Dry Sugar Check Up and Pollen Patties

It was warm enough today (1°C / 34°F) to take a peek inside our 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 in HD that cuts to the chase.

Next, a long version, not in HD, that has me commenting on insulated inner covers and other equally hot topics and shows every detail of the procedure.

It’s not necessary to moisten the newspaper when adding the dry sugar.

And now some photos:

These bees were hungry for sugar.
The hole filled in with pollen patties.
Despite gorging on sugar, these bees still have plenty of honey stored below in the frames.
The sugar in this hive seems barely touched.
Maybe they’re eating away at the sugar from the underside.
Some pollen to hold them over for a while.
Bees in the honey-starved foundationless hive clustering high and gorging on 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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