Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive? - Page 2
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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Massillon, Ohio
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    5,604

    Default Re: Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive?

    I have relatives who lived in Portsmouth for a few years, they had some stories of very unusual weather while they were there. Sounds like a real challenge at times.
    To everything there is a season....

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    2,741

    Default Re: Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive?

    Mike,
    Thanks for poking me enough to spit out my real point.
    It is hard to design a safety net that some will not use as a hammock.

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Boaz, KY, USA
    Posts
    1,927

    Default Re: Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive?

    Good post, Bushpilot. I enjoyed reading through the feedback you received.

    Good luck on your winter prep efforts.

    Russ

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
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    3,892

    Default Re: Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    No, It means you do not have a good picture of snow fog off the water and how far and fast the temp swing can be off the water.
    OK then.
    You have humid winters.
    That IS your "general moisture problem".
    Don't use dry sugar.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
    Posts
    1,166

    Default Re: Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive?

    So what is everyone favorite Sugar brick making process/recipe ?

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
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    3,892

    Default Re: Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive?

    I found this blog while back yet and I like it:
    https://mudsongs.org/making-no-cook-...or-honey-bees/
    Tried.
    Works for me (IF I have time).
    Else - paper towels - dump sugar - spray - close - done.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  8. #27
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Spokane County, Washington, USA
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    363

    Default Re: Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive?

    I lay down paper in a shim, mist it just a little, pour in the sugar, mist a little more, and that is it. Bricks are too much work for no gain that I can perceive.

  9. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    1,247

    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 ?
    I use a variation on the now famous "Laurie's sugar block recipe" that you can find in the FAQ forum. I add 2 1/2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a pound of sugar. I make 3 pounds at a time. Mix it up, press into a 9x12 pan and air dry for a few days or put it in a dehydrator for a few hours. I have never had a failure and it is super fast to make. I am not sure the apple cider vinegar is really necessary or if plain water will work. Since it works perfectly for me, I am not about to change it. It also stores just fine from year to year if you cannot use it all in one season.

  10. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
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    3,892

    Default Re: Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive?

    Quote Originally Posted by bushpilot View Post
    I lay down paper in a shim, mist it just a little, pour in the sugar, mist a little more, and that is it. Bricks are too much work for no gain that I can perceive.
    The sugar bricks/chunks are indeed handy IF you need add/slip in some feed later (especially during the critical late winter and especially with wintering nucs) - which happens.
    Just for that I'd like to have some around.
    The initial setup can be pretty much that - dump/wet/close.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  11. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    asheville, north carolina, USA
    Posts
    69

    Default

    Betterbee has a good easy to follow sugar brick recipe. The only drawback to me is there is a strong vinegar smell that seems to last a long time.

  12. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Drayton Valley, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    248

    Default Re: Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive?

    I use Rusty Burlew’s method from Honeybee Suite.
    https://www.honeybeesuite.com/no-coo...g-winter-bees/
    Works for me. If they consume it all, I can toss in more bricks or patties.
    We have a long Winter.
    Brian
    53N 115W El. 850 M

  13. #32
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,942

    Default Re: Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive?

    >So what is everyone favorite Sugar brick making process/recipe ?

    My favorite is just to use dry sugar....

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfeeding.htm#drysugar
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  14. #33
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Sawyer County,WI USA
    Posts
    379

    Default Re: Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive?

    This thread proves the adage that 'all beekeeping is local', no?

    Our Winters can be long and severe with up to 7 months of dearth, so we add a 4# (Used to come in 5#) bag to each colony selected to over-winter. Some colonies find it by February despite having ample stores of honey, while other's may completely ignore it, preferring stored honey. Different colonies will move at different speeds and directions during the long sleep and can 'caught' above stores, so dry sugar can be a life saver. No two are ever exactly alike.

    We like to keep things simple; Sometime between Thanksgiving and Xmas we just place a slightly moistened paper towel over the inner cover holes, pour/spread the sugar evenly over the inner cover, place some type of insulation over that (inside a 'vented' empty super) and close them up for the season. Unless there is some kind of issue we won't look inside any of them until a mild day in February. Dandelions will still be two months away.

  15. #34
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Warren County, NJ, USA
    Posts
    576

    Default Re: Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive?

    Quote Originally Posted by drummerboy View Post
    This thread proves the adage that 'all beekeeping is local', no?

    Our Winters can be long and severe with up to 7 months of dearth, so we add a 4# (Used to come in 5#) bag to each colony selected to over-winter. Some colonies find it by February despite having ample stores of honey, while other's may completely ignore it, preferring stored honey. Different colonies will move at different speeds and directions during the long sleep and can 'caught' above stores, so dry sugar can be a life saver. No two are ever exactly alike.

    We like to keep things simple; Sometime between Thanksgiving and Xmas we just place a slightly moistened paper towel over the inner cover holes, pour/spread the sugar evenly over the inner cover, place some type of insulation over that (inside a 'vented' empty super) and close them up for the season. Unless there is some kind of issue we won't look inside any of them until a mild day in February. Dandelions will still be two months away.
    drummer, have you ever tried leaving the sugar in the bag and just placing the bag over the inner cover? wonder if that might work well with a slit or a few pinholes in the bag where the inner cover hole is. might be easier to clean up excess sugar in the spring.

  16. #35
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive?

    Quote Originally Posted by ruthiesbees View Post
    . They tend to eat the sugar first and leave the capped stores for Jan/Feb when they are raising the spring bees. This works well for my area.
    I see the same in Portland OR. If warm enough to break cluster, my bees go up and eat sugar (block). Seems a good thing, saving stores closer to cluster for feeding when colder.

  17. #36
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    woodland, wa usa
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    73

    Default Re: Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive?

    Proactive. It is winter and I place thin 12:1 sugar cakes between frame tops and inner cover bottom. +-3/8"h space. Not a lot, only about 6"X6" cakes. If my bee cluster makes it through the crown, that sugar will keep them from starving to death, provided it is there when "needed". Sad thing "to me" is my bees do not seem to understand it is there only for emergency. And those that say the bees won't eat the sugar unless their crown is gone, well, putting it nicely, they ain't correct. My gals, (+-15 hives) giggling and laughing all the way up through the crown to the condensated sugar, slurp it up, and return to the cluster, and soon the sugar is gone, needing me to replace it. And yes, regardless what some say about not opening hives till spring, I'm replacing sugar through winter. Pop the top, and in the next few seconds place the sugar, close it up! And all is well.
    ps. "If" you are one to believe opening hives in winter just empties all their heat, explain to me how penguins in the Antarctic maintain their body heat in minus 60-70 degree temps with no cover. There is a direct correlation between the bees surviving winter and penguins doing it. Major/only difference, we provide cover for bees.

  18. #37
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Mountain Village,Alaska
    Posts
    165

    Default Re: Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive?

    Honestly I think mountain camp is a bad idea when you can use sugar bricks, and add them on a cold winter day, and remove them with ease in the spring.

    I took 25 lbs of extra bricks off my hives this spring and will reuse them this fall.

    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.




  19. #38
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Albany NY
    Posts
    272

    Default

    Reactive. I check hives on first mild spell after they start brooding up (that's about mid Feb here). Any cluster up to the top bars gets mountain camp. I check about 1x/month and resuply when needed. Resupplying mc can be a pain if the cluster is well up into the shim, so I try to guess we'll the first time and give more rather than less. I mark hives I need to check more often and also anyone who got fed sugar. If they need extra feed they are less likely to be used as a breeder (but that depends on winter too). If they were fed syrup in fall then I don't extract from them in spring.
    Sugar changes the natural ph of hive (and possibly other less obvious things) so is good to keep them from starving but I prefer to let them be bees if they are doing fine. Loosing bees to starvation always makes me feel stupid. And yes, it has happened when work has prevented me from checking stores in the fall (last year I had colonies starve before brooding in the winter! Shame on me.)
    Happy beekeeping everyone

  20. #39
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Sisters, Oregon
    Posts
    213

    Default Re: Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive?

    6a 3100 elevation 2nd year- fed sugar syrup heavily in September. Noticed they slowed down after mid September so I got this part right this year. All got around 4-5 gallons. So lots in the comb. Added a feeding shim and square feeding shim vivaldi board style above the inner cover and added dry bakers sugar and winter patties as of October 1. The colonies are large and this is taking the edge off. If this keeps them from robbing out failing hives then great. I also have a hive that has a higher mite count that I’m knocking down so this is helping with nutritional stress. So for me this is proactive and reassuring that food reserves remain strong. There’s also a great deal of satisfaction pulling off the burlap and seeing them eating. It’s one of the favorite parts of my day.

  21. #40
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Bonn, Germany
    Posts
    388

    Default Re: Mountain Camp - proactive or reactive?

    Quote Originally Posted by ruthiesbees View Post
    ... mild winters, ... They tend to eat the sugar first and leave the capped stores for Jan/Feb ... . This works well for my area.
    Does the quality of the fat body in the following spring depend on the consumption of white sugar in winter?

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