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Mike a 

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Just been to check my hives are all ok still, after I found out some one decided to have a bonfire night with fireworks last weekend within 20 ft of my apiary and the thick black smoke from the fire was blowing across my apiary because some ***** though it would be funny to burn a load of plastic and an old car tyre. Despite several complaints from the neighbours they didn't remove the tyre.
:cuss:

As far as I can tell from the outside of the hive they are still ok after tapping the hive with my finger and could hear a dull roar but when I gave them a quick heft they are all light.

After chatting with a few other bee keepers across my local area they have also reported a large quantity of the winter stores has been eaten already and their hives are well below the recommended weight for winter.

So for all you new beeks, I would recommend you heft your hives at least once a month and if you think it is light then grab some fondant cut it up into a suitable amount and put it in a plastic bag, greaseproof paper (dont forget to cut a hole) or a plastic takeaway container that will fit in the space in the roof cavity and feed your girls provided you have a hole in your crown boards of course.

There is no excuses for losing a colony to starvation.
 

psafloyd 

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Probably about 5/6 at the moment
Already on it Mike as of last week, as I had the same concerns.

Checking again tomorrow and placing more fondant on if required.
 
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Report the fire starters to your local council environmental dept

may prevent a recurrence
(hefty fine for pollution in some areas... particularly burning tyres!)
 

kronkie 

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Mike, where do you get yuor fondent?

Cheers in abvance.
 

Mike a 

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Mike, where do you get yuor fondent?

Cheers in abvance.
I get mine from a bakery in Gosport, I pay a little more than most it seems £13 for 12.5kg but as I buy my sandwiches from them when I'm working in the area and they some times throw in a custard doughnut for free it works out to be an excellent deal...
:drool5:
 
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Now, I KNOW this is a silly question - and am standing by for flack...BUT...how do I heft a WBC?:(
 

Heather 

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Remove lifts and then heft - then replace lifts. And yes, lots of reports of bees being unusually light in stores for this time of the year. BEWARE AND CHECK. Mine on 2nd lot of fondant (not wax:redface:)
 

Silly Bee 

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I have fondant on the CB all the time, I assume thats ok
 

BobsBees 

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Fondant feed.

Hi Everyone,
I have been feeding my 9 National hives with ½ Lb / 8 oz of Fondant since the start of November.
They are slowing down now, but have been clearing the lot in a week.
I just place the clump of fondant over the hole thats left after removing the Porto escape, and cover with cling film. Sometimes there is a hard crust of Fondant left around the edges of the Porto escape, so I just remove this and recycle it back into the pot for next week, it soon softens up again.
I think personally this is a better way of feeding or supplymenting the normal stores than Sugar Syrup, as the bees do not have to do anything to the fondant.
Also its a good indication to me of whats going on in the hive, and added to the info on the OMF floor droppings I know where they are in hive, or have been in the past week by observing the capping droppings.
Have not seen many dead Varroa, perhaps 1 or 2 per hive. Sometimes none. Its been too cold to hang around too long and have a real good look like in the Summer.
Anyone else doing something similar?
Bob.
 

Poly Hive 

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This is a general comment.

I will go and look at my bees this weekend as I have to go to the farm on other business.

I will have a very fast peek at a sample, probably not more than 4, which will involve lifting the roof and looking at the fondant. By fast I mean a one minute look.

I will not be disturbing floors, nor poking at crusts on crown boards. This I strongly feel would do more harm than good.

When I feed I feed.

By that I mean I feed by the 10kg, or when I fed syrup it was four or five gallons of syrup, not little suppies here and there.

Disturbing bees in winter with out very good reason is not good beekeeping practice.

PH
 

Vergilius 

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At this time of year would bees still try to store and cap the fondant or would they just eat it straight off as "quick food"?



Ben P
 
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Now, I KNOW this is a silly question - and am standing by for flack...BUT...how do I heft a WBC?:(
Look at the old ministry films.... "Thirties beekeeping" ~try googleing it... shows men in Sunday best setting up a tripod with a weighing machine attached to the WBC!

bee-smilliebee-smilliebee-smilliebee-smilliebee-smilliebee-smilliebee-smilliebee-smillie
 

Poly Hive 

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Ben?

the fondant I am feeding as previously posted is pretty stiff, from Bako and to the best of my ken they use it as a top up, they in other words do not try to store it.

PH
 

oliver90owner 

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Ben,

They most certainly won't be storing it, unless they are able to fly for water! The bees will not have been active enough this last week in most places. Clustering temperatures means minimal bee movement. Get food return to cluster.

Regards, RAB
 

Erichalfbee 

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Hi Everyone,
I have been feeding my 9 National hives with ½ Lb / 8 oz of Fondant since the start of November.

Anyone else doing something similar?
Bob.
I've had fondant on too. 1kg at a time,replacing as needed.
 

Skyhook 

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I think personally this is a better way of feeding or supplymenting the normal stores than Sugar Syrup, as the bees do not have to do anything to the fondant.
.
Is that right? My understanding is that they have to either get water to dilute it, or metabolise sugar to make their equivalent of saliva to dilute it, to turn it into syrup. After all they can only take it as a liquid- they can't bite lumps off -can they? :lurk5:
 

Hivemaker. 

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They need very little moisture to be able to use fondant,i think it contains around 20% water,so they can find enough moisture just at the hive entrance most times,or within the hive. Yes of course bee's can bite bits off,they can bite holes in thin plastic,newspaper,poly if its not the correct density,propolis,wax,ect.....so can't imagine soft fondant would be much of a problem.
 

Skyhook 

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They need very little moisture to be able to use fondant,i think it contains around 20% water,so they can find enough moisture just at the hive entrance most times,or within the hive. Yes of course bee's can bite bits off,they can bite holes in thin plastic,newspaper,poly if its not the correct density,propolis,wax,ect.....so can't imagine soft fondant would be much of a problem.
As regards the biting, I more meant that they couldn't swallow solids- but interesting point about the moisture, easier for them to work than I thought.
 

beebreeder 

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Mike, where do you get yuor fondent?
Try the auction site I am not that far away
 

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