Friday, December 17, 2010

Preliminary Fondant Results......

...Are not good.  I placed the fondant, while in a one-gallon container, upside down on some newspaper on the uppermost top bars.  The fondant was very firm and my expectation was that the bees would eat through the newspaper and get to the sugar.

My inspection proved otherwise.  The fondant had melted completely and had puddled first on the newspaper and then down through the hive, draining through the ventilated bottom board.  I can only assume that the bees had generated enough heat and moisture to melt the fondant into that gooey mess.  It has been very cold here, in the 20's, so heat outside the hive ought not have been the cause.

On my smallest hive where I place some more firm fondant I also saw significant moisture on that newspaper and some very still bees in on the fondant.  Some of this moisture could have been the result of snow-melt from yesterday's storm, I just don't know.

I placed the lemon-spiked sugar on the final two hives today and two bees came right up to it, so perhaps the infusion of zest will help.  I will check on their progress with the sugar in two weeks.

I have one more batch of the runny fondant and may place it RIGHT SIDE UP in the hive and see if they take any of it.



  1. Baking fondant has other ingredients than home made, which makes it hold together better than a home made product. Sounds like maybe there wasn't enough ventilation at the top of the hive, and the condensation dissolved the sugar? I always prop the top open a bit with a pencil sized stick to prevent this. Glad to see more folks beekeeping in DC.

  2. I think you are probably correct and I did place a shim under the top at this last inspection. There were bees devouring the fondant-soaked newspaper so at least the food was acceptable.

    I'll check in on them again, weather permitting, after the new year. Thanks for your support.

  3. Hi Jeff,

    Just found your site via a friend. Am a long time resident of the city - but am keeping my bees in So Md for now. This is my second year and the girls are doing well. I'd like to keep a hive or two in the city. If you learn of someone with a yard or roof who wants to host - I'd be willing to work with them. I'm in NW.

  4. That's great that you are local! And supporting our mission!

    As the word is getting out (slowly) about local beekeeping I am getting more inquiries that will hopefully translate into actual installations. I could really use the help as this is a hobby, not a career. As new opportunities fruit I will report them here and please feel free to contact me a Finally, TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS!