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Thread: candy boards

  1. #1
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    Sep 2011
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    cloquet, minnesota, usa
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    Default candy boards

    does anyone here make there own candy boards? if so how do make them?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Morro Bay, California, USA
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    992

    Default Re: candy boards

    I make fondant poured into large paper plates. The fondant is a little softer than the candy. Go to 240 on a sugar thermometer, and whip it with a cheap hand mixer or paint stirrer chucked to a drill until it cools and whitens. Use a little acid or tartar to invert and turn it to "icing". Seems like going to full "hard ball" candy is more work, more likely to burn, and is harder for the bees to work.

    Under a telescoping cover, the paper plates fit, just gapping the inner up a bit. It settles as they eat it out, which lets you know when they need another plate full. Under a migratory cover you need a shim

  3. #3
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    Jan 2011
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    Athens, OH
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    2,762

    Default Re: candy boards

    I've made inner covers with a 3/4" rim. Holds candy from 10lbs of sugar. Cook to 250, pour it in. Turns hard as a rock. Bees have no trouble eating it.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -H.S. Thompson

  4. #4
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    May 2012
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    Knox, Pa. USA
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    1,272

    Default Re: candy boards

    Quote Originally Posted by JWChesnut View Post
    I make fondant poured into large paper plates. The fondant is a little softer than the candy. Go to 240 on a sugar thermometer, and whip it with a cheap hand mixer or paint stirrer chucked to a drill until it cools and whitens. Use a little acid or tartar to invert and turn it to "icing". Seems like going to full "hard ball" candy is more work, more likely to burn, and is harder for the bees to work.

    Under a telescoping cover, the paper plates fit, just gapping the inner up a bit. It settles as they eat it out, which lets you know when they need another plate full. Under a migratory cover you need a shim
    This works, But let me caution you of not made properly and the fondant is too soft it will run all over the brood nest and kill the bees. be sure you use a proper recipe with accurate amounts of ingredients.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Ankeny, Iowa, USA
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    598

    Default Re: candy boards

    I build my candy boards out of 1" x 4" pine. Then I install 1/2" wire mesh in the bottoms of them. I fold over about 1" of the mesh up into the box and staple it in place from the inside. This keeps the mesh aligned with the bottom edge of the box. I put one sheet of newspaper over the mesh and then I mix up 16 lbs of sugar and a small amount of water......just enough to make the sugar stick together well. I put a pollen pattie on the newspaper and place the sugar on the newspaper. I leave an area about 4" in diameter in the center of the candy board for the bees to come and go. I then drill two 5/8" holes in the front wall of the candy board for an upper entrance. When I install the candy board on the hive, I put 1/4" x 1/4" x 12" wood spacers on top of the frames, to keep the proper bee space between the frames and the wire mesh on the bottom of the candy boards. If this is too confusing, just email me and I will try to explain it better.

  6. #6
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    Jun 2013
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    adair county, kentucky, usa
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    461

    Default Re: candy boards

    Quote Originally Posted by LeonardS View Post
    I build my candy boards out of 1" x 4" pine. Then I install 1/2" wire mesh in the bottoms of them. I fold over about 1" of the mesh up into the box and staple it in place from the inside. This keeps the mesh aligned with the bottom edge of the box. I put one sheet of newspaper over the mesh and then I mix up 16 lbs of sugar and a small amount of water......just enough to make the sugar stick together well. I put a pollen pattie on the newspaper and place the sugar on the newspaper. I leave an area about 4" in diameter in the center of the candy board for the bees to come and go. I then drill two 5/8" holes in the front wall of the candy board for an upper entrance. When I install the candy board on the hive, I put 1/4" x 1/4" x 12" wood spacers on top of the frames, to keep the proper bee space between the frames and the wire mesh on the bottom of the candy boards. If this is too confusing, just email me and I will try to explain it better.
    I use the same method. It is very simple and easy as it requires no cooking. Once you have made the candy boards very little work is required.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Detroit, MI USA!!
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    21

    Default Re: candy boards

    Quote Originally Posted by LeonardS View Post
    I build my candy boards out of 1" x 4" pine. Then I install 1/2" wire mesh in the bottoms of them. I fold over about 1" of the mesh up into the box and staple it in place from the inside. This keeps the mesh aligned with the bottom edge of the box. I put one sheet of newspaper over the mesh and then I mix up 16 lbs of sugar and a small amount of water......just enough to make the sugar stick together well. I put a pollen pattie on the newspaper and place the sugar on the newspaper. I leave an area about 4" in diameter in the center of the candy board for the bees to come and go. I then drill two 5/8" holes in the front wall of the candy board for an upper entrance. When I install the candy board on the hive, I put 1/4" x 1/4" x 12" wood spacers on top of the frames, to keep the proper bee space between the frames and the wire mesh on the bottom of the candy boards. If this is too confusing, just email me and I will try to explain it better.
    I wonder if a board could be used for the bottom so you could pump food in through the front holes in winter to keep the supply going?? If you affixed a tube in the center so the bees had access from the bottom, they could come up and feed as needed?

  8. #8
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    Mar 2012
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    Ankeny, Iowa, USA
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    598

    Default Re: candy boards

    I have only used the candy boards for one year. The bee's in one hive used about 10 lbs of sugar and the other two hives used about 4 lbs. I was able to lift the cover and check them a couple of warm days.

    I am sure that your idea would work if you were using a liquid. Since I was using clumpy sugar, it wouldn't go through the small holes I used.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Vancouver, BC, Canada
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    1,429

    Default Re: candy boards

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenbears View Post
    be sure you use a proper recipe with accurate amounts of ingredients.
    When determining liquid to sugar ratio for cooked sugar candy I was of the understanding that the end temperature was important in determining the "hardness" of the end product...not the ingredient ratio. It will only reach higher temps as the water boils off. Thus anything between 240-250 F would be expected to hold firmly.
    When going Mountain Camp with no heating then I would think dehydrating or waiting until firm plus control of condensation within the hive would be the controlling factors.

    Please correct me if I am wrong...my bees and I will thank you

  10. #10
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    Jan 2009
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    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: candy boards

    Quote Originally Posted by cg3 View Post
    I've made inner covers with a 3/4" rim. Holds candy from 10lbs of sugar. Cook to 250, pour it in. Turns hard as a rock. Bees have no trouble eating it.
    The bees come up through the hole to eat it as long as they can break cluster to do so, but what if the weather is too cold and the sugar is the only food they have left? I put dry sugar on the inner cover around the hole once and they ate it about 1-2 inches around the hole, but would not venture further because they were getting too cold, eventually they starved because they couldn't keep in constant contact with the sugar. I found putting the sugar on a piece of newspaper right on top of the frames themselves solved that problem.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Larimer County, CO
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    501

    Default Re: candy boards

    what about putting the bars/fondant directly on the top bars? seems like it would be much easier for the bees to access, in a similar vein to what JMGI suggested above.
    I'm the dude, so that's what you call me.

  12. #12
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    Jan 2011
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    Athens, OH
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    Default Re: candy boards

    Quote Originally Posted by jmgi View Post
    The bees come up through the hole to eat it as long as they can break cluster to do so, but what if the weather is too cold and the sugar is the only food they have left? I put dry sugar on the inner cover around the hole once and they ate it about 1-2 inches around the hole, but would not venture further because they were getting too cold, eventually they starved because they couldn't keep in constant contact with the sugar. I found putting the sugar on a piece of newspaper right on top of the frames themselves solved that problem.
    Candy side down.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -H.S. Thompson

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN USA
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    685

    Default Re: candy boards

    Yeah, I made a candy board this year. Just some simple wood and a screen mesh with staples, really.
    http://tardisbeehive.blogspot.com/20...g-for-you.html
    Beekeeper since 2013. Read my bee blog at:
    http://harrisonbayhoney.blogspot.com

  14. #14
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    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ankeny, Iowa, USA
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    598

    Default Re: candy boards

    I bought materials for 3 more candy boards last night. $1.62 for a 6', 1" x 4" pine board. $4.99 for 2' x 5', 1/2" mesh galvanized hardware cloth. About $3.28 per candy board + a few staples and paint. Less than $5.00 each.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
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    116

    Default Re: candy boards

    Quote Originally Posted by Detroit Bees View Post
    If you affixed a tube in the center so the bees had access from the bottom, they could come up and feed as needed?
    I've found it best to let the girls have direct access to the candy. If you put a tube in the center, or an access hole in the center, then they may have to break cluster to get to the sugar. They won't. They need direct access without a journey through the hive.

    Any candy I've put on is gone from the middle of the board first, and that's with a hive entrance access on the edge, not the center.

    And, as has been mentioned by others, put the candy side down, or accessible through a screen. It helps on the condensate control, with the sugar absorbing any excess that might otherwise drip back down.

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