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feeding fondant to TBH in fall and winter

 
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vicmiester
New Bee


Joined: 09 Aug 2015
Posts: 4
Location: Burnt Cove, Newfoundland, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 4:15 pm    Post subject: feeding fondant to TBH in fall and winter Reply with quote

Hi we have been bee keepers here in Newfoundland for 3 years now with TBH and have been trying to follow as best we can the Natural way and we got 8 hives and 6 of the 8 had a terrible summer to gather stores(we had the rainiest coldest July on record) our bees have done great before this year and this was the year we spilt them by catching the swarms and rehousing them in new TBH's . When we checked them in the early fall we took note that they would need feeding and started with the fondant on the older empty combs like we saw Phil Chandler do , no problems there and now we are adding follower boards with solid fondant with a screen over that fondant , so far all good except my last batch of fondant is way too sticky.... will this cause a problem with the bees sticking to it over the winter should I just scrap that fondant and make a new batch ?? they are eating the fondant well that was dryer and had to re fill the fondant almost every 2 weeks ... fondant on the follower board was so they could have more as its going to get really cold here int he next few months and I don't want to open the hives up after Dec. so is this a good wayt o feed TBH's in all and winter (not many bee keepers in Newfoundland and all that are here are 95% Langstrough and don't know about the TBH style sorry if this is long winded but needed to explain what I am trying to do ... other winters they had all the honey they needed !! Exclamation
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Tavascarow
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Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Posts: 962
Location: UK Cornwall Snozzle

PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just put fondant in disposable food cartons & put them on the floor under the combs. You could do the same with bags, just slash the tops to give bees access.
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vicmiester
New Bee


Joined: 09 Aug 2015
Posts: 4
Location: Burnt Cove, Newfoundland, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 3:00 am    Post subject: re: fondant feeding Reply with quote

Thanks so much for that , I will try putting the bags on the floor with slits , as well as on the follower board , we have extremely long winters here in NL so we will need to feed for many months to come if we are going to get them thru till April or even May!! We now have NL bee keepers association and have our first AGM this weekend, and this is my first time using this forum , its great to be in touch with other like minded bee keepers.
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vicmiester
New Bee


Joined: 09 Aug 2015
Posts: 4
Location: Burnt Cove, Newfoundland, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 2:14 am    Post subject: Feeding fondant in winter Reply with quote

I have successfully made follower boards for all of our TBH's that can hold fondant by attaching a small edging to keep fondant from falling in to the hive body, after pouring and spreading the fondant I then have put a rigid plastic 1/2"grid staple to the edging to keep fondant onto the board.... all the bees are eating from it as their Honeycomb fill fondant gets used up , I now can make more and refill these over the next few weeks before our deep winter temps arrive, hoping that this will help us maintain some food source for our new hives throughout our very very long winter... we also get some really warm days in Feb. or even March, after very cold and blizzard like conditions so will be able to replace fondant boards during those times if necessary.
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BridgetB
Scout Bee


Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Posts: 355
Location: UK Cornwall, Falmouth

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sounds interesting, do you have a photo. One of my hives will need some feed over winter and I have found fondant absorbing water and then dripping or bees getting stuck in it so any ideas for a TBH welcome.
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vicmiester
New Bee


Joined: 09 Aug 2015
Posts: 4
Location: Burnt Cove, Newfoundland, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 3:52 am    Post subject: Re: fondant feeding in winter Reply with quote

Hi , I will try to get a pic to post , new to this forum but will attempt !! I have just been checking the fondant in all 8 hives and so far so good, using Phil Chandlers way o f spreading the fondant onto the old empty HC is working best so far... We are just getting into near 0 to- degs here Cel. and we live close to the ocean with high humidity all the time and fondant is staying on the follower boards and not getting sticky. I did make a batch that turned really sticky and I decided not to put it in at all... it did this (as I make lots of fudge and candies) because I had forgotten to stir the sugar/water mixture as it was coming to the boil ... this causes a more clear taffy like candy for pulling... and really sticky too. I now have made 4 more batchs for the follower boards and being carefull to stir until boiling, it produces a better non sticky fondant ... and also to not use too much of the lemon/or vinegar and keeping to correct proportions as it also makes it too sticky... I have also taken to put mesh over the fondant so if it ever does fall it won't collapse onto the T op Bars of HC.
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