Candy, syrup, or do nothing?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Eddy Honey, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    I just put the last of my home-ade bee candy on the hives today since it was 60f. Two hives ate all the candy they had previously and one hive hasn't touched the stuff all winter. All 3 hives still have a medium 8 frame full of capped stores.

    With temps forcast in the 50's -mid-upper 30's for my area (next 10 days) should I just let them use up the candy and their capped honey before the Spring flow? March can be unpredictable in these parts. Should I make sugar syrup to encourage early buildup with these warm days? There is lots of pollen coming in the front doors.

    My thought is to make some candy, check the hives in a week or two, and make them use their capped honey before giving them more of any man made feed. Their capped honey is most likely my 2:1 fall syrup so I'd rather that be used up. Then if the maples have bloomed by then and the weather is warm enough for them to forage I'll "call it a winter" and leave them alone. If old man winter returns I'll have the candy in the freezer.

    Dang...I just answered my own question...move along...nothing to see here...lol
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    :thumbsup: :mrgreen:
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    You answered it well, too. There is nectar coming in here now, so you shouldn't be too far behind.
     
  4. jim314

    jim314 New Member

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    I see lots of pollen coming in, but how do you tell they are bringing in nectar. They are still taking down sugar bricks, fondant, and most recently 1:1 syrup?
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Hard to tell when you are still feeding. When not, and there is uncapped honey away from the broodnest, nectar is coming in.
     
  6. jim314

    jim314 New Member

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    Thanks Iddee, hopefully I can check to see if there is uncapped honey this weekend if warm enough. The activity on the feed I'm supplying has really increased the last week for some reason.
     
  7. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    ...but how do you tell they are bringing in nectar?
    You can always take a frame with open cells, while holding it over the hive parallel to the ground give it a few shakes. If nectar spills out, you know the girls are bringing in fresh nectar. They'll clean up the spill in no time flat so there's nothing to worry about there.
     
  8. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    I checked one of my hives that have hard candy on it. There is nectar. Can the bees make nectar out of the hard candy or do they simply eat the candy as they would capped honey, gain nourishment from it, and then eliminate it outside the hive? I just don't know
     
  9. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    They are most likely bringing in maple sap or nectar. Maple sap works for them the same as sugar water.
     
  10. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    Even if the maples haven't bloomed yet or do they get sap from another part of the tree?
     
  11. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Sap is what is made into Maple syrup. Any cut or blemish on a Maple tree will produce sap. The bees love it.
     
  12. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    ^^^Warming up chainsaw! :) lol
     
  13. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    :lol: :lol: :lol:
     
  14. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Just a pocket knife will do. Cut a few slots like maple syrup makers. Let it bleed. The bees will find it.
     
  15. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    Wife says, "Thanks Iddee, now he'll be running 'round the forest with a machete!"
     
  16. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Better than running around the house with one.... :D :D
     
  17. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    ef writes:
    You can always take a frame with open cells, while holding it over the hive parallel to the ground give it a few shakes. If nectar spills out, you know the girls are bringing in fresh nectar.

    tecumseh:
    sometimes called 'the splash test'. I typically do this directly over the hive from which I removed the frame. if the hive has fairly low population (not really booming) remove a frame at the top of the hive on a frame where you see good number of bees covering the frame (this is simply the closes and most likely spot for them to be storing fresh nectar).

    'the splash test' is kind of bare essentials technique for any proper bee keeper. it is likely more difficult to write about than to do... once done the simplicity of the information provided is extremely useful (do I need to add boxes or take them away... and when should I consider doing this?).
     
  18. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Do they eventually get it down to maple honey?
     
  19. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    The only time I have used it is before the flow begins. They eat it all. It does help them fire up for the spring.
     
  20. JUDELT

    JUDELT New Member

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    Wow, that's cool!