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15486Re: [Beekeeping] Snow and sugar bags

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  • peter haywood
    Dec 1, 2010
      I`ve never seen any point in uniting colonies Alan.  If you have one which is weak it may live or die, depending on why it was weak in the first place.  If your other is strong it`ll stay strong, adding a load old and possibly diseased bees to it isn`t going to make it stronger, but your weak one may just be weak because it`s first queen failed, or a patriline suceptible to DWV was passing through the brood, or it may have been hungry in August and now be short of bees, but if it has a good queen it should still pull through and you`ll often find one which started off weak ends up your best colony.  Heft the brood boxes and see what weight remains in them.  If they feel light take any empty frames out of your super a put a block of fondant in, on top of the queen excluder and in contact with the bees, by all means.  But if it`s not needed I`d leave it until the queen`s laying well again.  Unused fondant has a habit of going runny and making a mess, the last thing you want if your bees have access to stored honey/syrup anyway and don`t need it.
      Pete H

      From: Alan Fox <alan_foxy2000@...>
      To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tue, 30 November, 2010 13:33:25
      Subject: Re: [Beekeeping] Snow and sugar bags

       

      Peter I was going to feed my hives fondant in January. I fed them syrup before the cold and left a super of honey on each one so they should be okay , but one was a bit weak , I should have united this with another colony. Well you learn by your mistakes Alan


      From: peter haywood <samphorgatherer@...>
      To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tue, 30 November, 2010 13:22:07
      Subject: Re: [Beekeeping] Snow and sugar bags

       

      I`ve used them for years, they work, the bees won`t use the sugar unless they need it, it`s easy to carry a box of sugar bags in the van, along with a couple of empty bottles (no water shortage in Wales!).  It doesn`t cause the bees to raise a lot of brood too early, though if that was what I wanted, to get early drones from my best hives or to make increase, say, then I would use syrup. 
      I can put on enough bags to get them through, whereas if I fed a gallon or more of syrup and then we had a very early flow, as sometimes happens, I`d be worried about having sugar in the honey, and I`d also have put myself in line for a lot of early swarming.
      Any unused sugar, which will be quite hard, can easily be stored for use later (June gap comes to mind), or just wrapped in a poly bag and left in the 4" eke I like to have as the upper rim to my crownboard.
      Pete H

      From: Alan Fox <alan_foxy2000@...>
      To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tue, 30 November, 2010 13:05:44
      Subject: Re: [Beekeeping] Snow

       

      why the preference to soaked sugar bags over syrup


      From: peter haywood <samphorgatherer@...>
      To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tue, 30 November, 2010 12:56:17
      Subject: Re: [Beekeeping] Snow

       

      Some of mine were collecting a lot of ivy pollen late on, and I daresay a good few will have new supersedure queens too with a good autumn following a rubbish summer.  Those may well have still had quite a lot of brood at the start of this cold snap, and if so will have used a fair bit of stored honey keeping it warm, so for those few I shall possibly need to feed early in the coming year.  I shall use soaked sugar bags, placed on the queen excluder, after removing a few empty frames from the super.  For the rest I have no worries.  They filled up well with stores, any duff queens will have been superseded.  They`re all strong in bees so no, I`m not in the least bit worried.  The only thing likely do do any damage is the gales we keep getting, so I`ve got plenty of stones on the roofs.
      Cold weather doesn`t bother bees so long as they`ve got plenty of stores and good dry weatherproof  hives.  If you lose bees over winter after this good autumn you need to ask yourself why, what are you doing wrong? 
      Pete H


      From: Alan <alan_foxy2000@...>
      To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tue, 30 November, 2010 9:43:59
      Subject: [Beekeeping] Snow

       

      Fresh snow here over night. I was thinking that this isn't going to do the bees any good, it's too cold too early and this could be along drawn out winter. I think a lot of beekeepers are going to lose hives this winter. Glad mine are swarms I collected and didn't buy. A new beekeeper near me bought two so he's worrying he'll have to buy more next year. What do you think about the weather Peter you've been beekeeping a while, so should have been through this before. Alan






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