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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Danville, PA
    Posts
    23

    Default Candy boards/fondant

    My mentor uses these for the winter. This is my first winter with my bees (in PA). Does anyone have a recipe for making my own? DO I need these this first year? Any pointers or past posts that you could direct me to? Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,594

    Default Re: Candy boards/fondant

    Which are you interested in making, "candy boards" or "fondant"?
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Danville, PA
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Candy boards/fondant

    Whichever is healthier for the bees!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,903

    Default Re: Candy boards/fondant

    I think the answer to your question is that both candy boards and fondant are a form of providing emergency feed for the bees, which should not be necessary if the hive was properly prepared for winter. There are times when you check hives in late January and find one almost out of stores. Then you have an emergency on your hands - feed the hive or it will die. Making sugar candy can be messy but if we are talking a hive or two it is the way to go. Bakers' Fondant is available commercially in 50 pound blocks and works well when you have more than a few hives to feed.

    Some people cover the hole in an inner cover and use that as a candy board. Or you can make candy in a mold such as a pie tin and then set the candy directly on the top bars of the hive, just as you would a chunk of fondant. If I were to place fondant or candy this way I would add a rim on top of my box to make room for the fondant/candy.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,594

    Default Re: Candy boards/fondant

    I place chunks of fondant over the center opening in the inner covers. Completely covering the hole. Of course an additional box is needed to house the fondant...

    I have the notches down and top entrances drilled into the boxes.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lititz, PA, USA
    Posts
    710

    Default Re: Candy boards/fondant

    Candy boards are less cooking, but fondant's easier to use IMHO if you have reason to buy it. To make either you really need a cooking/candy thermometer. A candy board is essentially a 1-2" high "box" the same length/width as a hive body (most call this a shim). You seal off the bottom of the shim and mix up water/sugar and cook it to hard ball stage, about 255-265F. Then pour the mixture into the shim and let it cool. It'll set up hard. This is your candy board and can then be put right over the top box of a hive, over or even under the inner cover.

    Making fondant involves doing nearly the same thing except you don't cook it quit as hard (stop at about 240) and you need some corn syrup. You then pour it in a mixer bowl and let it come down to about 200. Then you beat it. As it cools crystals will form but the beating will keep them very tiny. You end up w/a sort of sugar "dough". Chunks of this can then be placed right onto top bars or as has been said, right on the hole in the inner cover. If you have any beekeeping friends that need some fondant and can find a restaurant supply place around, you can order it and split the cost/50lb block up with your friends. Just be sure whatever place orders it for you ensures it only has 3 ingredients: sugar, water, and corn syrup. No flavorings, preservatives, etc. The kind I've used is Dawn Foods Besfond and is a good product.

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