WINTER FEEDING OF FONDANT MADE EASY

This is my suggestion for Tips & Tricks.

When you have finished feeding sugar syrup and you are going to feed fondant, then unless you are feeding a proprietary brand of fondant such as 'Fondabee' which comes in separate kilo bags, why not simply do the following:-

INSTEAD of

Cutting up bulk fondant into lumps and putting it into bags which is a sticky job, and then having to slice the side of your bag to allow the bees access and then removing your syrup feeder and then placing the bag over the porter bee escape hole in your crown board =

WHY NOT do the following:-

[a]  Make sausage out of your fondant by placing lumps of fondant cut from the block onto a strip of cling film.

[b]  Pull the cling film completely over the fondant and roll it into a fat sausage

[c]  Open your hive leaving the feeder in place,

[d] Remove the lid on the empty feeder and place a length of your fondant sausage around the feeder. Fill as much of the feeder as you think will be sufficient, based on the size of the colony, to feed your bees.

[e]  With a sharp knife slice open your sausage. 

(f]  Remove the plastic cone from the centre of the feeder and replace the feeder lid, this leaves bee space between feeder cone lid. Your bees can get access into the feeder to feast on the fondant using their usual pathway to their food. 

[g] Finally, put your feeder cone safely away for Spring syrup feeds or, if using the large 'English' feeders then store the cone in the corner of the feeder upside down with a dollop of fondant in it.

If however when you open your hive and if you find your feeder is contaminated with black molds, then remove it, temporarily cover the hole in the crown board with the feeder cone.  Remove the cone and clean the feeder and replace it placing the cone in the centre again.

By adopting this method a normally sticky job can be reduced to an acceptable level. 

You can at this stage, ventilate your hive by placing a matchstick under the edge of the feeder instead of under the edge of the crown board, this will safely ventilate hot damp air from the core of the bees.

Hoping this works for you as well as it has for me.

P.S. If you need to refill the feeder during the winter, lift the lid and just pop the cone back on to keep the bees down and the hive warm while you apply a new amount of fondant sausage, then remove the cone and replace the lid.
in Spring, if there is any fondant left in the feeder and if it is clean simply put on the cone and fill the reservoir with syrup replace the lid, the fondant will soon melt into the syrup.  

IF YOU TRY THIS THEN LEAVE A COMMENT USING THE 'COMMENT' SECTIONS

Thanks Graham (Editor)

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Home made 'French' 'style Hornet Guard. See guard bees lined up ready for trouble.
Photo by Michael Judd

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Removing scum from warmed up honey in a bucket.

A simple but effective method is to cover all the surface of the honey with Clingfilm/Cyran Wrap and then carefully pull the Clingfilm off the bucket. This takes the scum with it - always have somewhere to dump the detritus handy before you start this process.s

If there is any scum left you can repeat this or, if a small amount remains around the sides, then gently scoop away with a spoon until the surface is clear.

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