Candy Boards and Hunkering Down For the Winter

Discussion in 'Building plans, blueprints, and finished projects' started by blueblood, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    I took advantage of one of the last warm days we will most likely see in Central Indiana today, in the high 60's. I was going to wait until the end of November to place the candy boards on but I don't want to open the hives when it will certainly be cold. I wore my bee suit but had a short sleeve on underneath. No smoke. I received one friendly reminder from one of the girls under my left bicep through my suit that they are still stinging insects that are protecting their home. That skin there is sensitive but didn't get quite as large of reaction as I would have without the suit. It was my 5th sting or so this first season of mine. Each sting has has caused less reactions. The reaction site wasn't even worth taking a photo...

    Anyway, here are some pictures I took today. The first one is the one that gave me the love. The fourth one is usually my hot hive but most productive. All of the hives had a good amount of bees but the fourth one was the strongest. It took a total of maybe an hour to cut the candy frames and 1/4" mesh over the last week. I mixed the candy and filled the frames in less than 45 minutes. I ended up using rubber gloves and mixing by hand. I left an area for pollen patties that I will use between late December and February. 16 pounds of sugar, 3 cups of warm water mixed with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. Stapled 1/4 mesh to bottom and lined with wax paper. Drilled a 5/8" hole for ventilation and a 2nd exit. I placed shims on the top bars to help hoist the 16+ pounds of sugar board.

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  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    All together much too neat and organized! :lol: Well done.
    Did you just use sugar and water or did you add something to invert the sugar? Ooops, I see you added vinegar.
     

  3. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    :coolphotos:!

    i'm with perry on the neat and organized thing......:lol:
    btw, where's the hive with the bullet holes in it?
     
  4. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    1112121818.jpg

    The underside of my arm was a little more pronounced today but not different from any other stings gifted me this year...itching is always my least favorite. Psssst, Perry, I like blueberry.....:Dancing:

    Hive #1 is the one that was shot Becky. Consequently, the one that got me yesterday. The bullet hole is on the front of the bottom brood box to the left about four to five inches from the bottom along the seam where the side and front meet. The second hole is in the top of the lid but I have that side facing the rear. I like to organize things like that...it's a disease, ha! I need to catch that disease for my workshop...this summer was a crazy one because of my new found hobby...

    Perry, that sugar was easy to do. I like that I don't have to cook it. That is messy.
     
  5. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Atta boy Dave! :thumbsup:

    Big slice of Blue Berry Pie for you! :mrgreen:
     
  6. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    dave, wishing i can get those kind of reactions back instead of a trip to er, and now i wouldn't mind that itching :lol:

    too funny about the hive with the bullet holes dave, you are too funny...." I like to organize things like that...it's a disease"......:lol:

    HA! dave, you are way anal retentive, you make me laugh! (guilty myself). i think, leave it to a police officer to get bullet holes in one of his beehives. this has been one of my greatest fears because many of my hives sit so close to our country road. can't tell you how many times my mail box has been shot up or nailed with a baseball bat (hmmm, fixed that one), and bullet holes in signs close to the house, but they always leave the hives untouched, even for all the deer stands we have taken down and confiscated during hunting season.

    you are a great keep dave.....keep up with your new found hobby.....your workshop can wait until the a/r catches up...... (and it will)....:rotfl:
     
  7. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Oooo, yeah, I guess the itching isn't so bad considering it could be much worse. My wife would tell ya I am only a/r about the stuff I care about...but, I disagree of course...ha! And yes, I thought of all folks, my hives would be bullet free. I would have crapped my pants if I shot the next door neighbor cops's anything :shock:. I am just too merciful sometimes I suppose. I am working on the "great" part but really close to calling myself an official keep once spring hits again...then, I can say I have 1 year under my belt...
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a perry snip...
    All together much too neat and organized!

    tecumseh...
    why am I not surprised?
     
  9. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Took a peak in the hives to see how the girls were liking the candy boards since it was in the 50's today. It has been 6 days since placing the boards on. They were out and about today. I am very pleased with their use of the top entrance on the candy board and consumption of the candy. The photo showing the arc of feeding is hive #3. The top entrance got me thinking about using top entrances my second season. I was initially not a fan of multiple access but I want to see if they fill the supers faster and more efficiently with a second entrance.

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  10. Minz

    Minz Member

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    I was kind of disappointed to see rocks that are all different shapes and sizes. Really ruins the entire ‘everything the exact same color size and spacing’ there Dave. Go get some bricks (paint them white) and take care of that. You can lay out spacing on the tops of the hives so they will look like a perfect row.

    :lol:
     
  11. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Ha!......hmmm, good idea :wink:
     
  12. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Checked the candy boards today since it was a little warmer and we don't expect any more warm days for a little while. I have had the boards on 42 days or so now. This is my second strongest hive and they are good for a few more weeks. Had one bee from this one shoot out and try to tag me. The hot hive is almost finished with their candy. One of my two weaker hives did not have any activity at all. I am hoping they are just keeping warm below the cover. I will be making candy bricks to insert after new years.

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  13. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    She was just going to wish you a Merry Christmas Dave! :lol:

    Looks like you have everything well in hand. :thumbsup:
     
  14. melrose

    melrose New Member

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    I have a few questions...
    1. Why use screen and wax paper?
    2. How do the bees get to the candy during cold weather?
    3. What's the rectangular cut out in the candy for?
    4. I don't see access from below, so why have the inner cover on top of the candy?

    thanks,
     
  15. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Hi Melrose,

    1. The screen holds the weight (16 lbs) of sugar and wax paper keeps the freshly poured sugar mixture from falling through. The bees easily chew through the paper and can gain access to the sugar through the mesh.
    2. The cluster moves across it when they need it and/or bees break cluster and partake.
    3. The rectangle recess is for a pollen patty around February when brood rearing begins.
    4. I gave them a head start on access near the top entrance hole. They actually have access from all over the bottom of the candy board where ever they choose to eat through also. The previous pictures I posted in early in the thread shows the "head start." The inner cover is on top for few reasons.
    A. Easier access to the sugar. Otherwise they would have to go through oval hole with the entire cluster causing disruption and it's cold up there.
    B. The sugar helps to absorb moisture from the heat produced by the cluster.
    C. The sugar acts as an insulator.
    D. The round access in the sugar board allows for ventilation so the heat from the cluster can exit.

    The candy board can act as a replacement for the inner cover all together but I like the fact that I can pull the telescoping lid off without exposing the entire top of the hive to cold air. I can peak through the oval cut out to see if the bees are moving and how much sugar is left on the board.
     
  16. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Made some candy bricks for my candy boards today. It's gonna be 61 degrees Friday here in central Indiana which will provide a perfect opportunity to add the bricks. I'm interested to see how much of the candy board they have consumed since late November. The bees will reaaly enjoy cleansing I'm sure. It's been nearly a month or more since we have had any temps close to 54.
    mms_picture-49.jpg
     
  17. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Wow, you have long winters,.....(I have been in Texas a really long time and never kept bees elsewhere - I put on a fondant cake with pollen every couple of weeks, but mine weigh less than a pound apiece)
     
  18. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Yes, we have long winters for sure. Early November through late March with high probability of freezing in April still. By the time February is over, I am really yearning for some warm weather.
     
  19. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Our last "frost date" here is May 20th.
     
  20. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    First week in June here can get frost. One of my candy frames is drooling down. It is right against the side of the hive so shouldn't be running onto cluster. Have not gone in to investigate but I see cappings on the bottom board mostly to the other side of the hive. Have had problems getting just the right consistency with fondant. I will cerrtainly try to avoid the situation in future, where I have to feed late and heavy. For our long winters (~7 months) we do need a lot of stores to get them through. Plan to extract last week of August next season.