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I was just curious. I was told that bees have to work harder with dry sugar because they have to find water source to mix with the dry suguar.
 

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The Mountain Camp method works
If the bees have t fly for H20 they may as well have a clensing flight too.
The by product of the bees metabolizing their Carbs produces H20.
Ernie
 

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We sometimes put 1/2 inch of dry sugar on a 55 gal. drum lid and then sprinkle water on it with a flower watering can, but not so much water as to drown the bees. You may have to do this a couple of times a day depending on such things as humidity and wind.
If you are going to feed them in the hive this time of year, you will need to feed them some fondant candy placed directly on top of the brood frames which you can make.
 

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I was just curious. I was told that bees have to work harder with dry sugar because they have to find water source to mix with the dry suguar.
That's part of the benefit of it actually. It works to absorb some of the moisture in the hive which reduces the humidity inside the hive, and dry bees are FAR less likely to freeze, and as the humidity wets the sugar, the bees can work it.
 

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If you are going to feed them in the hive this time of year, you will need to feed them some fondant candy placed directly on top of the brood frames which you can make.
does fondant really work? never tried it but i do know that bees wont move a half an inch for food if it is too cold i have had luck with a couple of quart jars of 1-1 sugar syrup or even 2-1 placed over the inner cover (modified to fit the lids only) then place an empty deep over them and tape your seems with duct tape to make airtight. can mean the difference between starved and live bees!
 

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my bees are taking the dry sugar and have been for 2 months. alot of the time it has been way to cold for them to fly but are are still using it. my hives are good and dry and the bees are fed so i like it and will use it again next winter. :thumbsup:
 

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My bees arn't taking it, but they have lots of stores as well as 2 fish ponds 15 feet distant. I plan on using it every winter if only for moisture control, for which it works great.
 

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They tend to eat it when they are hungry and especially if they are starving. That's really the purpose. They don't tend to just store it. Some hives are more interested than others. Wetting the edges helps interest them. Clumping it a bit with some water also helps keep them from hauling it out for trash.
 

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Here's an example of why data is sometimes not always perfect. I only feed dry sugar to colonies that I think may need it. That is, colonies that seemed to be sluggish, struggling in the fall or light on stores. Of course, those colonies might very well be suffering from other issues. So, they're tendency towards using the sugar may not reflect their need or even offer complete assurance of survival.

As to the question, I have two colonies that have sugar on top. Both are taking it slowly. I don't think they really need it yet and may not between now and the spring. One colony was the beneficiary of a late combine. They got a handful of bees but about 6 frames of honey. The sugar was just insurance.
 

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I have put fondant patties one and a half inches thick and about the size of an old lp (remember those) record over the inner cover holes. I checked my two yards yesterday and one yard they haven't come up to it yet. The other yard shocked me though, I lifted the outer covers and there they were :eek: and on a few there was only a half inch ring of fondant left. The fall has been mild here and I figured they might be a little more active than usual but wow. Tried to order more fondant but I'm out of luck till the new year so I'm thinking I'll go to the quite yard and lift a couple of patties and move them to my empty hives. The hives seem heavy enough so I'm not sure why they are into the fondant so early.

Perry
 

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I pour the sugar at the back corner of the hive on the bottom board in the late winter and they use the moisture from inside the hive. It will keep a hive from starvation and will help them start to build up in the spring
 

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>I pour the sugar at the back corner of the hive on the bottom board

My guess is that with a solid bottom board in the South this is a good plan. In the North, however, I think it's important that they find it overhead when the cluster is at the top and out of food.
 

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If they don't need the dry sugar they ignore it. In that case, the sugar absorbs moisture and I turn it into syrup in the spring.

If they need it, they eat it.

No downside.
 

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In the North, however, I think it's important that they find it overhead when the cluster is at the top and out of food.
Yes when its COLD the cluster only travels UP
 

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I've have 3 hives outfitted with dry sugar on top this year. So far so good. The sugar is indeed absorbing moisture and the bees have slowly started to eat it (all three at about the same rate). The other hives, non-Mountain Camp'd, hives are still doing ok, but there are maybe 20% more dead bees on the bottom boards. One of these two colonies was more populous, so there were more bees to loose, but I still don't like it. My gut says the method is a keeper, especially here in the rainy Pacific Northwest.

~Reid
 

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>In the North, however, I think it's important that they find it overhead when the cluster is at the top and out of food.
Mike, what is your recommendation on using this technique here in the north? When do you recommend adding the sugar to the hive, if it wasn't added in the fall? Should you wait for the air temps to be at a certain level so you don't cause harm to the cluster?

A couple of my hives may need this helping hand, as their stores were a little light going into winter. Any thoughts you have would be great.

Thanks
 

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Drying agent or cold weather food?

If we have a moisture issue, and the nature of thermodynamics (warm moist comming into contact with cold dry) is going to create 'fog', then regardless of the drying agent we use (sans harmfull) is irrelevant, we could be using sawdust or sodium silicate (in little tiny removable packets).

If we are trying to supplement the hive with a product that the bees could actually utilize (sucrose) and not frozen (dry) that also acts as a drying agent - what can it hurt? Bees are going to find a way to process it. They're not foraging for the non-existant, and they have to stay close anyway to help the cluster survive the cold.

But questions remain... Does the presence of sugar draw bees away from the cluster, regardless of their need? I notice clusters of 25-50 bees on the dry sugar feeding, when I am quite sure they have plenty of stores of honey below them. A number of them end up getting frozen on the sugar mound.

Does the presence of feed contribute to their desire to store, binding brood comb, and creating a expansion limit for the queen in early spring?

What do we do with the leftover layer(s) of sugar late winter/early spring?
 

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>Mike, what is your recommendation on using this technique here in the north? When do you recommend adding the sugar to the hive, if it wasn't added in the fall? Should you wait for the air temps to be at a certain level so you don't cause harm to the cluster?

What does the hive weigh? It's usually early spring that they run out of stores. If they are not way light and starving I'd wait until a warm day. If they are so light you are afraid they are starving, then by all means put some sugar on as soon as you can regardless of the weather.
 

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As an added insurance, I added about 5 to 10 pounds of sugar to most of my hives on top of the newspaper. The newspapers are wet though and one of my hives was eating the sugar big time and a couple are nibbling at the side. I am sure that if I didn't put sugar on, that I would have lost one of my hives already.
 
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