Feeding fondant and Queen excluders

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


New Bee
Nov 28, 2008
Reaction score
Northamptonshire (South)
Hive Type
Number of Hives
Hi all,
I'm a complete beginner and have just started last year. I have two hives both nationals and so far so good. I tend to mainly "lurk"! but am happy to join in when I feel I know a bit more or have something positive to add. I would just like to say that I enjoy the forum which has a very helpful and positive feel to it, unlike some that can be a bit offputting.
Anyway, I have a very basic and probably obvious question which may seem a bit daft. When feeding fondant the advice given is to put it on top of the frames of the BB. No problem there but does this also mean that you should remove the QExcluder first?

I have one hive with a BB and a super left on over the winter, no Qexcluder and if I need to put fondant on as a precaution I would just put it on top of the frames of the super - is this the best way of doing it? I don't really want to disturb the hive any more than I have to at this time.

The second hive is already being fed foundation as this was a smaller colony gained fairly late last year. This is being placed directly on top of the BB (useing an eke) and they are taking it well. I have however left the Qexcluder on and I feel that this may be a mistake. I am worried that the queen might starve if stores become too low. The first winter fear is upon me!! although both hives were active today.
I learnt a lot last year but mostly this just seems to make me aware of how much there is still to learn, fantastic hobby, amazing creatures, well and truly hooked. Even bought two more hives for this year, the other half thinks I have taken leave of my senses as she doesn't even like honey.

Blimey! its a worry this beekeeping malarky eh?

All advice gratefully received

You will find that you will get lots of different answers for the same question. There is no need for the queen excluder to be on overwinter as its job is to stop the queen laying in the supers. You have used an eke on one of them so just do the same on the other. You can feed the fondant above the crown board holes, but if the weather is very cold the bees are unlikely to move up for it. You can flatten out the fondant so it will fit under the crown board a bit like a pancake. Hope this helps as I only started last season as well. Dont be afraid to ask any questions on here however silly you may think it is, as you can bet there will be someone else that wants to know the answer as well.
Hi Marc

Veg has pretty much covered it. But I would just ask yourself why are you wanting to feed the hive that has the super on?

Also to aid them in getting the foundant, consider putting some insulation around the fondant filling the eke space and under the roof void as well.
Hi Macow,regards fondant on a QE,if you use a full block(12.5KG)per hive then you will need a super around it or the crown board/lid will not fit.

The reason a QE is recomended is because if we have a warm spell the fondant can drip between the combs,a QE will increase the surface area for the fondant to sit on.

I am talking about Autumn feeding here,for winter feeding you would place the fondant above the crownboard so would not need a QE.
Hi Jim,
Thanks for the reply. No plans to feed the hive with the super unless it gets short. I was just wondering if i should remove the empty super and just feed with an eke directly on the BB. Or to minimise disturbance just put the eke on the super?
I think that what Veg is saying is that it might be a good idea to remove the Qexcluder from the smaller hive that i am already feeding?

Thanks Admin and Veg
However if I am already winter feeding using a shallow (apiguard) eke would you remove the Qex or leave it in place. The devil is always in the detail!!

Leave it - it may slow any slumping if it warms up. The extra distance the bees have to go with the Q/E in place is about 1 cm.

I may be new and have looked at my books but can someone explain slumping! Sorry if I have asked a question that someone feels I should have gone to the library for.
Hi Floyd,
Fondant is mobile/fluid although only very slowly. The rate at which it can spread or "slump" between the frames varies on a number of factors chiefly moisture content and temp.
This is a beekeeping forum and as such i believe that you should be able to ask any questions that you want no matter how obvious, or not, i know that i will probably be asking some blindingly obvious questions.
Dont be put off by negitive posts of some people as i am sure they are a minority or just having a bad day.

All the best

Hi Floyd,
Fondant is mobile/fluid although only very slowly.

Like Glass!

Floyd, I am sure it was not just you that did not know what slumping was, but you asked the question, that is important.

Keep asking questions.
Fondant is a highly viscous liquid rather than a solid,just like thick engine oil if you raise the temperature its starts to become less viscous and thins,hence the need for a QE if the temperature warms up.
whilst we are on the subject of feeding. i have a bloch of thornes pollen to put on my bee hive soon, i was going to make it myself but the only brewers yeast i can buy is like very small balls, a bit like hundreds and thousands, is this the right stuff to use because it doesnt have bits in the pollen block
Last year I bought my yeast online, I cant remember where now but I was comparring prices between animal feed suppliers and health food manufacturers/suppliers.

Hope that points you in the right direction.

Cambridge UK
Pelleted yeast is usually for bread or wine making.

The yeast I've always bought is powdered.
, would it not ferment

When you make patty, it must have 50% sugar content.
If the patty dough makes air bubbles, add sugar.

If patty doen not have enough sugar it gets easily blue mold too.

If you make at home berry jam, it needs 50% sugar. It prevents fermenting.
You know, I've never seen a good video on making syrup or pollen patties, maybe that would be a good project for any budding film makers we might know out there. No hollywood jobs, just a short how to kind of thing that can be uploaded onto youtube.

Cambridge UK

P.S. I've not actually looked to see if there are already any up on youtube, but when searching for beekeeping stuff I've never come across one in the past!
I am sure I found one once that had a guy using a cement mixer for mixing.

Latest posts