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  • syrup or fondant for Autumn feeding

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More advanced beekeeping discussion forum.
 #9322  by Steve 1972
 23 Oct 2020, 18:53
I feed both syrup and fondant under different circumstances ..2:1 thymol sugar is
fed to the bees mid September up until now..some colonies are still taking syrup but some are not..after hefting i will place fondant on the top bars of any colonies that i think/know are a tad light..i have found that the bees do not touch the Fondant in some colonies till they are desperate so i stick it on all colonies regardless of weight before December time just for peace of mind..any left over fondant come spring is rather put into the freezer or binned..
 #9323  by Chrisbarlow
 24 Oct 2020, 10:21
Patrick wrote:
22 Oct 2020, 15:52
Peter Edwards and quite a few others used nothing else on large numbers of hives and wrote quite a bit about it at one time.
I dont know who Peter Edwards is, do you have a link to his thoughts?
 #9324  by Chrisbarlow
 24 Oct 2020, 10:23
Steve 1972 wrote:
23 Oct 2020, 18:53
have found that the bees do not touch the Fondant in some colonies till they are desperate so i stick it on all colonies regardless of weight before December time just for peace of mind..any left over fondant come spring is rather put into the freezer or binned..
I tend to do this with all Nucs in January, however I think your a little further north than I am. i use left overs in Spring and Summer on new Nucs
 #9325  by Chrisbarlow
 24 Oct 2020, 10:25
for info, a good supplier in Yorkshire who deliver is Shepcotes in Driffield. Fondant is currently £10.00 for a 12.5kgs block delivered, its this cheap as they deliver to bakeries in my area. It depends if they deliver in your area.
 #9329  by Steve 1972
 24 Oct 2020, 11:30
That is a good price Chris but nearly 2hrs away from me..to be honest though i have not got through more than 18kg of fondant in winter yet..even though the stuff i buy from Abelo is more than double your price that is what i use..it comes prepacked in 2.5kg sturdy bags that just need cutting in half or slicing with a knife and placing on the top bars..i do occasionally buy the 12kg boxes of bakers fondant but it is a sticky mess cutting it up.. :D
 #9330  by Chrisbarlow
 24 Oct 2020, 12:41
Steve 1972 wrote:
24 Oct 2020, 11:30
That is a good price Chris but nearly 2hrs away from me..to be honest though i have not got through more than 18kg of fondant in winter yet..even though the stuff i buy from Abelo is more than double your price that is what i use..it comes prepacked in 2.5kg sturdy bags that just need cutting in half or slicing with a knife and placing on the top bars..i do occasionally buy the 12kg boxes of bakers fondant but it is a sticky mess cutting it up.. :D
the stuff from abelo is a premium product and in my view superior to fondant.

my tip for cutting fondant is keep is warm over night IE in the house and then use a spade to cut it with on the patio, just place the spade on the fondant where you want to cut and then apply your weight and it slides through the stuff. dont stab the spade,
 #9336  by Patrick
 24 Oct 2020, 21:03
Chrisbarlow wrote: I dont know who Peter Edwards is, do you have a link to his thoughts?
Sorry Chris only on my phone at the moment not sure how to do links! If you google Peter Edwards Fondant you should find several links to articles by him, As I remember he was / is a member of Stratford on Avon (?) and fed fondant exclusively to a 100 plus hive operation when I was starting out.

I have mentioned it before but I find keeping cut slabs in ziploc freezer bags makes it a lot easier to handle. If you want to make it thinner to fit under crownboards without an eke, pop the bag in the microwave for a minute and it will become soft. Stand on the bag and it will flatten out.
 #9337  by Chrisbarlow
 24 Oct 2020, 21:17
Patrick wrote:
24 Oct 2020, 21:03
Chrisbarlow wrote: I dont know who Peter Edwards is, do you have a link to his thoughts?
Sorry Chris only on my phone at the moment not sure how to do links! If you google Peter Edwards Fondant you should find several links to articles by him, As I remember he was / is a member of Stratford on Avon (?) and fed fondant exclusively to a 100 plus hive operation when I was starting out.

I have mentioned it before but I find keeping cut slabs in ziploc freezer bags makes it a lot easier to handle. If you want to make it thinner to fit under crownboards without an eke, pop the bag in the microwave for a minute and it will become soft. Stand on the bag and it will flatten out.
cheers Patrick,

I found stuff. ... this is a PDF here from Dave Cushman site, back from 2002!
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjGv_Twg87sAhUdQhUIHS7iDzcQFjAAegQIBhAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dave-cushman.net%2Fbee%2FFondant%2520Peter%2520Edwards.pdf&usg=AOvVaw26GHL8EXZEx2pitG4hMSvE

here at apiarist,
https://www.theapiarist.org/tag/peter-edwards/
 #9338  by Patrick
 25 Oct 2020, 01:05
That’s the chap! A respected beekeeper who wrote quite a lot of articles back along.

Always been interested that it was a feeding option that never gained much traction beyond “emergency” feed. Maybe availability was an issue. Certainly there was a lot of prejudice about using fondant and some conjectural nonsense spoken, often by those who freely admitted to never actually using it.