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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is ventilation necessary when using a candy board? Is condensation a problem if you have a candy board on the hive? If ventilation is needed, how does one go about providing it?
One of the old bee guys in our bee club suggested putting candy boards on "just in case". I checked my hive yesterday and they seemed to still be in the bottom brood box and had plenty of honey capped frames above them for now. The temperature was in the high 40's here.
I went into winter with one hive and would hate to open the hive in the spring and find it dead.
 

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Not sure about candy boards.
For what it's worth:
My hives have a 2" piece cut out of one side of the rim on my inner covers. This goes on the "down" side when placed on my top super. I then place a 4 to 5 lb patty of fondant sandwiched between wax paper right over the hole in my inner cover.
A 1 1/2" spacer around that and then my telescoping cover. The fondant is right there at the top in the middle if they need it and the notch out of the inner cover provides the ventilation. The last couple of years the bees have always worked there way to the top and into the fondant by Feb. I am not saying there was not enough feed left for them but at least they didn't starve out with frames of honey just a frame or two away on one side. If photos would make it clearer, let me know.

Perry
 

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Once the outer cover is put on, the rim providing the space for the patty keeps the lid up enough to provide ventilation.
 

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Hi BRASWELL:
The fondant is made by Dawn Food Products. Up here it is sold in 20 kg pails but I believe in the States you can buy it in 50 lb blocks. Check out any large bakery or bakery supply place. Make sure you get the type of fondant with NO coloring or flavoring. Note on the bucket in the photo the ingrediants are Sugar, Water and Glucose ONLY!
Other than that nothing else is added, just make sure you sandwich it in wax paper or it will eventually get hard. I just cut a little slit in the wax paper right where it goes over the hole in the inner cover to help the bees get started when they reach it.
 

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Ventilation is very important in the winter no matter what. Under the right conditions you will get condensation, the bees will get wet , and die.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I put the candy board on the hive on Jan. 6. I put a small shim in between the candy board and the hive body on the SE corner. On top of that I put the inner cover(don't know why, it served no purpose) and then the telescoping lid. I went back yesterday afternoon to check on them. The temperature was in the mid 30's I think. I was just going to remove the candy board. I lifted the candy board and they were working on the candy board. I put it all back together as fast as I could. Removed the inner lid and kept the shim in place. Now I'm wondering why they would be eating sugar instead of the honey that is there. I was also surprised that they were not in a cluster. Anyone have thoughts on this?
 

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They may be moving it rather than eating it.
They were in cluster where the temp was cold. They were moving above the cluster where it is warmer.
 

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Hey Iddee:
Would that apply to fondant as well? When I see them up into the fondant in Feb and the hives still seem heavy, is it possible that they would actually be moving the stuff or simply eating it cause it's closer than the frames on either side?
 

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Just my opinion only...........what you might have seen was the top of the cluster working the bottom of the candy board. To me they would work the candy board before uncapping honey cells just for that reason, the candy board is not in a capped cell.
 

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So, does one know where this "fondant could be purchased 'round here. Greensboro N.C. 50 pounds is a lot of candy, anyone want to split a block if we find it? RB, "batteries still on charge" waiting for warmer days.
 

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Just google Dawn Food Products, go to their website and they should be able to find the site closest to you. Either that or just phone a couple of the larger bakeries in your area.
 

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BRASWELL said:
So, does one know where this "fondant could be purchased 'round here. Greensboro N.C. 50 pounds is a lot of candy, anyone want to split a block if we find it? RB, "batteries still on charge" waiting for warmer days.
Dawn Foods is not the only source of fondant.

Contact H.C Brill and ask about a supplier for "Karp" brand fondant.

http://www.hcbrill.com/Contact_Us.aspx
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I guess I used the candy board properly. I also think it was probably money well spent. Since the temp got up to 60 yesterday, I checked on my hive to see how the food stores were holding up. Glad I did and it was an educational experience. The cluster had worked their way to the top and was consuming the candy board. I'm sure they would have starved over the last two weeks of bitter cold weather that we had. I moved some frames around and rotated the candy board so they could work on the untouched side. I think they had eaten the candy almost to the bottom board of the candy board on one side. Hard to tell, there were so many girls covering the board.
They were enjoying the 60 degree weather too.
 

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Yes, you do need ventilation even with a candy board. I found this out the hard way this winter (I am a first year beek). Lost two hives that way. Almost lost two more, but put a small shim in just in time when I found the other two dead.

JC
 
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