Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I am a new beekeper and have been feeding 2:1 syrop for a couple of weeks now but the temperatures have been slowly creeping in to 30's (I'm in northern Illinois).

Here is my setup, just so that we have some background:

1 Top Cover
2 Inner cover
3 Medium with honey store
4 Deep with brood

I am planning on putting a vivaldi board with fabric to wick away moisture on top of Inner Cover (#2).

If I were to put paper towels directly on #3 and spread as much sugar (regular table, not fondant or anything else) as I can to fit under Inner Cover (#2) how long would it last through the winter?

I would probably have to make a spacer, maybe 2in between #2 and #3 to allow for sugar space.

Would fondant work better? I know it really depends on who you talk to so I am open to suggestions.

Thank you all!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
551 Posts
A 2 inch spacer, normally called a shim, is needed. Mountain Camp is the term for sugar feed you're talking about. Use newspaper, a couple sheets right on top of the frames, place the shim on top of the newspaper, then pour a half cup of water in and add 10 pounds of granulated sugar levelled, you can spritz the sugar to wet it slightly then. Bees do better when the cluster in the frames so a soft cover, like cut from a dog food bag, laid directly on top of the sugar will help keep the bees in and under the sugar rather than on top of it. If It may not last the entire winter, that will depend on cluster size and the temps. Here in Montana I check food stores every couple weeks starting in January, some colonies need more than others. If you use the Vivaldi board you need to check weekly, it holds less sugar than Mountain Camp.

Lee
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Grins, thank you.

So you recommend I do not do the vivaldi board if I put a 2 in spacer? The sugar should absorb the moisture and the vivaldi board would not be needed?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
551 Posts
Grins, thank you.

So you recommend I do not do the vivaldi board if I put a 2 in spacer? The sugar should absorb the moisture and the vivaldi board would not be needed?
You need something above the sugar that will prevent condensation from dripping into the bees. I use quilt boxes, some use 1/2" fiberboard called homosote or celotex. I've never used a Vivaldi Board but something like it that will prevent condensation from dripping is important. An absorbent material laid in a Vivaldi Board would work well but you would want to close off any bee entrance in it to keep the bees below the sugar.
 

·
Registered
6a 3rd yr 5 production hives 1/ 2 q resource hive
Joined
·
480 Posts
I use vivaldi boards and highly recommend them. They act as a quilt box and feeding source. I cover the feeding square within the vivaldi board with burlap to wick the moisture away. Also I feed within the vivaldi feeding square rather than underneath it. So I actually just removed my spacer underneath until spring when I start feeding pollen patties again. You can certainly put mountain camp over newspaper right over the bars but the vivaldi board give you the option of feeding within it. That's what I do and love it.

As far as how long sugar lasts- if you have properly fed your colonies to weight the emergency feed is not really needed. However, if you're new to this and want an additional level of reassurance then I recommend keeping the vivaldi board pantry stocked. Even though I fed liberally in September to weight, I'm feeding winter pattie, a sugar slurry and slice of lemongrass fondant. Bees are really pigs in a bee suit. This is more for me then it is for them. They are happy to take the extra and I get the entertainment value of peeling back the burlap and seeing that they are okay. I'll sprinkle sugar and spritz with water to moisten through the hardware cloth throughout winter (every week at least) and replace fondant as needed.

This is not a one and done thing. So you have to decide how involved you want to be over winter. I prefer to be very involved but you may feel different. As long as our colonies over winter healthy it's all good.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top