How light is too light?

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Drone Bee
May 27, 2020
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Hive Type
As you heft your hives through the winter, at what point do you deem them at risk and apply fondant? Using the three finger heft method, I guess if you can heft with one finger then you feed…

If weighing with luggage scales, at what point would you take action?
it is one of those things where people say 'you will get a feel' and my experience is, that is correct...whilst frustrating at teh is correct

plus...fondant can be added imho as a precaution if you are at a point where you are unsure and if they need it, they should better to put on early if in doubt
For hives, under c 28-30kg
For nucs: under 12-14kg
for mini nucs: under 1kg (these must be fed constantly)
For hives, under c 28-30kg
For nucs: under 12-14kg
for mini nucs: under 1kg (these must be fed constantly)
Do you know how much stores that equates too…I.e what is the base weight of your hive?
hives c: 15kg
Nucs c 7-8kg
Mini nucs: 0.3kg

Varies poly lighter than wood - approx 2.5kg per box.
There could be plenty in outer frames.
but if they won't leave the brood to go and get it it's pointless
You have to look at what they're doing.
If you have the tray in you can monitor the progress by looking at the progressive lines of cappings that drop.
If this stops earlier than brood expansion then consider moving some inwards.
Also to bear in mind, all colonies will consume stores in differing amounts, so after your first winter you'll have a better idea.On my 14X12 I have some greedy bee's who will eat a full 3 or 4 frames of stores during winter and start on fondant in the spring, I've other hives where checking this spring they had eaten just one frame of stores and left 2 frames untouched.
As a beginner, there's no shame in slapping a takeaway carton full of fondant over the feeder hole 'just in case' around the start of the new year
I think that’s exactly what I’ll do. Thanks