Dry Sugar Check Up and Pollen Patties

April 2019 Introduction: I would add moisture quilts to these hives today because they’re too damp. In the videos below, I can see condensation dripping off the inner covers and mould developing on the inside rim and top bars. I also no longer fold the hive wrap under the inner cover because it keeps in too much moisture (not that I always wrap my hives).

It was warm enough today (1°C / 34°F) to take a peek inside my four hives and add some pollen patties. I didn’t have to top up the dry sugar that was added 46 days ago. The bees in the foundationless hive are low on honey, as I suspected, and have eaten through the most sugar, but they have enough to keep them going for a while. The bees in the conventional hives have eaten some of their sugar, but I still think they would have been fine without it. I could see several frames full of honey in each of the hives. The bees in the conventional hives were clustering above the top bars by the end of December, but a lack of honey doesn’t seem to be the reason. Okay, then, here’s how it played out in video form. First, a short version that cuts to the chase.



Next, a long version that has me commenting on insulated inner covers and other equally hot topics and shows every detail of the procedure.

I don’t think it’s necessary to moisten the newspaper when adding the dry sugar.

One thought on “Dry Sugar Check Up and Pollen Patties

  1. I’ve decided that when I give the bees dry sugar next winter (it’s definitely my preferred method), I won’t cover the entire frames. Instead, I’ll lay down paper over the back half or two-thirds of the top bars so they bees can access the sugar more easily — and mainly so I can add pollen patties with less hassle later in February. Here’s a video I found that demonstrates what I’m talking about:

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