Candy bricks

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Eddy Honey, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    I was looking at some candy bricks in case I want to obcess over my bees and feed them throughout the winter. The instructions show a queen excluder on top being placed on top of the brood nest with the brick on top. Wouldn't I run the risk of all the bees going up to feed and the queen being left to freeze to death? I would think it is better to just set the bricks on top of the frames with a super and inner/outer covers on top.
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    From what you are describing I would agree, do not put an excluder between your brood nest and the food source. Curious instructions! :confused:
     

  3. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    Eddy:
    Where did you find this info? As Perry said-curious instructions.
     
  4. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    http://www.mdasplitter.com/docs/SugarBricks2.pdf

    Actually it says you can do it with or without an excluder. With an excluder discourages comb building in the empty super where the bricks are. I think I'd take my chances on them building comb up there.
    I may just do the dry sugar on newspaper method. That'll serve 2 purposes; feed the bees, and give them something to read while waiting for spring! :mrgreen:
     
  5. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    Last year I left excluders on several hives do to the weather. When spring showed up I went out to look at the 20 hives I couldnt get excluder off of all 20 was fine no losses. I was suprised to say the least. the only theory I can use to explain it is the bees not leaving what little brood there may be in the hive. I dont know and wouldnt recommend doing this.
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I suspect the excluder are really more a rack for the suger bricks than anything else. This picks the brick up just slightly which allow the worker bees to access the feed from the bottom (+the other sides). since candy board can only be fully utilited when the weather is a bit warm and there is some water coming into the hive I would guess there is little that would encourage a queen to go up there anyway. a couple of thin wood shim would likely accomplish about the same thing as the queen excluder. in most places (Florida might be the exception???) any worries of comb construction this time of year would sound to be a bit fanciful.
     
  7. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    interesting experiment Rat and thanks for sharing that observation. sometimes it seems to me like 'some' hives get a good brood nest down low and pull the honey from the top of the hive downward and pretty well maintain the brood nest in it's original location. the hazard from leaving queen excluder (I suspect) is when the existing bees consume the feed below the excluder and are thereby forced to move upward.
     
  8. Larus

    Larus New Member

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    I put a queen excluder on top of my hive, primarily, as tecumseh said, as a rack to put the candy chunk on top of. I put a 1.5" high rim on top of that for space, and the (insulated) inner cover on top of that.
    I don't think the bees will all pass through the queen excluder to feed on the candy brick and leave the queen behind to freeze to death. They have an instinctive drive to cluster around the queen. With the candy brick lying on top of the queen excluder, they can form a cluster on the underside of the excluder, hanging below the brick. The topmost bees can chew at the sugar through the excluder and pass it down to the other bees. Also, the worker bees can shift position in the cluster to take turns feeding. The queen will stay snug and warm in the middle of the cluster.

    At any rate, I will let everyone know how it goes with my hive, and if the queen excluder seems to help or hurt things in any way.
     
  9. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Very interesting.
    I personally would never have put an excluder between a food source and the brood cluster but apparently some do. I don't really see the need to even take the chance, why not just set it on the top bars or as tec suggested, just raise it with a couple of sticks or shims?
    I have seen where excluders are incorporated in the making of a candy board that sits on top of the cluster in place of an inner cover, but there would be little if any space for the bees to pass through, it was more of an aid to hold the hardening candy once it was poured on top.
    Every day I learn something!