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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Before all of this snow that fell here in the north east, I took the opportunity to put sugar and 2 winter patties on top of the frames in my single. The weather broke a bit yesterday and I wanted to just lift the cover and take a peek. Plenty of bees buzzing, but.... I noticed the patties had melted to a syrup like viscosity and there were a bunch of dead bees in it. The part that is bothersome to me is on the landing board, i noticed what looks like residue from the melted patties above. I am going to assume the patties melted and ran down the frames. There was some mild bee activity. They were flying around and coming and going through the top entrance. Should I address this issue tomorrow (it will be 50) or let it ride. There are dead bees in front of the hive (I imagine the workers are carrying out the dead through the front entrance) and dead bees all over my snow covered deck. aside from the melted mess, everything seems cool and smooth, which is why I am leaning toward doing nothing and let them continue to do what they do. Usually every time I think I have an issue, the general consensus is to let them be. If anyone would like to voice their opinion on this one please feel free to do so.

thank you,
Todd
 

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Before all of this snow that fell here in the north east, I took the opportunity to put sugar and 2 winter patties on top of the frames in my single. The weather broke a bit yesterday and I wanted to just lift the cover and take a peek. Plenty of bees buzzing, but.... I noticed the patties had melted to a syrup like viscosity and there were a bunch of dead bees in it. The part that is bothersome to me is on the landing board, i noticed what looks like residue from the melted patties above. I am going to assume the patties melted and ran down the frames. There was some mild bee activity. They were flying around and coming and going through the top entrance. Should I address this issue tomorrow (it will be 50) or let it ride. There are dead bees in front of the hive (I imagine the workers are carrying out the dead through the front entrance) and dead bees all over my snow covered deck. aside from the melted mess, everything seems cool and smooth, which is why I am leaning toward doing nothing and let them continue to do what they do. Usually every time I think I have an issue, the general consensus is to let them be. If anyone would like to voice their opinion on this one please feel free to do so.

thank you,
Todd
This is a bit off topic, so please forgive me. Patty melts is why I quit using patties. If it were me, and I had 50 degree temps, I would try to at least scrape the melted patty off the top. Otherwise the melted mass will become quicksand for bees.

Shane
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
shane,
thanks for your input on this. You weren't off topic at all. after this situation, I don't think I will use winter patties again either. Perhaps this is why people prefer the mountain camp method. I am going to wait and see what others think on this as well since I have until tomorrow to decide my actions. thanks again for your advice.
 

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Are these home made winter patties, or the ones from Dadant? I've been using the ones from Dadant for several years, and I have never had this happen. Do you have too much moisture in your hives?
 

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Could you have moisture problem in your hive that melted the winter pattie? I can't understand buying a 97% sugar product anyway when they are so very easy to make.

I would be tempted to try to clean up the mess but think that I would kill more bees trying than will be harmed by what is there. If I was using commercial patties that did this under any conditions, I would sure want to know the brand and source.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
These were purchased patties, I won't mention the supplier only because it could be a moisture problem. I have the small entrance for the bottom entrance, and a notched inner cover. Perhaps the snow blocking the bottom entrance was the cause of poor ventilation. The hive was pretty much b urried in snow for about 2 weeks. Well, entrances are cleared now for a few days and I think Ill add some popsicle sticks to offer a little more ventilation. I wont write off patties just yet. Thanks all for pointing out the possible and likely ventilation issue.
todd
 

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sounds like a moisture problem as mentioned above.
I would increase the air exchange in the hive by opening up the bottom entrance some and putting those pop sticks between the inner and outer covers. I'd leave the 'mess' as is, they'll probably eat it as brooding is picking up now and the skunk cabbage is stuck under the snow and maples are stuck in redbud stage. JMO
glad to hear they're still buzzing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for replying Clyde. I will change my entrance reducer to the larger opening and shim that top cover a bit tomorrow. I knew skunk cabbage was the first spring bloom, however, did not know they were beneficial as a pollen source. Thanks for the fun fact. Hope all is well with all of your hives as well.
todd
 
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