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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
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    1,333

    Default Feeding candy boards or cooked sugar bricks in winter

    OK...now I am confused. After searching this forum and posting questions I felt quite comfortable making solid sugar bricks in preparation for winter. I have made about 20 solid candy bricks by combining 5lb sugar with just over a cup of water and heated it to 240-245F without any caramelization. I then poured it in an aluminum cake pan to cool. White, solid 5 lb sugar brick.

    Today I was at a local bee supply and hive care education shop. The owner operator has a Master Beekeeper Certificate displayed on the wall and she states she has been keeping hives locally for 7 years. She runs beekeeping courses, does one on one hive care and inspection, education and extracts honey for folks who don't want to extract their own honey.

    She doesn't feed over the winter. She wraps her hives in tar paper and says good night. I mentioned that I had made up some sugar bricks. She looks horrified and tells me I will kill my bees if I feed it to them over winter! She was going on and on about not boiling sugar syrup...apparently it changes he chemistry of the sugar and kills bees. I must admit I do not boil my 1:1 or 2:1 sugar syrup when I make it up. The sugar bricks I made have no caramelized sugar...just translucent clear syrup that is liquid and hardens when cooled.

    Have I misunderstood several people who kindly shared their tried and true sugar brick recipes (not whipped up like fondant...just poured from the pot)? Is this certified beekeeper instructor two sheets to the wind?

    Clarification would be appreciated...I am reluctant to cook up more until I hear back from folks on this list.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: Feeding candy boards or cooked sugar bricks in winter

    She's obviously had direct or indirect experience that indicates cooked sugar is a problem for bees. I'd like to hear more to understand her concerns.

    My experience with cooked and uncooked candy has been very positive.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,571

    Default Re: Feeding candy boards or cooked sugar bricks in winter

    I don't know everything and I have an Associate of Applied Sciences Degree in Commercial Beekeeping from Ohio State University. Neither does someone w/ a Master Beekeepers Certificate.

    Did she explain what is wrong w/ boiling sugar syrup? Michael Bush should be able to tell you. Ask him or wait for him to reply here.

    If you put these sugar bricks on your hives they will not kill your bees.
    Last edited by sqkcrk; 09-21-2013 at 07:18 PM.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,317

    Default Re: Feeding candy boards or cooked sugar bricks in winter

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    If you put these sugar bricks on your hives they will not die.
    Are you sure that you wouldn't like to rephrase that?

    Or are sugar bricks the secret to eternal life?
    Graham
    -- The real problem is not precise language, it's clear language. - Richard Feynman

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,571

    Default Re: Feeding candy boards or cooked sugar bricks in winter

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    Are you sure that you wouldn't like to rephrase that?

    Or are sugar bricks the secret to eternal life?
    There, is that better?

    Oh, yeah, be careful you don't over feed them. Some folks think that doing so might make them lazy.
    Last edited by sqkcrk; 09-21-2013 at 07:29 PM.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    696

    Default Re: Feeding candy boards or cooked sugar bricks in winter

    Radar - I have some rug rats that might want to agree to sqkcrk that sugar bricks are the secret of eternal life (or at least their short term eternal happiness.).

    sqkcrk - Some folks think that doing so might make them lazy. - -

    don't kick that poor dog again or

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,571

    Default Re: Feeding candy boards or cooked sugar bricks in winter

    Well, WBVC could have read that Thread herself, I guess.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Arbutus, MD USA
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Feeding candy boards or cooked sugar bricks in winter

    Two sheets to the wind. Or maybe put another way, she's one way-- a bit like Smithe St or Nelson St

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Feeding candy boards or cooked sugar bricks in winter

    Please list if known exact "best" way to make the bricks without worrying about caramelizing the sugar? Thanks Marvin

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: Feeding candy boards or cooked sugar bricks in winter

    Candy
    Mix 4 lbs sugar with 2 cups of water and 1 tblspoon of apple cider vinegar. Bring to boil at around 220-238 degrees (soft ball). When boiling, stir continuously. Mixture will get milky and foam up, then will turn clear and foam will stop when it reaches the candy point. (If mixture turns brown, throw it out!) Remove from heat and stir in 1-2 cups pollen substitute and lemongrass oil (10 drops). Mix with blender until white and creamy. Pour into mold. Makes two large bricks. Caution -Burned sugar will kill bees!
    NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Delhi, New York, USA
    Posts
    351

    Default Re: Feeding candy boards or cooked sugar bricks in winter

    Quote Originally Posted by mbwalton View Post
    Please list if known exact "best" way to make the bricks without worrying about caramelizing the sugar? Thanks Marvin
    Hi Marvin, go to this site, they show pics and step by step making of the candy board....very informative...I am doing this for my hives this winter...www.beverlybees.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    carney, maryland, USA
    Posts
    593

    Default Re: Feeding candy boards or cooked sugar bricks in winter

    I used to make "soft-ball" candy, but being lazy I started mixing as much sugar into 1 cup of water as I could, and have all wet sugar. About 8-10 cups of sugar will go into one cup of water. I also add 1 TBSP of apple cider vinegar. This winter I will put this stuff into a 2-1/2 inch deep frame (1X3 at home depot) with 1/2 inch hardware cloth on the bottom with a piece of paper towel to put the sugar on. Set that in a cool dry place for 2-3 days, and it will be a brick. I will also add a pollen patty or 2 with the sugar. The bees will chew through the paper towel and get to the sugar and patty.

    As far as making the bees lazy, I have found that in a dearth the bees do get "lazy".

    Phil

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Feeding candy boards or cooked sugar bricks in winter

    Paul,
    Thank you for the detailed sugar brick making recipe. I will give it a try & store them until I need them. I am assuming in my area that I won't need to add them to the hives until mid to late December.
    Marvin

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: Feeding candy boards or cooked sugar bricks in winter

    The temps may be off a bit as I am quite high up around 7500'. You will be able to tell by watching the liquid go clear.
    NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.

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