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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to provide my bees with fondant as we have had a mild winter resulting in them not clustering normally and eating more than normal... I popped the covers too see if bees were at the top and the frames are completely covered with bees and I don’t want to crush them with the sugar cakes..
Temperatures are close to freezing during the day and much colder at night and I worry that if I use a smoker to drive them off the bars it might cause them to disperse enough to get chilled....

Any words of wisdom?
 

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I use sugar bricks and break off a small piece of of it and place it on the frames. Then, I add the remainder of the brick so that one end of it rests on the broken piece leaving a space under it. Patties are added to one side of the brick so that it similarly has a space under it. But since the patties are soft, it eventually sags down to the frames. Hopefully, it is slow enough for the bees to escape.
 

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can you put paint sticks (or similar) as spacers across the frames to keep the fondant off of the bees until they move out of the way as it sinks??
 

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I guess I am just mean. I just jiggle the block as I am sitting it down and let them get out of the way, but I don't give them a lot of time as if I try to get one off the next will fill in the gap. You may not want to do this, as I don't care about individual bees unless it's the queen.

As for the cold temps, I was out when it was 15F putting on sugar as it was better than -15F or worse and I have found quite a few needed it desperately and unfortunately there WERE casualties where the cupboards were bare, literally nothing (pollen/honey/sugar) left. I'm bracing for bad numbers come spring.
 

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I use a piece of 3/8 dowling to rest one end of the block on. Gently blow on the bees and they will scatter and go down between the frames. Area will clear pretty quickly and I then wriggle blog back and forth as I lower it.

I usually am wearing a $4 mosquito net so can easily get face in position to clear an area by gently blowing on the area.
 

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I don’t want to crush them with the sugar cakes..
If you have Bee Bandit or the like spray it on a cloth, pop the lid and set the cloth down on the bars for a minute. Remove cloth, bees are driven off the top bars, then place the fondant.
 

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My sugar bricks weigh a bit over a pound and I regularly carefully and slowly lay them right on top of clustered bees. They get out of the way.
 

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I make a quilt box by attaching a screened inner cover to the bottom of a top feeder box (minus the feeder) and place sections of a wool blanket inside the box. When I want to feed fondant I remove the outer cover, lift the blanket and lay the fondant blocks on the screen. The bees feed on the fondant through the screen.
 

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If you lay a sheet of paper on the top bars or a piece of cloth or a feed sack etc. the bees will move off the top bars. If you do newspaper you can just set the fondant on the paper and the bees will chew through the paper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well I missed my window to feed, the night of my OP the mercury plummeted and we are now into -22c daytime temps... as soon as we get a warm day I’ll try the newspaper method...

I did put some paper down and put 6-7 cups of dry sugar on top about a week before my fondant arrived and hopefully this will hold them over until it warms up..
 
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