Thursday, January 12, 2017


It looks like that during next week Wisconsin will be having it's traditional January thaw.  We have experienced a number of below zero nights.  That cold weather immobilizes the bees and they can't or won't move in the hive to an area still with honey stores.  They will NEVER move down to the honey in the outside frames of the bottom brood box.  Also, the bee cluster in most hives has by this time moved into the top brood box and many, if not most, are bumping into the inner cover.  Next week's temporary warm up is an opportune time to provide a little emergency food.

For ease of handling I put in a sugar disc.  Candy boards are another possibility.

This is a 2 1/2 pound sugar disc.  It is made by mixing 2 1/2 pounds of sugar with 7/16 cup of water.  Through stir the mixture and then place in some type of mold and tamp it down firmly.  Allow it to remain in the mold for several days and it will set up solidly.  The sugar to water ratio is critical.  Too little water and the sugar grains will not bond.  Too much and you will have runny mess.  Of course if you get the ratio slightly wrong it is easily corrected by added more water or sugar as needed.

Do be afraid to open the hive, but don't lollygag.Get in,get out. The inside hive temperature is the same as the outside air temperature. It is the cluster that is warm.

You can also add chunks of winter patties or pollen substitute to the sugar while making the discs.

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