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General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
 #10492  by Steve 1972
 08 Apr 2021, 21:40
I have never been in this situation before..I always pre prepare for additional winter feed and tick along nicely normally..however this spring weather has been different to others..
I had loads of pollen coming in but little nectar over the past few weeks and now the weather has gone pants again..obviously with the pollen and fondant the bees are rearing brood..which mean the little darlings are ramping up on brood production..however I have got through my 30+kg of fondant and I desperately need to feed some tomorrow ..I am lambing at the moment and have very little time to drive for fondant and ordering online will be pointless..
Can 1kg bags of wet sugar save the day if my lady friend fails to source any supermarket fondant....sorry for this embarrassing post but I don't have quick access to fondant..
 #10494  by MickBBKA
 09 Apr 2021, 02:30
Same issue here in Teesside. Nightmare spring. Bees came out of late winter fantastic. Beast from the northwest has stopped them dead. I will be putting stores back this weekend after putting foundation on 2 weeks ago. I hope I don't lose colonies to starvation like beast from the east. BBKA winter survival survey is a stupid exercise with a 30th April end date. They are so southern out of touch for a national membership.
 #10496  by NigelP
 09 Apr 2021, 08:33
Fastest way is make up a sugar solution and use a jug to pour it over some empty brood frame cells either removed from hive or use a surplus empty one which you can fill and then add to the hives.
Sod the weather, better fed than dead.
 #10497  by AdamD
 09 Apr 2021, 08:53
Sugar syrup is fine, and white sugar is easily obtainable. A thin mixture will be best as it's not for storage.
For me, a month ago there was little pollen and plenty of winter (honey) stores. Now there is pollen and some colonies are light despite fields of OSR starting to flower as it's too cold for the OSR to give up any nectar. Most colonies are OK however I checked my home apiary yesterday in the cool wind and one colony had almost no honey stores so they were given 2 litres of syrup in a contact feeder.
 #10510  by Steve 1972
 10 Apr 2021, 10:02
Thanks for the sugestiones folk.. it is mad how easy it is to forgot things these days..a few years ago I was slagged of on another forum for filling empty brood comb with sugar syrup to feed a starving colony..
Anyway my lady friend managed to source some icing fondant in sainsburies..I know it is not the same as bakers fondant from bee supplies but I am sure the bees will be happy with it.
 #10512  by NigelP
 10 Apr 2021, 10:19
Yes that other forum doesn tend to be a shade dogmatic in there only being "their" way of doing things.
Adding syrup to empty frames was a trick one of the old bee inspectors taught me many years ago.
I prefer it to adding a frame feeder, although that does have it's use at times.
 #10513  by Alfred
 10 Apr 2021, 12:18
AHH so that's what it's for!
I only ever used mine for half culling a colony by drowning.
Thought about lining the sides with carpet
 #10514  by NigelP
 10 Apr 2021, 16:04
Just chop up a load of corks from wine bottles. No more drowning.
On the subject of alternative syrup feeding methods has anyone ever used entrance feeders in a cold spring?
Adding rapid feeders in cold springs usually results in the bees not taking the stuff, hence fondant on frames or in frame feeders or filling empty frames. All of these methods put the syrup where the bees are but you are disturbing the colony.
With a forecast of sleet for PM (correct ..we are almost white over now) I was adding fondant and an eke on a colony at 5C this lunchtime.
Wondered if simply sliding in an entrance feeder would be an viable alternative AT THIS TIME of the season when the weather is cold.
 #10516  by Alfred
 11 Apr 2021, 07:21
Ive toyed with the idea of surrounding a 4pt rapid feeder with insulation ( old socks filled with vermiculite ? Then an insulation slab on top of the box.
If the feed was warm when given perhaps the colony s own warmth could keep it vialble