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Just curious with this question....

If a colony has been taking 2:1 and now has adequate stores for winter (in fact, maybe they have no where else to put additional stores other than the broodnest) could you stop feeding 2:1 now but instead feed a sugar block? My thinking is the sugar block would provide for their short term carbohydrate needs so that they will not consume the already stored syrup, but the sugar block would obviously not be stored anywhere so it would not take up the colonies limited cell space.

Kevin
 

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Kevinf " instead feed a sugar block? - I could be wrong but bees do not eat sugar blocks or sucrose directly but need to invert it. The reason 2:1 is so good is it is low in ash content and gets inverted and stowed for the winter. On top of that, post winter bee brood rearing the, most of the brood chamber can be used to stow 2:1 converted to syrup honey. Finally , in my early years I made sugar blocks and and fed a hive going light - it collected so much water it was dripping down on to the cluster. That's my understanding so I feed 2:1 in the Fall and I do not feed again until next Fall. I let the bees manage their brood chamber - no me. Read up on honey bee biology and their food requirements. (Corrections welcomed)
 

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Yes the supposed benefits of the dry sugar being able to absorb any meaningful amount of hive moisture is often printed; In reality it takes very little water to turn sugar into gloop. Considering that each pound of honey consumed by the bees produces close to 12 oz. of water the absorbancy of dry sugar is negligible. In fact the metabolizing of the sugar produces its own excess water similarly to that of honey.

Another beekeeping myth! Sugar can certainly serve a purpose in augmenting scarce food stores but something else will have to take care of excess moisture.

Too bad Richard Cryberg is no longer with us.:(
 

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..... could you stop feeding 2:1 now but instead feed a sugar block? My thinking is the sugar block would provide for their short term carbohydrate needs so that they will not consume the already stored syrup, but the sugar block would obviously not be stored anywhere so it would not take up the colonies limited cell space.

Kevin
Not really.
Until it is cold and liquid feed is not readily available, they will not eat your dry sugar - because it is dry.
Don't plan on the dry stuff to be a stop-gap feed right now - too warm.
Bees do not chew on dry sugar; bees lick it when there is enough water condensation on it.

I had bees eating dry sugar into late spring (still was cold enough for the water vapors to condense on the sugar lumps).
 

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Yes the supposed benefits of the dry sugar being able to absorb any meaningful amount of hive moisture is often printed; In reality it takes very little water to turn sugar into gloop. Considering that each pound of honey consumed by the bees produces close to 12 oz. of water the absorbancy of dry sugar is negligible. In fact the metabolizing of the sugar produces its own excess water similarly to that of honey.

Another beekeeping myth! Sugar can certainly serve a purpose in augmenting scarce food stores but something else will have to take care of excess moisture.

Too bad Richard Cryberg is no longer with us.:(
You can speak with him through Bee-l. And I use sugar shims (made with slightly moistened sugar pressed in and dried) over the winter for moisture and never had gloopy sugar; in fact the hives did very well over winter here using those (there was an entrance in them, too) This was before I insulated the top cover but did insulate the outside. Maybe it was the upper and lower entrances that helped vent excess moisture? My experience.
 

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If half of it gets hauled out as trash and some does!, it is still cheap insurance. Half would be a whole two dollars and fifty cents! Of course if your bees are flying all winter it is more of an issue.
 

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here in coastal Virginia, we have warm winters and very busy bees in the box. I put a sugar brick in all of mine in December and sometimes need to replace it in January, as they seem to work it first before hitting the honey stores. I prefer they have the "real stuff" for Jan/Feb when they are raising the spring brood
 

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here in coastal Virginia, we have warm winters and very busy bees in the box. I put a sugar brick in all of mine in December and sometimes need to replace it in January, as they seem to work it first before hitting the honey stores. I prefer they have the "real stuff" for Jan/Feb when they are raising the spring brood
This has been my experience too. They seemed to consume the sugar block before the honey stores.
 

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This has been my experience too. They seemed to consume the sugar block before the honey stores.
It seems as if they will consume the resources from "outside" of the nest before they eat their "inside" resources.
Whatever is "inside" is the last resort.
Dry sugar is, of course, is the outside resource.
 

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Yes the supposed benefits of the dry sugar being able to absorb any meaningful amount of hive moisture is often printed; In reality it takes very little water to turn sugar into gloop. Considering that each pound of honey consumed by the bees produces close to 12 oz. of water the absorbancy of dry sugar is negligible. In fact the metabolizing of the sugar produces its own excess water similarly to that of honey.

Another beekeeping myth! Sugar can certainly serve a purpose in augmenting scarce food stores but something else will have to take care of excess moisture.

Too bad Richard Cryberg is no longer with us.:(
Exactly. That is why my insulated inner cover (I am in mid-MD) is made up of two layers glued together. The top layer is 1" solid foam insulation. The layer beneath that is Homasote sound board which is a great moisture absorber. The Homasote faces down and is placed right above the sugar block feeding shim. Stains on the Homasote are an indication that it is doing its absorbing job whether or not there are a few sugar bricks in place. My only concern used to be that I remove TOO much moisture during winter. Not all winter moisture is bad. Bees need water in the winter just as they do at other times. I want them to have moisture in the winter such as might form on the inside walls of on the outermost frames of capped honey. I just do not want so much moisture that it drips down from the top.
 

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davemal "The layer beneath that is Homasote sound board which is a great moisture absorber."

Have you ever looked up the material properties of Homosote? We use to use it as cheap sheating on sheds because it shed water. Just keep the dew point temperature below the temperature at the top of the hive (insulation) and you will not get condensation up there.

Just trying to point out the fallacy of the Homosote concept. It is equivalent to wood in insulation properties. A piece of white pine would be a far better concept or the "quilt box" concept with pine shavings.
 

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I agree that keeping the ceiling surface warm (insulation) is the best prevention of condensation dripping on bees. Personally I want the ceiling to be somewhat porous so it can conduct moisture out (not absorb, or hold moisture.) I dont think homosote or tentest as we used to call it in Canada excels at either insulating or transpiration. Cloth or screen with 4 or more inches of planer shavings insulation is my preferance but my winter is much harder than davemal's. I dont think the homosote is bad; just that it really is not doing what it is thought to do. Quibbling;) Put a slab of 2" or more foamboard above it and you would be golden.

I am leaning toward the need for some free water availability; for that reason I put no insulation on the upper front of the hive surrounding the area of a very small emergency upper exit. The hive is leaned forward and condensation that occurs here is available to the bees or free to run down the inside front wall to the main bottom entrance.

Maybe this provision for localized condensation for the bees is "monkey motion"! Robert H is very successful with no upper entrance or condensation spot.
 
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