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When should I switch from feeding syrup to fondant?

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drex 

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:iagree: there is still a belief in this myth that heat travels no further than the actual cluster in a cavernous cold hive (anotherWedmoreism)
For proof, just feel the warmth of the crown board when you take the insulation off it. Simple. No physics degree needed.
 

Erichalfbee 

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For proof, just feel the warmth of the crown board when you take the insulation off it. Simple. No physics degree needed.
Yes. How many of us have done that? Most I should imagine.
 

Hachi 

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Damn! A lot more than I ever thought I'd have
To heft and remember how each felt last time when I've nine hives to check and only do it once every two to three weeks is certainly beyond my limited ability. I can check a hive using the luggage scales and write the weight in my little blue book in less than a minute. Even more "simples" than hefting, and more accurate. KISS, Hachi.
I keep even more KISS, heft, if it feels ok leave it, no need to remember anything. If it feels light .... fondant how simple is that!!! J have quite a few more than you it has to be simple.
 

gmonag 

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It's pretty basic physics isn't it ? Unless you think the bees can provide an insulated layer at the periphery of the cluster then the heat they generate, just by the laws of phyics, must dissipate into the rest of the hive outside the cluster.
Yes, one would think the physics to be obvious, but it would seem that the bees actually do just that - the outer layer of bees in the cluster align themselves to form an insulating layer; see Randy Olivers article, referenced by Dani above. He also suggests that a thin-walled hive allow the bees to break cluster and take cleansing flights more readily the a super insulated one when the weather is mild.
It is a minefield, trying to fathom the truth.
 

gmonag 

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I keep even more KISS, heft, if it feels ok leave it, no need to remember anything. If it feels light .... fondant how simple is that!!! J have quite a few more than you it has to be simple.
I prefer not to feed sugar at all. I leave sufficient honey in the hive to last the winter and don't rely on emergency application of fondant. Weighing gives me the confidence to do that.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Yes, one would think the physics to be obvious, but it would seem that the bees actually do just that - the outer layer of bees in the cluster align themselves to form an insulating layer; see Randy Olivers article, referenced by Dani above.
So where does the heat you feel on the crown board come from?
 
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I'm wondering how a bf can do a business plan if they only heft hives??
Weighing hives isn't just or shouldn't just be for nostalgia reasons.
I wouldn't be able to do any forecasts without weighing.

@Erichalfbee answer to your question above.. To a certain degree yes we can are they not a domesticated animal.
And livestock??

I would much prefer to not have to feed at all.. But some would perish with out it.
Should I keep these colonys that need feeding?? or should I let them take there chances, I most definitely won't be rearing from these colonys.
 
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I prefer not to feed sugar at all. I leave sufficient honey in the hive to last the winter and don't rely on emergency application of fondant. Weighing gives me the confidence to do that.
I think we are in the same mind set I'm overwintering 12 colony on there own stores.. I would love to do that with all, but its never going to happen.

And I agree about the weighing of hives.
 

gmonag 

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So where does the heat you feel on the crown board come from?
Of course it comes from the cluster. That is why we insulate the crown board (and our lofts). All the heat generated by the cluster (and our home heating systems) eventually goes out into the environment. The crown board insulation slows down the loss heat and keeps the crownboard warm, thus preventing condensation on it which would otherwise rain down on the bees. I don't think there is any dispute about that. I thought this discussion was about the size of the cavity and the insulation value of the walls (wood vs poly).
 

Hachi 

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Damn! A lot more than I ever thought I'd have
I prefer not to feed sugar at all. I leave sufficient honey in the hive to last the winter and don't rely on emergency application of fondant. Weighing gives me the confidence to do that.
I have found, there's no real way of ever knowing or predicting how much stores a hive will need nor consume during winter. The variables are endless and to think weighing a hive squares that circle, I think, has limited value. It varies greatly from one colony to the next in the same apiary! I have seen bees starve after having 20kgs of feed so yes, I and many well respected beeks use fondant. I don't consider it emergency food rather as part of my integrated winter feed program. although I see your view as it being emergency. I'm interested to understand your process, so when the honey runs out what do you do? Do you keep supers in reserve?
 

gmonag 

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II'm interested to understand your process, so when the honey runs out what do you do? Do you keep supers in reserve?
No. I will feed sugar if a colony needs it, at any time, not just winter/spring. I just don't feed routinely in autumn. Weighing the hives through the winter lets me monitor the situation. If they are going to starve, it won't be for lack of stores.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Of course it comes from the cluster. ........ I thought this discussion was about the size of the cavity and the insulation value of the walls (wood vs poly).
It is but my reply was in response to the statement that bees heat the cluster not the hive.
 

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when weighing by tipping the hive to put on scales Propolis is a wonderful thing...I have hives on stands on yorkshire flags tried to tip the hive late one evening last week like the video demonstrates Late evening so all the bees were back as I was sublmating also...the hive stand slipped a bit off the slab and the hive split open these good bees hardly produce propolis so the boxes separate easily ...despite the bee suit after 3 forced retreats and many stings through the suit all was sort of well except a trip to A and E to cut off my wedding ring as my arms and hands resembled Mr Blobby so its hefting (carefully) for me in future
 

Antipodes 

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when weighing by tipping the hive to put on scales Propolis is a wonderful thing...I have hives on stands on yorkshire flags tried to tip the hive late one evening last week like the video demonstrates Late evening so all the bees were back as I was sublmating also...the hive stand slipped a bit off the slab and the hive split open these good bees hardly produce propolis so the boxes separate easily ...despite the bee suit after 3 forced retreats and many stings through the suit all was sort of well except a trip to A and E to cut off my wedding ring as my arms and hands resembled Mr Blobby so its hefting (carefully) for me in future
We generally use steel emlock straps here to hold the boxes together but they are on hives with migratory lids.
 

Hachi 

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Damn! A lot more than I ever thought I'd have
All my hives are ratchet strapped up. Learnt that mistake in year one. There's probably a picture of it on here somewhere.
 

MJNT 

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Thanks if really like to see it... so all your hives are strapped From roof down to stand? I wish I’d seen that before ! Still very green
 

HughMann 

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when weighing by tipping the hive to put on scales Propolis is a wonderful thing...I have hives on stands on yorkshire flags tried to tip the hive late one evening last week like the video demonstrates Late evening so all the bees were back as I was sublmating also...the hive stand slipped a bit off the slab and the hive split open these good bees hardly produce propolis so the boxes separate easily ...despite the bee suit after 3 forced retreats and many stings through the suit all was sort of well except a trip to A and E to cut off my wedding ring as my arms and hands resembled Mr Blobby so its hefting (carefully) for me in future
I wasn't planning on putting the bee suit of for weighing - just changed my mind!!
 

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