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Offline trace.3820

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Mountaincamp problem
« on: November 28, 2020, 03:30:09 pm »
So one of my hives is 2 deeps and I was planning on doing Mountaincamp on top of them, but when I pulled off the inner cover the top deep was mostly empty so I pulled it off and did the Mountaincamp on top of just the one deep.

Then I realized there were about 3 frames with some honey and bees on them in the deep I removed.  I tried to shake them off but the bees were angry and my smoker died so I just put it back on and figured I?d come back later.

So the Mountaincamp is between the 2 deeps right now.  Should I just pull that one off and not worry about the small amount of honey?

Thanks,
Trace


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Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Mountaincamp problem
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2020, 04:59:50 pm »
Mr. Trace, I would place the honey frames in  the top deep in the middle of the top deep.  Then the sugar on top of the top deep.  My thinking is the bees will slowly move upwards so that is where you want the food.

I would also try to seal the space in between the two deeps.  The bees most likely had the space, between the deeps,  sealed with propolis, bee glue.  When you removed the top deep you broke the seal and cold air can creep in chilling your bees.  You do need some ventilation to avoid condensation in the hive, but how much ventilation is very debatable.

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Offline little john

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Re: Mountaincamp problem
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2020, 06:51:52 pm »
So the Mountaincamp is between the 2 deeps right now.  Should I just pull that one off and not worry about the small amount of honey?

Hi Trace - I'm a bit lost when you talk about the Mountaincamp being between 2 boxes. 'Mountaincamp' was the Internet name of a beekeeper who devised this method of feeding sugar, and if memory serves he used a shim to create room for it - so - is there now a shim between the two boxes ? If not, how have you made room for the sugar ? (maybe I'm being a tad thick today ...)

About 6 weeks ago I found myself in a similar situation of having one box with very little in it at the top of a stack, and so I scarified what little capped honey was in there by running the prongs of a table fork over the caps, then placing that box at the bottom of the stack so that the honey would be relocated. I checked a week later and the box was completely empty, and so it could then be removed.  Personally, I don't like the idea of a box containing so much fresh air being above a brood nest in Winter - or even below the brood nest, for that matter.

It's a bit late in the year right now to be swapping boxes around, but maybe you could try doing that if the weather is ok where you are ?
LJ
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Offline trace.3820

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Re: Mountaincamp problem
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2020, 09:11:32 pm »
Yeah I see where it could be confusing, but I took off the top deep and then put a 2 inch spacer frame where I piled the sugar. Then I decided to put the other deep back on. 

What would you think about scraping that comb and honey and laying it around the sugar then pulling the top deep off?


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Offline beesnweeds

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Re: Mountaincamp problem
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2020, 11:27:14 am »
  Take the top deep off and store the frames with honey and comb for next spring.  Breaking it up and placing it around will just cause a sticky mess that the bees can drown in.  Put a medium box on and lay a sheet of wax or parchment paper down over the bees and put about a 10 lb chunk of fondant on top of it.  I use Golden Barrel fondant.  You can check it every 3 or 4 weeks to see if they need more.  That has been the most successful way I have saved weak hives over the winter.  Then ask yourself why the colony is weak with low stores.  Most of the time it is caused by mites, viruses, or a late supercedure.
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Online The15thMember

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Re: Mountaincamp problem
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2020, 12:38:30 pm »
What would you think about scraping that comb and honey and laying it around the sugar then pulling the top deep off?

I agree with beesnweeds, laying open honey comb around is too messy and dangerous for the bees. 

Trace, how many frames each of brood and honey was there when you put the hive to bed for the winter, and how full of bees was the hive?       
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Offline trace.3820

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Re: Mountaincamp problem
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2020, 06:44:41 pm »
It?s my first year and I got greedy, they filled up 2 supers with honey in less than a month so I took them both in August.  They really seemed to take a hit from that, or maybe part of the hive swarmed. The other hive I have is doing great and I did the same thing at the same time to it.

There were bees and resources on 6 of the frames in the bottom deep in early November. I probably should?ve pulled the 2nd deep awhile ago but I thought they might fill it up with syrup feeding.

I did pull the top deep off today, leaving just one deep with the Mountaincamp sugar on top of it. I was surprised how much they were feeding on it already.

Trace


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Online The15thMember

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Re: Mountaincamp problem
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2020, 08:23:57 pm »
It?s my first year and I got greedy, they filled up 2 supers with honey in less than a month so I took them both in August.  They really seemed to take a hit from that, or maybe part of the hive swarmed. The other hive I have is doing great and I did the same thing at the same time to it.

There were bees and resources on 6 of the frames in the bottom deep in early November. I probably should?ve pulled the 2nd deep awhile ago but I thought they might fill it up with syrup feeding.

I did pull the top deep off today, leaving just one deep with the Mountaincamp sugar on top of it. I was surprised how much they were feeding on it already.

Trace

Presuming you are speaking of 10 frame deeps, 6 frames of bees doesn't sound very strong to me.  I think you definitely made the right decision to get them down to a single deep.  They don't need all that extra space to keep warm and protect.  I don't know what your recommended wintering is like in your area, but as far north as you are it sounds to me like you will need to keep feeding them through the rest of the winter.  I don't have experience personally with mountaincamp feeding, I make up sugar bricks for my bees if they need some sugar, but I've heard that sometimes the bees don't really eat the sugar with mountaincamp, they just remove it.  Keep your eye out for sugar dumped at the entrance, or perhaps consider an alternative method of feeding them (fondant, sugar bricks, etc.).  I personally wouldn't trust mountaincamp with a hive I knew needed food, just because I couldn't be guaranteed they were really eating it, but that's just my opinion. 

Just a thought, although I'd like someone with more experience to confirm whether this is a good idea or not, and it would certainly require a warm day, but if you have frames in that bottom deep that have no bees or stores, you may be able to replace some of the drawn blanks with the 3 honey frames from the top deep.  You'd probably still have to feed them, but it might help them out.  What are your thoughts, more experienced beeks?       
« Last Edit: November 29, 2020, 08:41:52 pm by The15thMember »
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Offline yes2matt

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Re: Mountaincamp problem
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2020, 08:41:27 pm »
It?s my first year and I got greedy, they filled up 2 supers with honey in less than a month so I took them both in August.  They really seemed to take a hit from that, or maybe part of the hive swarmed. The other hive I have is doing great and I did the same thing at the same time to it.

There were bees and resources on 6 of the frames in the bottom deep in early November. I probably should?ve pulled the 2nd deep awhile ago but I thought they might fill it up with syrup feeding.

I did pull the top deep off today, leaving just one deep with the Mountaincamp sugar on top of it. I was surprised how much they were feeding on it already.

Trace

Presuming you are speaking of 10 frame deeps, 6 frames of bees doesn't sound very strong to me.  I think you definitely made the right decision to get them down to a single deep.  They don't need all that extra space to keep warm and protect.  I don't know what your recommended wintering is like in your area, but as far north as you are it sounds to me like you will need to keep feeding them through the rest of the winter.  I don't have experience personally with mountaincamp feeding, I make up sugar bricks for my bees if they need some sugar, but I've heard that sometimes the bees don't really eat the sugar with mountaincamp, they just remove it.  Keep your eye out for sugar dumped at the entrance, or perhaps consider an alternative method of feeding them (fondant, sugar bricks, etc.).  I personally wouldn't trust mountaincamp with a hive I knew needed food, just because I couldn't be guaranteed they were really eating it, but that's just my opinion.     
I agree with 'member on this from my experience. I put dry sugar on every hive that has enough stored. It is to absorb moisture and as an insurance policy if the cluster doesn't move laterally in the box and nee the sugar in early spring. If the bees need feed and I know it, I make invert fondant, like the guy in the following video. It is basically 5:1 sugar syrup with a glug of ACV to instigate the inversion, boil for 20ish minutes and pour onto newspaper lined cookie sheet. It takes a lot of heat to get it boiling so long to invert. But I've pulled some dinks thru this way.



Thanks LJ, I had no idea that "Mountaincamp" was a person, I just figured it was a method invented at someone's mountain camp. ;)

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Offline minz

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Re: Mountaincamp problem
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2020, 05:17:43 pm »
Your not going to want the box above the sugar shim, it will make problems for the movement of the bees. You have two options, pull the box and put the two frames in the freezer as mentioned or place the two frames of honey to the center of the box and place that directly under the existing brood (my choice).
I am assuming that you have a ?rainbow? of honey along the top of the frames and that the bees will have access to it. 6 frames is a fair bit of bees and they will be able to cluster down into the second deep and provide heat to the top. They will want to be more top to bottom than spread out. Either way you better have mouse guards on or you will have a mess.
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Offline trace.3820

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Re: Mountaincamp problem
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2021, 08:19:58 pm »
So just a follow up on this, the hive that was doing poorly I reduced to one deep. My other hive was doing much better and I left 2 deeps. I Mountaincamp?ed them both and checked on them today (Ohio, 37 degrees).

The single deep colony was doing great, they were actively devouring the sugar and I added more.

I didn?t see any bees in the double deep but I just took off the outer and inner covers for a minute.

Think they?re dead or could they be down in the lower box since they had decent honey stores?

Trace


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