I’ve overcome my snootiness about feeding bees with sugar in winter.* As I said, I’m going the whole hog with feeding this time round.
So, I followed directions from Honey Bee Suite (one of my favourite sources of beekeeping information) about how to supplement the bees’ stores with solid sugar by adding sugar boards to the hives. Or as Rusty herself (in America) calls them, “candy boards”.
Here are my DIY efforts:
I’m leaving it overnight. Let me tell you how it will be tomorrow. The sugar will have set rock hard. The wooden block will be easily removable. There will be a minimum of sugar escape through the queen excluder on to the plastic board. I will not spill any sugar on the floor. It will be a warm sunny morning and I will add the sugar board to Queen Mab’s hive with no problem at all.
See, this is so much better than waiting till it’s all done before posting the story online.
I have 3 more of these still to make. And then I’ll be making “dry boards” (what Rusty calls “moisture quilts”) which will sit on top of the sugar boards to assist ventilation and removal of damp from the colony. I shall report back in due course…
Update December 2018: see here
*Not strictly true. I still remain suspicious of the practice. But I’ve come round to the view that it’s ok under some circumstances.