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Hi All,
There is a lack of consensus in our bee group about feeding in cold weather. As you know most all of us have seen a colder than normal winter. And although I went in with a full super of honey, I wanted to provide fondant just in case... So the question is with fondant do you place it directly over the frames within a mini super then place the inner cover and then place the outer cover? Or do you place the inner cover with min super with the fondant "On" the inner cover and then place the outer cover?

Some have done the fondant or candy board directly on the frames for access, but then portions of it broke off and knocked the bees from their cluster. Others have said if the fondant is above the inner cover they won't be able to access the food.

I have placed it on the inner cover and it seems during the day there is enough heat for them to come up and eat.

Curious about your approach and results.

Thanks!
 

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If having it on the inner cover works for you, then it does not matter what others do, right?

My preference is to place winter feed on the top of the frames, but that's just me.
 

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Michael Bush has a ton of great info on his web site. I have him in my favorites, when i run into something I always look and see what his opinion is. Here is a link to the page on feeding.
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfeeding.htm

BTW, I have been using the dry sugar method shown on that page. I put newspaper on the top of the frames, spray it down with sugar syrup and put in the dry sugar while spaying it every so often to make it clump. The bees seem to like it and I think it helps to absorb condensation as a bonus.
 

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I also place it directly on the frames. I don't use an inner cover during the winter. I place the fondant on the frames, then an empty super over it, and then I crumple newspaper on top of the fondant, and then then the cover.
 

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you can put it on the inner cover no problems, especially if the cluster is in the top box and bees are actively on the inner cover in cold weather.

Your freind is right though, best to put directly ontop of the frames above the cluster. Stays warmer easiest for bees to access.
 

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I use a medication rim to surround fondant, and place my inner cover on top of it. The big thing to remember is to remove the medication rim before the bees decide to draw comb in it!
 

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I built a candyboard and filled it with regular sugar that I misted with water in layers. It sagged enough that I had to use some shims to keep it off the top bars directly.

I also put the inner cover over the top of the candyboard for insulation purposes. Not only to create the dead air space to help with general insulation, but also to help protect from any condensation that did occur from dripping down since it would just hit the inner cover instead).

Good thing I did too. That candyboard was the only thing that kept my hive from starving out this winter.
 

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Re: Winter Fondant Feeding question URGENT

I made fondant for the first time today, and either made the patties too thin, or did something wrong, because they crumble apart when I try to remove them from the wax paper on which they were cooled.
Not sure how I can feed them to my bees this way...
Does anyone have advise on how to make better fondant? Can I reheat it and make new fondant cakes?
I fed honey in plastic baggies yesterday, but am worried it may be too cold this coming week to be able to use that, and want to follow advise and feed fondant.
How thick should I pour my fondant cakes to not fall apart?
Any help is greatly appreciated, as it will only get colder here again...
 

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Re: Winter Fondant Feeding question URGENT

Re-work a small amount of honey into the fondant if it is too dry/crumbly. Not too much though or it will become to soft.
The following recipe has given me good results. I make up 8lbs at a time with all stages done right in the cook pot. Putting the pot in cold water will speed up the final stages.

Ingredients:
 2 cups granulated sugar
 1/2 cup water
 2 tbsp light corn syrup
Preparation:
1. Prepare your workstation by setting a large baking sheet on a sturdy counter or table top, and sprinkling it lightly with water.
2. Combine the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then cover the pan and allow the sugar syrup to boil for 2-3 minutes.
3. Remove the lid, and continue to cook the syrup, without stirring, until it reaches 240 degrees Fahrenheit (115 C).
4. Pour the sugar syrup onto the prepared baking sheet. Allow it to sit at room temperature for several minutes. After 2-3 minutes, lightly touch the syrup with a fingertip. When it is warm but not hot, it is ready to be worked.
5. Dampen a metal spatula or dough scraper with water, and use the scraper to push the syrup into a pile in the middle of the sheet.
6. Using a dampened plastic spatula or wooden spoon, begin to “cream,” or work, the fondant in a figure-8 pattern. Continually scrape the fondant into the center, draw a figure-8, then scrape it together again. At first the fondant will be very clear and fluid, but it will gradually become more opaque and creamy. After 5-10 minutes, the fondant will become very stiff, crumbly, and hard to manipulate.
7. Once the fondant reaches this state, moisten your hands and begin kneading it into a ball like bread dough. As you knead, the fondant will begin to come together and will get softer and smoother. Stop kneading once your fondant is a smooth ball without lumps.
8. At this point, your fondant can be used for melting and pouring. If you want to make flavored fondant candies, it is best to “ripen” your fondant for at least 12 hours to obtain the best flavor and texture. To ripen the fondant, place it in an airtight plastic container, press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the fondant, and seal the lid on tightly. Ripen the fondant at room temperature, or if it is hot, in the refrigerator. After ripening, the fondant can be flavored, rolled, and shaped in whatever manner you wish. If it is stiff, you can always knead it by hand on a surface dusted with powdered sugar, until it is easy to manage. This recipe produces about 3/4 lb fondant.
 

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Re: Winter Fondant Feeding question URGENT

I made fondant for the first time today, and either made the patties too thin, or did something wrong, because they crumble apart when I try to remove them from the wax paper on which they were cooled.
Just flip them over, leave the wax paper on top and put them on the top bars.
 

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Re: Winter Fondant Feeding question URGENT

Thank you. I had already tried doing this, but the fondant still broke into smaller pieces and fell off the wax paper when turning it over. I finally thought of something that worked: I used a mesh-bag (saved from onions or potatoes) and placed the smallish pieces of fondant like a puzzle in the bag. The mesh held it together well enough to be able to lay it on top of the frames by the cluster. :)
Next time I make it, I will try again, and maybe it will work better than. At least the bees have their fondant for the frigid week ahead.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Re: Winter Fondant Feeding question URGENT

Hi Everyone,
Thanks for the advice... I guess I could put it on burlap as well. I'll be moving it in once it warms up a little. We are entering yet another polar vortex :(
 

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I too tried his dried sugar method this winter. Many of my beekeeper friends thought I was nuts. I told them I wasn't nuts, just too lazy (and busy - I travel 50% of the time) to do all that extra work. I think it really helps with the condensation. Two-thumbs up!
 
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