Volume 1, Issue 4th Qtr Page 5 How to Make and Use a “Fluffy Fondant” Feeder 2010 Bee School Schedule An easy way to make sugar candy/fondant, by Everett Northern Bee School I learned about this feeding mix the fondant. The result is 2 pieces, 3/4" x 2-1/2” x Davies Career and Technical method from Mel Disselkoen a no-mess, no cooking re- 18-3/8” when he presented it at the quired, easy to handle solu- Note: Adjust the length di- High School, Lincoln November 2009 Indiana tion. All you need is a mensions to fit your regional Wednesday Evenings - Beekeepers’ Association screened feeder frame standard sizes. Most bee March 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31 Meeting at Turkey Run State (some call it a shim), or boxes are 16-1/4” x 19- Park. I loved the idea the empty shallow or medium 7/8” so the above will yield a moment he presented it! super, with a screen attached box that size. Southern Bee School There were several speakers to the bottom. To save on URI East Farm, Building 75, Hardware Cloth to make a leading up to Mel’s presen- equipment many keepers put screen for the bottom: Kingston tation, “Out-Breeding Mites granulated sugar on the and Over-Wintering Bees”, inner cover or directly on the 1/4" or bigger mesh cut to 16-1/4” x 19-7/8” Wednesday Evenings - (www.mdasplitter.com), frames over newspaper, but February17th, and 24th, where Indiana bee keepers screened frame feeders Note: Some call this, “chicken wire.” Although not technically March 3rd., 10th, and17th talked about candy boards. make removal for inspection Candy boards must be quick and easy. They also correct the less stiff chicken popular in this region be- allow the fondant to absorb wire will do the job. You just need a screen material that CCRI—offered by CCRI as a cause there were several heat and moisture from the non-credit course at the War- elaborate top feeders and bees. Your inner and outer will hold the weight of the sugar and whose mesh is wide wick Campus. brood frame feeders pre- covers simply stack over the enough to allow the bees to sented and for sale. I’ve feeder in the normal order. never liked candy boards Drill a hole in your feeder freely pass through. Bee because the “candy” re- and you now have both a space is 1/4" so we need a Are You Winter Ready? quires cooking and the result moisture vent and upper mesh that is at least that wide. is as hard as a rock. I’ve entrance! Just one word of Entrance reducers should Fasteners: often wondered if bees un- caution… Make sure you can You will need nails or screws be in der starvation stress could plug the hole with a wine or staples to nail the frame Mouse guards on muster enough water to dis- cork or cover it up with duct together. Galvanized or solve the candy and even if tape when the bees are fly- coated fasteners are best to Wrap or provide wind they could, why add more ing. Neighboring bees prevent rusting. breaks if exposed to pre- stress by giving them what quickly figure out that there vailing winds amounts to a big lollipop? It is a free source of food Fluffy Fondant: has been said that all bee- available to be robbed, so White granulated sugar There should be 60-lbs keeping is regional! In Rhode only open the holes in the (table sugar), 5-lbs plus of honey Island we use fondant which dead of winter when the Cold tap water, 1-cup is purchased from a bakery bees aren’t flying. How deep Pail in which you mix the Feed dry food if stores are wholesaler should your screened frame sugar and water light (www.bakersniche.net). Fon- feeder be? Mel recommends Stir until mixed. No cooking! Should screened bottom dant is a mixture of white 2-1/2”. This depth holds No hot water. boards be closed? I think so. granulated sugar and corn about 25-lbs. The depth only Make a frame from 1 x 3 I’ve observed faster build-up syrup that bakers use to governs how much or how lumber. You want all the on hives with closed up bottom make cake frosting. We buy little the feeder holds. I like pieces to measure 2-1/2” boards. Others keepers report it in 50-lb blocks and it is the 25-lb capacity because wide (or close) and then cut that bees do just fine with open stiff but moist. The downside it reduces trips to the apiar- the pieces to length 2 @ 16- bottoms. of fondant is the 50-lb ies. Mel also claims that he 1/4” and 2 @ 18-3/8”. blocks. They require muscle no longer uses liquid feed – . Nail, screw or staple these power to handle and cut up ever! He said that the bees pieces together to make a the blocks and the process is will draw foundation just fine box that measures 16-1/4” Golden Pheasants quite sticky! Mel’s formula to using the fluffy fondant. x 19-7/8” overall. make what I call, “fluffy fon- We’ll see next spring! Call John (Note: The measurements that dant” is much easier. So I give you are for standard (401) 364-7431 thanks to Mel, I now have my Materials List size brood chambers. Since winter feeding method down Pine boards or plywood to regional variations come up, to a screened feeder frame, make the frame: so please measure your brood bag of sugar, cold water 2 pieces, 3/4" x 2-1/2” x and a plastic pail into which I 16-1/4” (Continued on page 10) Page 10 RI Beekeepers’ Association Newsletter What To Do If You Sus- pect Foulbrood? Make a “Fluffy Fondant” Feeder, continued Call Jim Lawson! See the side- bar that lists the officers. Jim is (Continued from page 5) Corks can be purchased at mix it! our State Apiary inspector and some hardware stores and will help you deal with the chamber first and adjust my most arts & crafts stores. Any Lay sheets of white paper process of diagnosing and material is fine such as cork towels in the bottom of the measurements to match.) dealing with a myriad of dis- feeder. Mel suggests plain or rubber stoppers. Some eases and pests. In the end, you want a box keepers also use a piece of white paper towels since or “mini-super” that sits on duct tape to close up the there is no imprint whose ink Contact Jim at DEM’s Division top of the brood chamber may be harmful to the bees. hole. Why do you want to of Agriculture, (deep super). And the depth close the hole? It is wise to You could use newspaper so (401) 222-2781 (width of the individual long as it isn’t printed. Some have this option in the early pieces) isn’t critical either. If fall and spring. Hungry fora- art suppliers have plain it is shallower it will hold less gers will smell the sugar in newsprint stock available, sugar and deeper will hold but paper towels are readily Where to Buy Fondant the feeder and attempt to more sugar. You could for rob it. I close up my feeders available in any grocery and Sugar example use a old shallow in the spring and fall to pre- store. You only need one or medium super to accom- layer, but 2-3 layers may be vent robbing, but open them JAR Bakers Supply plish the same results. up in the dead of winter to formed as you overlap 12 Crow Point Road provide ventilation and up- pieces to cover the bottom. Cut a piece of 1/4" hard- Lincoln, RI 02865 per entrance. Choose a hole- The bees will chew through ware cloth 16-7/8” x 19- the paper towels to reach (401) 725-9660 7/8” to match the size of size that works for you and the sugar. You want just Ask for Val your new feeder box (adjust locate the hole in one of the short sides about 1/2" from enough layers to prevent the measurements for regional sugar from falling through differences). Staple the the bottom. I locate the hole the hardware cloth as you hardware cloth to the bottom towards the bottom to allow You can also make your own it to show when the telescop- carry the feeder to your version of fondant. See the of the feeder box. To give hive. Don’t be surprised if you a mental picture, the ing outer cover is placed on article in this newsletter. you find fluffy white paper result will be a sieve when the hive. Center the hole left in the bottom board next JAR also sells granulated sugar you are done! Some people and right. spring. Oftentimes the bees in 50 and 100 lb bags. Get call hardware cloth chicken Make up the “fluffy fondant” spit it out and it falls to the the extra-fine (this is not con- wire. Although this isn’t ex- by mixing 1-cup of cold wa- bottom! Some keepers think fectioners) as it mixes more actly correct it helps to get ter to every 5-lbs of white the bees didn’t eat the readily in water. the idea across. Hardware granulated sugar. Simply stir sugar. One taste will let you cloth is stiffer than chicken the water into the sugar. know that it is simply the wire and the holes are Don’t heat it! Always use chewed up white paper Tom Dalton also has sugar, squares instead of ovals. It white refined sugar (common towel and not the sugar it- Contact Tom at (401) 497- really doesn’t matter which table sugar) not brown sugar self! 3822 one you use so long as the or brown natural sugar. In wire is stiff enough to sup- general “brown” is a bad Pour the fluffy fondant onto port the sugar and the holes color regards sugar syrup the paper towel lined are large enough to allow feeder. You can use a spat- and corn syrup. It may indi- the bees to pass freely cate that the harmful toxin ula to level the mixture with through. Remembering bee hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) the top of the frame. You space, you will need a mesh can “dig” a hole with your is present which can kill your that is 1/4" or bigger. bees (Oliver, 2007). This is fingers to expose the en- trance hole and bottom Now that you know which the infamous toxin that has caused high fructose corn screen to encourage the bees side is the bottom (the side to use the entrance hole. This with the hardware cloth) you syrup to have a bad reputa- is not necessary, but it seems can drill a hole into the tion. MHF is produced from fructose by over-heating like a logical thing to do! feeder that serves both as a moisture vent and upper syrups and can be spotted You can feed pollen substi- entrance. I like to use a 1” as a slightly brown tint in the tute patties with your feeder. diameter drill bit, but any syrup. In any event, you will Put the patties in the bottom opening 1/4" or bigger will not have this problem with of the feeder and then cover suffice. I use a 1” diameter fluffy fondant if you stick to them with the fluffy fondant. because it is easy to block white granulated sugar, cold I start feeding pollen substi- up with a wine bottle cork. water and muscle power to tute in February in Rhode Volume 1, Issue 4th Qtr Page 11 Make a “Fluffy Fondant” Feeder, Recipe of the 2009 - 2010 Meeting Schedule continued Quarter Disselkoen, Mel. MDA Splitter Pumpkin Muffins All meetings are the second Island. Nuc Box. (from Val Allison-Davis) Sunday of the month at 2:00 You should check your feed- <www.mdasplitter.com> unless announced otherwise. ers monthly to determine the 2 cps. Flour rate of feeding. You may Oliver, Randy. “Fat Bees 1-½ tsp cinnamon December 13th: Rocky Hill need to recharge the feeder (I-IV)”. ScientificBeekeep- 1 tsp baking soda Grange, if they eat the sugar. ing.com - Bee Nutrition. ½ tsp salt Christmas Social <www.scientificbeekeeping.c ½ cp chopped walnuts Put the feeder on top of the January 10th: Rocky Hill om> 1 cp pumpkin brood chamber. Which one is 1 cp honey Grange, the brood chamber? Better P.S. Please share this evolv- How to make Creamed Honey ¼ cp vegetable oil said, put the feeder on top ing Apiary Tech Note with 2 eggs, slightly beaten of the cluster of bees so they others and provide feedback February 21st: Rocky Hill ¼ cp milk Grange, only have a short walk up to about usage of the method, 1 tsp vanilla Topic TBD the feeder. Ideally, this will clarity of wording, spelling, be the top box, but it doesn’t grammar, style of writing, Stir together flour, cinnamon, (Third Sunday of February) matter where you place the i.e., anything! Send comments baking soda, salt and wal- March 14th: Rocky Hill feeder so long as it is over to: email@example.com, nuts. Grange, the feeder. The shorter the or to: Everett Zurlinden, Bee- Topic TBD walk the better chance you havin’ Apiary, LLC, P.O. Box In a separate bowl, blend will have that the bees will 364, East Greenwich, RI pumpkin, honey, oil, eggs, April 10th: Location TBD feed. Place your covers over 02818-0364. milk and vanilla until smooth. Topic TBD the feeder in the usual order. Pour pumpkin mixture over (Second Saturday of April) Some keepers place a bur- dry ingredients. Stir until May 16th: Rocky Hill Grange, lap grain bag or Tip: You can wrap your mixed. Spoon into paper Topic TBD Homasote™ board over the hive in a variety of lined muffin cups, filling each (Third Sunday of May) feeder to further control just below the rim. moisture. This is helpful, but materials. The most not necessary, if you drilled common is perforated Bake at 350 degrees for a hole in the feeder and the roofing paper. This is about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Meeting Directions hole is open in the winter. an excellent material, Let cool for 5 minutes before December 13 @ 2:00 pm Reference: but it can be stiff and removing from pan. Let cool Disselkoen, Mel. Presentation leave black marks on completely. Rocky Hill Grange adopted, adapted and ap- your hive. An alterna- Frost with cream cheese 1340 S. County Trail (Rt. 2) plied. Indiana Beekeepers’ tive is Tyvek house frosting if desired. Meeting, November 2009. East Greenwich wrap. This material is Cream cheese frosting: Beat more paper-like, but 8 oz. Cream cheese Take I-95 points north or About The completely durable to (softened) with 1/3 cp honey south. Take exit 8/RI-2S/ the weather and comes until fluffy. Newsletter black on one side. You Quaker Ln (8 from the north, 8A from the south) to East Greetings from the new RIBA can get Tyvek free Greenwich. Merge onto Rt. 2 Newsletter co-editors: Caro- from some lumber lyn Fluehr-Lobban South. Go through the light at yards if you ask them (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Division St. The Grange is on Valerie Allison-Davis for the coverings they use for construction lum- your left just after the shop- (email@example.com). We ber packs such as ping center. want your ideas and contri- butions to make the Newslet- 2x4’s. They throw these ter a means for better com- Rocky Hill Grange covers away and are munication and exchange among Rhode Island’s bee- often willing to give keepers. them to you for a “green” application! We need YOUR help!