1/2 of a frame of bee bread stored. Of course they do not store the patty, but it will keep them from consuming what natural pollen they do find.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  12. #51
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    241

    Default Re: Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive?

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Missybee, I considered the big blue BeePro sombrero feeder but it is too expensive for my needs. Instead, I place several wide mouth quart mason jars full of pollen sub on their sides inside a hive body or nuc body with a bottom board and top. Bees have no trouble finding it and using it when needed. They have taken less this year than last, and I have more hives. I also put pollen patties on any hive that does not have ay least 1/2 of a frame of bee bread stored. Of course they do not store the patty, but it will keep them from consuming what natural pollen they do find.
    I lay a 5-gallon paint bucket on its side, slightly sloped towards the opening to keep rain out. Then I put a tray of Ultrabee dry in there. Sometimes they are all over it, other times they ignore it completely.

  13. #52
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Helper, Utah, USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive?

    Can feeder rims be purchased?

  14. #53
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    2,415

    Default Re: Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Reallymary View Post
    Can feeder rims be purchased?
    Here's one: https://www.mannlakeltd.com/shop-all...-baggie-feeder
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

  15. #54
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
    Posts
    649

    Default Re: Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Reallymary View Post
    Can feeder rims be purchased?
    Or you can use an empty shallow super.

  16. #55
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Deep Brook, NS, Canada
    Posts
    603

    Default Re: Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive?

    Quote Originally Posted by bushpilot View Post
    3rd year beekeeper. I have each year put dry sugar on top of my hives for winter, aka Mountain Camp feeding. I do this to every hive, regarless of stores; any sugar left over in the spring goes into syrup, so little is wasted.

    Talking with another more experienced beekeeper, he puts sugar on only in the early spring, only if the hive is light.

    I am curious, those who use dry sugar, do you put it on proactively or reactively?
    Where I am it's too cold to Winter feed, because the bees can't break the cluster most days or cross a cold barrier to get to feed. I have to make sure they have enough stores in the Fall to get them through to April, so here we feed in the Fall and leave them alone all Winter. Come Spring, if they are light, I will feed patties made with Ultra Bee, sugar, water, and a bit of oil so they don't dry out. If I have to spring feed, I keep it up until I see pollen coming in. Zone 6A Bee Winter here is December through April.
    I want bees that make up for my mistakes.

  17. #56
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    1,445

    Default Re: Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive?

    I put sugar above/on the frames, proactively. I consider it cheap insurance against starvation and value the surplus frame(s) of honey in the spring to relocate to light hives or to use to start NUCs.

    I also think the sugar above serves as a bridge during cold stretches. Bees will rarely get stranded on empty comb as they can be contact with the sugar. They will have carbs to stay warm and the cluster can move when weather warms.
    Zone 3b. If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  18. #57
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    3,298

    Default Re: Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive?

    Quote Originally Posted by gnor View Post
    Where I am it's too cold to Winter feed, because the bees can't break the cluster most days or cross a cold barrier to get to feed. ...
    But do realize, to get to the MC-type feed, bees do not need to break cluster OR cross a cold barrier.
    Bees naturally slowly drift upwards as a cluster and eventually hit the ceiling (at which point they can no longer go up) - in this case the ceiling IS the emergency feed - a good strategic place for it.
    This emergency feed (MC-type or of your favorite design) can be placed at any time (for as long the bees are still alive, not after they are dead).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  19. #58
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Wakefield, Rhode Island, USA
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive?

    Agreed! I feed to a specific hive weight range.

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