How Much Fondant for Bees? Clearing Your Confusion!

It is very normal to not know how much fondant a bee should have. Many gardeners and beekeepers worry about the same thing. So do not think you are alone! It surely is a very confusing matter. 

So, how much fondant for bees?

Well, fondant mainly depends on the weather. Because the amount given is dependent on the amount the bees are consuming. And bees will consume more if they can make more honey! Different bees consume their stock differently. So, the fondant varies from hive to hive and additionally the temperature. 

Keep in mind too much or too little could be bad for your bees. So, dig deeper into this article to let your bees have the right amount of fondant. 

Why Do Bees Need Fondant?

As a beekeeper, the first thing to ensure is the well-being of your bees. In certain seasons your bee colony’s health can be at stake. It is due to the shortage of enough resources. When this occurs It’s possible bees will stop certain actions.

And when they stop certain actions they may not be able to store food. Supplements help preserve and increase the amount of food it has available. The comb is built by bees for food and brood storage, and they use a lot of energy in the process. 

The colony’s growth can be sped up by providing them with more nutrients. Fertilization can be boosted by adding extra protein.

Even though you do not harvest all the honey. There is still a lack of honey in the hives during certain seasons. Because lots of bees flying around the hive is very unlikely. 

When Do Bees Need Fondant? 

Honey bees should be fed fondant four times a year. And the most important time to feed them fondant is the winter season. Because bees bearding in cool weather is normal. But they can beard in other weather as well. The minute the temperature starts dropping add bee fondant to the hives.  

Though sugar syrup is a great supplement, this is not recommended during the winter. Not only do they create unhygienic hives but also create moisture in honey because of it.

And fondant is given to them in winter because bees have to work extra hard to keep their hive warm if the syrup is given to them. That’s why how much fondant for bees in winter is also very commonly asked. 

Also if the honey bee splits just before winter then fondant is needed more. Because there are now two entirely new colonies. 

How Much Fondant Should You Give?

Knowing how much to give your bees fondant depends on their store. It depends on how often you check the hive, the temperature of the hive, and the time of the year. Popping a block of fondant should be enough. 

The bees will most likely take 4 months to finish their block of fondant. Let us say about 12.5 kg per colony. It has been seen that some hives finish up their blocks faster. 

And some hardly touch their blocks. For these particular bees. Put a small amount of fondant in a Tupperware and put it on top of the feeding hole.

So be sure to keep checking your hives after a week or so. They can sure go through fondant at a quick pace. Check this out if you don’t believe me.

How to Give Fondant to the Bees 

So far we can understand how important fondant is for the bees. But we cannot just give the fondant any way we want.

Also, it is totally fine if you are not wearing a bee suit while feeding the fondant. But wearing a bee suit is always recommended as you know. And to reduce your burden of researching through the market for the best suits, here we have added a list. 

This list has some of the best bee suits that we can found in the market-

A quick use of “bee quick” will get them out of the way. Like this, you will not get stung by the bee. 

Let us get into these 3 steps on how to give fondant to the bees.

Step 1 of 3: For Timber Hives

Take off the roof and take the block of fondant. And cut a hole in the middle of the packet so that the bees can enter it. Then gently pop it on top of the feeding hole.

The feeding hole should be in the center of the crown board. Then place the roof back on again

Step 2 of 3: For Poly Hives

Take the crown board off the hive. Place the eke onto the brood box then place the fondant on top of the brood frame. Remember to cut through the packet slightly so that the bees can get into it. 

Then put the crown board back on top of the eke on the beehive. And the roof over that. 

Remember to put the eek on top before the crowing board. Because if you do not you will end up crushing the bees. 

Step 3 of 3: For Poly Nuc Hives

They do not come with a crown board. So, peel the plastic lid back and squeeze a 2.5-kilo bag fondant inside the hive. You do not have to take it out of the bag. 

By cutting a side of the bag open and squeezing the bag inside. The bees can easily eat it.

How to Make Fondant 

Well, we know that you must be wondering how to make fondant for feeding bees. Yeah, that’s a pretty budget friendly idea. Be assured that even if you can not buy fondant, you can make it right at home! 

  • Add 1 cup of water to 4 cups of cane sugar. 
  • Then add ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar to the mixture. The sugar breaks down because of the vinegar. Per batch, use /4 teaspoon pure sea salt.
  • Cook over medium heat, stir continuously until the mixture comes to a boil. If you don’t stir continuously. You will end up with a clear gel that is not good for the bees.
  • Cover the pan and boil for 3 minutes without stirring. 
  • Let the mixture boil up to 243 degrees F. Do not let it caramelize. Because this can be harmful to the bees. You can use Yacumama Digital Water Thermometer for this purpose. 
  • After removing the mixture from heat. Let it cool up to 200 degrees. By doing this the candy can thicken. 
  • Start whipping with a whisk very fast until whiteness occurs. 
  • Pour the fondant on top of wax paper. Make sure to place a towel beneath. However, do not use a fluffy towel because it will reduce the thickness. 
  • Cool it undisturbed. 

FAQs

Here are some honey bee-related frequent queries from the amateur beekeepers-

How many times can a hive be split? 

Well, the same colony can be split multiple times every year. This depends on several factors. One of them is where you are located. So temperature is a factor. Another one is the type of hive you are starting with. The weather also makes a difference in your split. 

Can marshmallow fondant be fed to bees?

No, they can’t eat it. Avoid using recipes that call for melted marshmallows when preparing fondant at home. The bees’ digestive tracts are disrupted by the cornstarch that marshmallows are coated with. Additionally, light corn syrup and cane sugar can be used. 

How do you prevent fermenting in honey?

Honey can be pasteurized to avoid fermentation by heating it to 145°F for 30 minutes or 150°F for 15 minutes and then quickly cooling it. The yeast spores can be killed this way, but part of the honey’s flavor and smell are lost in the process, so it’s not recommended.

Can honey be dried out?

Yes, by dehydrating the honey. The ideal temperature for drying honey is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Let the honey dry in the unit for a few hours. To ensure that it does not get too dry. Keep checking on it from time to time. Otherwise, if it gets too dry it will get sticky. 

Bottomline

That’s all about how much fondant for bees. We hope fondant feeding will not be as confusing as it was. Though it is a tricky thing, after reading this article it should be clear as day. 

Make sure to not let those bees starve. Because they spend day and night making our favorite honey. Good luck feeding your precious bees! 

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