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
proprietory brand of findant such as 'Fondabee' which comes in seperate kilo bags, why not simply do the following:- INSTEAD of
a] 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 [b] removing your syrup feeder and [c] 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 and then [b] pull the cling filmcompletely over the fondant and roll it into a fat sausage [c] then 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 wish. Then [d] with a sharp knife slice open your sausage. Then [e] remove the plastic cone from the centre of the feeder and [f] 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. Finally [g] put your feeder cone safely away for Spring feeds or if using the large 'English' feeders then store it in the corener of the feeder on its side with a dollop of fondant in it.
If however when you open your hive and if you find your feeder is contaminated with black moulds, then remove it, temorarily 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 feeeder 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 MESSSAGE SECTION ON PAGE 1.
Thanks Graham (Editor)