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Thread: Hard candy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    McLean, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    102

    Default Hard candy

    This is a dumb question, but will bees consume hard sugar candy, just as that is a hard candy board?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Hard candy

    IMO it is a misunderstanding of the word "candy." I make up fondant which is made with sugar and water and a touch of vinegar. Check out this link for the recipe: http://www.colonialbeekeepers.com/in...tion&Itemid=43

    It is not as hard as a lemon drop or a "hard candy." There is still a bit of moisture in the fondant so the bees can consume it right away. A hard candy might require water to soften or disolve it before it could be used. Fondant placed on the top bars will also draw additional moisture from the colony cluster and sometimes get really soft. A really hard candy on the top bars might absorb some moisture but probably not as much as the fondnant.

    Good luck,

    Pete0
    Bena, VA

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,034

    Default Re: Hard candy

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete0 View Post
    IMO it is a misunderstanding of the word "candy."
    Exactly. Many beekeepers make/use candy-boards, candy frames, and they make the "candy" using standard candy-making methods. But, the difference is ingredients. If I put a candy-board on a colony, I know exactly what's in it.

    Candy boards and such are used primarily for winter emergency feed, when it's too cold for the bees to fly (and void themselves). Store-bought hard candy will likely contain a number of starches and solids that aren't good for the bees, and which they won't be able to poop out since it's too cold to leave the hive. Imagine having a bad case of diarrhea and you can't leave the living room. Messy business.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,668

    Default Re: Hard candy

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete0 View Post
    snip
    I make up fondant which is made with sugar and water and a touch of vinegar.
    I'm going to try a test batch using the following recipe:

    http://candy.about.com/od/fondantcan...ic_fondant.htm

    The photo below shows a fondant that is very similar to that sold commercially in 50# blocks. In my area "Otto Brehm" is the only source that I know of... and the price is getting prohibitive.



    To me, fondant or candy-boards placed above the bees seems to be more practical. A "Candy Frame", like a frame of honey, could be out of reach when it's needed.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Lunenburg,N.S. Canada
    Posts
    281

    Default Re: Hard candy

    I agree with a couple of the posts above.
    # 1-The cost of buying ready-made fondant is getting high.
    # 2-As well, I put a two kilogram patty (between wax paper) right over the top of the hole in my inner covers as insurance (you will need a spacer, I use my inch and a half formic spacers). Bees work up and may find it difficult to move over to get on frames of honey.
    Good advice being offered here.

    Perry

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Huntington,Tx
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: Hard candy

    Is it ok to add about 2 teaspoons of HBH to the fondant and freeze it?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,668

    Default Re: Hard candy

    Quote Originally Posted by wes1945 View Post
    Is it ok to add about 2 teaspoons of HBH to the fondant and freeze it?
    Lemongrass oil has a flashpoint of about 160 degrees F and spearmint's flash temp is lower. I would think that most of the oil would be lost when heated to 235 degrees F.

    Commercial fondant is not refrigerated in the warehouse. Keeping it in a cool place is fine. Or in the back of a hot car...
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

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