Syrup or fondant?

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

Curly green finger's 

Queen Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jul 30, 2019
Messages
2,972
Reaction score
1,212
Location
Titterstone clee South Shropshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Over 20
Yes it does ... for those colonies with access to early rape it will help them build up quickly to take advantage of the rape crop ... in some areas it's the ONLY real crop available. I don't have any significant rape grown around me (I think myself lucky as it is a PITA) so I tend not to spring feed. As RAB said though ... once you start, if there is no forage (rape dug in or fails) and your colony has grown then you may be putting more into them than you are getting out of them ... a cold snap in April and a colony that has been artificially encouraged to grow can starve very quickly.
We we are moving colonys to osr in April.
Thanks Philip they will be looked at very regularly, would the 40 days be apt?
 

pargyle 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Oct 16, 2012
Messages
12,531
Reaction score
2,585
Location
Fareham, Hampshire UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
6
We we are moving colonys to osr in April.
Thanks Philip they will be looked at very regularly, would the 40 days be apt?
40 days for what ? To build up the colonies ...? It rather depends on what the bees feel like doing ... some will decide that it's brooding big time and your queen will fill every available corner and you will be into the second or third brood cycle by the time you move ... others ... will just block the brood frames with the syrup and probably swarm the day the rape comes into blossom !

Bear in mind that brood rearing requires pollen as well ...

It's a bit of a juggling act all round and for a crop that at best tastes like wet cabbage, sets like a brick and you have to spend hours getting it into something that you can sell.... Fine if it's the only game in town and your beekeeping income depends on it.... and even then - it's a risk that the day after it blooms the rain starts and you are stuck feeding them ! Me ? Life is too short for rape crops to find any appeal. Extracting supers on a weekly basis to get the stuff out of the comb is not my idea of fun beekeeping.

Good luck with it though ... if the conditions are right you could have five or six supers full of honey that is going to set in the comb as soon as you turn your back on it ...
 

Curly green finger's 

Queen Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jul 30, 2019
Messages
2,972
Reaction score
1,212
Location
Titterstone clee South Shropshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Over 20
40 days for what ? To build up the colonies ...? It rather depends on what the bees feel like doing ... some will decide that it's brooding big time and your queen will fill every available corner and you will be into the second or third brood cycle by the time you move ... others ... will just block the brood frames with the syrup and probably swarm the day the rape comes into blossom !

Bear in mind that brood rearing requires pollen as well ...

It's a bit of a juggling act all round and for a crop that at best tastes like wet cabbage, sets like a brick and you have to spend hours getting it into something that you can sell.... Fine if it's the only game in town and your beekeeping income depends on it.... and even then - it's a risk that the day after it blooms the rain starts and you are stuck feeding them ! Me ? Life is too short for rape crops to find any appeal. Extracting supers on a weekly basis to get the stuff out of the comb is not my idea of fun beekeeping.

Good luck with it though ... if the conditions are right you could have five or six supers full of honey that is going to set in the comb as soon as you turn your back on it ...
I understand we will be using the osr crop for soft set honey, cake making and extra comb building.
We had 70lbs last year of osr imo it's a crop not to be sniffed at.
And after all even if it sets in the frames it can be fed back to the bees via frames.
 

pargyle 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Oct 16, 2012
Messages
12,531
Reaction score
2,585
Location
Fareham, Hampshire UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
6
I understand we will be using the osr crop for soft set honey, cake making and extra comb building.
We had 70lbs last year of osr imo it's a crop not to be sniffed at.
And after all even if it sets in the frames it can be fed back to the bees via frames.
No I wouldn't sniff at it either ... smells nearly as bad as Ivy honey !

Good luck with it ...70lbs of PITA in my book ... what did you do with last year's ? You had enough trouble with the hard set stuff you bought in ...
 

Curly green finger's 

Queen Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jul 30, 2019
Messages
2,972
Reaction score
1,212
Location
Titterstone clee South Shropshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Over 20
No I wouldn't sniff at it either ... smells nearly as bad as Ivy honey !

Good luck with it ...70lbs of PITA in my book ... what did you do with last year's ? You had enough trouble with the hard set stuff you bought in ...
Sold as soft set and set honey we mixed some of our runny honey with it.
There is a fair bit of a process to go through to get cystalized honey into a product but it's well worth it.
It's after all another honey crop.
 
Last edited:

Beebe 

Slave to the bees
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2021
Messages
285
Reaction score
263
Location
Scotland
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
3 + a few more
This thread has got me thinking a bit too deeply about feeding producing brood. I'm wondering if, when a colony has a significant overwintered surplus of stored honey, they will also be overstimulated to produce brood?

In other words, will the availability of any source of sugar which is beyond their immediate and intermediate survival needs, give them the drive to produce an imbalanced amount of brood?
 

Murox 

Queen Bee
Joined
Aug 31, 2017
Messages
2,764
Reaction score
852
Location
Campbeltown Scotland
Hive Type
other
This thread has got me thinking a bit too deeply about feeding producing brood. I'm wondering if, when a colony has a significant overwintered surplus of stored honey, they will also be overstimulated to produce brood?

In other words, will the availability of any source of sugar which is beyond their immediate and intermediate survival needs, give them the drive to produce an imbalanced amount of brood?
I very much doubt that stored honey (or stored sugar) will overstimulate them. I think it's the fresh watery nectar that really gets them excited coupled with improving weather and lengthening days, not forgetting the many types of pollen that become available during the course of the season.
 

oliver90owner 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
15,761
Reaction score
180
Location
Lincolnshire
Hive Type
14x12
Plenty of condensation in the hive to use the fondant for whatever purpose they wish, at whatever time of year (incl feeding brood, drawing comb)

Really? Larvae are fed from nectar in the summer, not honey. Fondant contains typically 11-12% water and honey around 16-19%. Why would bees risk going out to collect water if there was plenty within the hive? Bees should only consume around a kilogram of stores per month - you can work out how much water that produces per day- and that is not all available as liquid. It’s the larvae that need the water to mature in a very few days. Have you never seen larvae thrown out if the bees cannot support them? Please cut out the bovine excrement.

CGF - did you read my post? That is what I did. My production colonies were aimed at being in prime condition for collecting an excess of nectar when the OSR came into bloom.

If you can’t work out the brooding logistics, you will never make it to a bee-farmer. Brood cycles are x days, emerged bees do not fly and forage immediately. Do your maths. Don’t expect it to be exact every time. There were other means to get the production hives in the right window. It’s all about thinking and taking the right decisions at the right time.

I accepted that I could never control the weather, but I know that a production hive requires a good number of foraging bees to be able to collect a surplus of nectar - and did what was necessary to achieve that goal.
 
Top