Page 1 of 10 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 184
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,602

    Default My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    I ran across these photos and thought I'd post them again.
    I put a sugar block on every hive that is in a single or when the cluster is near the top of the hive.

    25# cane sugar
    one quart cider vinegar
    sprinkle of electrolytes
    1-2 T citric acid (Found in your canning dept)
    splash of pro Health or other scented essential oil of choice

    Mix together about 1/3 of the sugar and vinegar at a time in a five gallon bucket with a large drill and paint paddle mixer. If you try to mix it all at once, you will get uneven moisture distributation.
    Mixture will feel very soft, but not wet or sticky.
    I use a shallow aluminum baking sheet that fits right into my Cabelas food dehydrator. You can use any size pan you want, but be sure your bricks are no taller than your frame extension under your inner cover.
    Here I sprinkled some dry Beepro on the bottom of the pan.Don't do it, it just gets gummy. Sugar will not stick to the pan after it has dried.
    Fill the pan to desired depth with moistened sugar mix:



    Roll out and lightly compress in the pan:



    NOW sprinkle with Beepro or other protein mix if desired. I don't want to force them to eat protein if they don't want to, especially if they can't get out for cleansing flights regularly:



    Be SURE to cut the sugar into block sized before it hardens. You'll never do it after it's hard. It takes about 2 weeks sitting out in the unheated greenhouse to harden.

    But will set up and harden in 1-2 days in the food dehydrator at about 130 degrees:



    You can also let it sit several hours in your oven on low temp

    Here is the brand of electrolytes and vitamins I've been using for two years with excellent results:



    I bought it online at ValleyVet.com (I use about 1/2 tsp per 25# sugar)

    Here is the application and overwintering results.
    Heer is a double nuc with a large volume of bees.



    You can see the sugar block is almost gone. This photo is late winter 2012:



    Even hives that are heavy will still consume this block. I was surprised they would do so, but it didn't worry me they would reserve their natural stores for spring when they started raising brood. And that is exactly what they did.

    Here is a photo of a hive that was just bursting at the seams in a single deep late summer. In Sept. Relucently, I threw on an undrawn shallow and left for hunting for 2 weeks. I was surprised to see by the time I got back they had drawn and filled the center of the frames. So now..dummy..I thought, now they get to go through the winter with empty new frames on the outside. DOH! Here is another good example of feed directly above the cluster. Although the bottom deep was packed and heavy, they still seemed to appreciate the sugar.



    All the hives I put sugar blocks on treated them the same they consumed the middle of the block first, directly above the cluster. The condensation from the cluster forms syrup droplets on the brick. Easy for them to take up. Every hive I had, when checked in late winter has open syrup in cells near the brood nest. With no flow that time of year, I attribute this to the sugar brick.

    Even without experience, I think most people would guess new undrawn frames have no use or insulation value in an overwintering hive. Here is a dorkey video I made to show you, in the event you have drawn frames that are empty available, to fill them with at least something-for R value if nothing else. The sugar recipe is exactly the same for filling drawn comb:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwC8aEA3FOw

    Here is how they take to the sugar filled comb:



    Feed on the top bars, directly above the cluster is very important. I wouldn't use the frames filled with sugar as a reliable feed source overwinter. But it fills up the empty spaces within the hive. And as you can see, do eventually get to it. This frame is in early spring. Below the sugar is new larva and eggs, then pollen. Actually a nicely worked frame. Did they eat the sugar, or haul it out? I don't know for sure, but saw no evidence of sugar granules on the bottom board or entrance area.
    Compare the photo above to a natural, honey filled frame below. You can see they work a sugar filled frame just like a honey filed frame:



    On a closing note:
    Since beekeeping details are critically local, I'll give you a few more details to consider:

    My bees are all very dark Northern bred with Carniolan genetics in the background. I overwinter in large colonies, which appear to be frugal with their stores. You might not be able to get away with overwintering Italians this way.
    I feed my bees fortified syrup and protein patties during late summer dearth. Large hives heavy with stores get just enough syrup to keep brood rearing somewhat active. Nucs get fed regularly. I go into winter with a lot of young healthy bees and heavy hives.

    My climate, although wet, is fairly mild. My bees can get out for cleansing flights on a regular basis. There has been some discussion previously on Beesourse that feeding sugar during winter months causes dysentery. I have never had one case of dysentery, ever. I never treat with fumagillin, ever. I do however put cider vinegar in every feed I provide to them. I go through several cases of cider vinegar a year. I wouldn't spend the $$ if I didn't think I got a benefit.
    Northern colonies have to endure a fairly long winter inactive period.

    Use REAL cider vinegar, I might add. Not Cider FLAVORED vinegar.

    It is possible, these sugar blocks are not necessary. But I don't have the years of experience some do, and feel comfortable with the extra security. I had excellent overwintering results.

    Hope this helps with your winter prep. Others feel free to add recipes and your techniques.

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mille...56954971040510
    Last edited by Lauri; 11-13-2013 at 07:32 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,405

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Great post Lauri !

    If one does not have a dehydrator or greenhouse available, could the pans be put in a conventional oven on low heat to harden the sugar blocks?
    To everything there is a season....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,602

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Sure, Just set it on low for several hours.
    These Cabelas food dehydrators are very handy to have though. I have even put frames of honey/open nectar in them overnight to be sure the nectar has a low enough moisture content to they won't ferment in storage. Just set it low enough so the wax doesn't melt and walk away. They are digitally controlled and temps are consistent. I've even hatched chicken eggs out in them, in a pinch. They are a little spendy, but I see them regularly in the Cabelas bargain basement for half price.
    They are indispensable for dehydrating food and making jerky.


    /IMG]


    And that my friends, is straight from the horses mouth!

    Last edited by Lauri; 12-15-2013 at 05:41 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    782

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    My, what big teeth you have Grandma.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,265

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    How thick are your blocks?
    I tried this way ..used a rack dehydrator..and found it took forever to dry...then it cracked. My trays are about 1.75 inches deep.
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    896

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Use REAL cider vinegar, I might add. Not Cider FLAVORED vinegar.
    Okay, I confess! I don't have a clue what "cider-flavored vinegar" is! To make pickles and a bunch of other stuff I use the ordinary Heinz Cider Vinegar that has the 5% acid level. So is that the "real" cider vinegar or the "flavored" one?



    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper & Rusty's Bees ( LC and T)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,978

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Rusty, Heinz offers vinegar made from apples, and calls it Apple Cider Vinegar:
    http://www.heinzvinegar.com/products...r-vinegar.aspx

    Heinz also offers vinegar made from grain, and calls it Distilled White Vinegar:
    http://www.heinzvinegar.com/products...e-vinegar.aspx


    Then there is this product from a different manufacturer that starts with Distilled White Vinegar, then adds "apple cider flavoring";
    http://www.dutchvalleyfoods.com/prod...vinegar-6-1gal

    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,602

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Actually, in my area, the gallon size Heinz is Apple Cider flavored vinegar. I believe apple cider flavored vinegar is made from grain, while pure apple cider vinegar is made form apples.
    Three Monks brand is the only pure apple cider vinegar I have found.

    "Vinegar with apple cider flavoring, often contains the ingredient natural apple cider flavoring, and may also contain the ingredient caramel coloring. (possibly spelled charamel depending on the brand). Basically you are drinking vinegar that has been flavored and colored to look and taste like apple cider vinegar, as a cheaper alternative, and less acidic alternative to traditional apple cider vinegar. Drinking apple cider flavored vinegar, won't give you the same health benefits as drinking apple cider vinegar will. In fact, you are basically drinking straight up vinegar with artificial flavors and colors added, think of it as a kids juice box with "add in's" in it so to speak."


    (NaturalNews) Apple cider vinegar is often looked upon by natural wellness enthusiasts as a panacea for all good things. Taking a tablespoon or two of it every day is said to cure everything from gout to allergies and more. It's said that it is important that the apple cider vinegar you take be organic and have the "mother" in it to be of most benefit to you. The mother is a stringy-looking ball of matter that either floats at the top or settles at the bottom of a bottle of the vinegar and is the source of its sour, fermented taste.

    Many companies are now creating apple cider vinegar drinks that contain fruity flavors to mask the sometimes harsh flavor the vinegar has on its own. The age of apple cider vinegar as a health tonic is truly here, and while there is only anecdotal evidence that it actually cures many of the things it is said to, there is also plenty of evidence of definite health benefits in other areas.

    Here are some of the best documented and strongest health benefits of apple cider vinegar.

    1. It Helps Ease Stomach Cramps and Diarrhea

    This is a proven apple cider vinegar cure. The probiotics in the vinegar help ease diarrhea and the pectins from the apples in the vinegar ease stomach cramps. Mix a tablespoon or two in water or your favorite juice to get the best results.

    2. It Prevents Indigestion

    Another proven health benefit is its ability to stop indigestion before it starts. Simply mix 1 teaspoon of honey and 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water and sip it slowly a half hour before you eat something you know will cause you indigestion. You'll be surprised that you feel fine after eating!

    3. It Helps Ease Nighttime Leg Cramps

    This old folk remedy has a long history of proof to its effectiveness. Simply mix a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with honey to taste before going to bed and drink it slowly. Those nighttime cramps shouldn't bother you anymore. Do this every night before bed for continuing results.

    4. It Drains Your Sinuses

    Do you have a stuffy nose due to allergies or some other reason? Fix it with a teaspoon of straight apple cider vinegar in a cup of water. The harshness of drinking the vinegar without any flavoring will help drain your sinuses and clear your nose.

    5. It Helps Energize You

    Apple cider vinegar is excellent for beating exhaustion. The amino acids it contains counteract the buildup of lactic acid you can get after exercising or other intense physical activity. It's also full of electrolytes that help eliminate that tired feeling. Electrolytes are the same thing that are in sugary sports drinks. A teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in chilled water has the same energizing effect without the sugar and artificial colors and flavors.

    Apple cider vinegar is also good for treating heartburn, easing the pain of arthritis, whitening teeth, and much, much more. There are entire books written on the miracle of apple cider vinegar. Even though many of its supposed benefits only have folklore to back them up, there is enough concrete evidence of its many benefits that many people take it every day as a general health tonic. Anyone looking to maximize their health could definitely benefit from a daily dose of this amazing amber liquid.
    Last edited by Lauri; 11-02-2013 at 06:30 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    896

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Okay, so I looked at the label and it says it is made from apples! The contents are apple cider vinegar and water. Sounds like that is the real deal, then.

    Thank you both! I learn something new every day!



    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper & Rusty's Bees ( LC and T)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Huntington ,VT, USA
    Posts
    256

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    If you use 2:1 syrup to moisten the sugar, it will harden up in few days rather than weeks.....but then you get no vinegar in the mix

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    AUBURN IN.
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    this is what I use BRAGG --ORGANIC RAW UNFILTERED APPLE CIDER VINEGAR WITH MOTHER --USDA ORGANIC --MADE FROM 100% ORGANIC APPLES --get it at KROGER'S --I can only get it in quarts ----

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    AUBURN IN.
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    LAURI ---how much of the vitamins / electrolytes do U use in one batch ---U say sprinkle some on ---maybe a couple T spoon full

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
    Posts
    695

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    I made sugar cakes last winter, but did not use vinegar, just water and sugar, I watched some youtube videos and did it that way. They did crack, but I use them in small chunks sometimes anyway. I had a lot left over so I'm using them for this winter too - it doesn't look like they have deteriorated at all.

    Yesterday was a pleasant day, tonight it's supposed to get to 17*F, so I popped the lids yesterday and put extra sugar cakes in there, directly on the top frames (with those thin wax foundation papers under it to keep it from crumbling into the hive) thinking this is probably all I'll do for winter feeding. Pretty much ready to close everything up for winter.

    The dysentary (sp?) is a concern. I hope that doesn't happen.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,602

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Heres a short video showing feeding of the bricks late winter. The bees started coming into the rabbit barn and getting into the cracked corn, so I took that as a sign it was time to give them protein. The results showed the timing was good.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsVEP4he82o

    With 25# of sugar I only use about 1/2 tsp. of the electrolyte mix. If I remember right, a full package will make 220 gallons of livestock diluted strength water. I'm careful not to use too much. I started out with just a small sprinkle. Worked up to 1/2 tsp. You can smell the vitamins in it. I think that is enough/not too much.

    You can also add a Tablespoon of citric acid if you have it, Get it in the canning dept of you local store.
    You want to acidify the brick to a better PH, closer to the bees natural feed and to invert the sugar. That might be why they don't get dysentery, compared to the Mt Camp dry sugar/ non acidified brick method

    Here is something I got off Beesource you may find interesting:
    A primary reason for acidifying syrup is to "invert" the sugar. Cane sugar is pure sucrose. Sucrose is a 12 carbon sugar made up of two loosely joined six carbon sub-molecules (fructose and glucose). The acid disassociates the sucrose into the component parts, mimicking the nectar. This is termed by kitchen chemists "invert" sugar, and was used for baking. Most nectars (not all) are slightly fructose rich. The pH of nectar varies widely too (and many nectars, not co evolved with honey bees, have large components of indigestible (by bees) seven and greater carbon sugars. Practically, the sucrose sugar syrup can be inverted with vinegar or any other edible acid, and very little hydrogen ion donors are needed on the order of tablespoon per gallon. Ascorbic acid is made up of glucose (6 C sugar ring) with 2 carbon "tail" and various OH groups tagged to balance the Carbon charge. Many animals and their gut flora can synthesize this from any 6 carbon sugar source. A good reason to use at least some ascorbic acid (or tartaric) in the place of some of the simpler acids is ascorbic is a ring structure, while acetic (vinegar) is a simple unbranched chain. The ring is stable and "recycles" Hydrogen OH groups from solution. This means it is continually recovering donor potential and a little bit can invert an enormous solution much like a catalyst in reaction.

    I don't remember who wrote this so I can't give them credit. Nice info though.

    Even though this sugar brick is a very small amount of feed, aprox one or two quarts of 2:1 equivalent, I believe it is the placement of a slow but consistent syrup availability that keeps the hive in just a little better shape. It might even just be their attitude that gets the benefit. But a colonies attitude or enthusiasm coming out of winter can make a big difference if you want them to build up well and fairly early.
    Here is another typical double overwintered nuc.



    The thing I notice is, my hives come out of the winter with about the same volume of bees it went in with. And the bees are young bees, not those giant old bees. If you look closely, you will see them starting to try to build up in the center of the remaining sugar block. Their numbers were large enough to take advantage of our early spring Maple flow. A hive on the increase in Western Washington state in February/March is not typical. Our season is short here and early increases are essential to the productivity of my season. I never get chilled brood form a late cold snap, because there are plenty of bees in the hives to keep the building brood warm. I can make early splits and populate my mating nucs because I have the volume of bees to do it. I have to keep my eye out for mite loads with early brood rearing, but they have not been a big issue. My worst few hives I had for mite loads this fall were surprisingly, a cut out from a giant cedar tree and two swarms I collected.
    Here the video of the cut out if you are interested:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1u1PMZsDtA

    We haven't worn our full suits for a few years, but I figured when we started hacking away with the chain saw they would boil out of there. They were very quiet. Yes, we got the queen.

    Here is a video of what I am talking about. This was taken March 3, 2012. Remember, I am near the Canadian border. You can see an active colony with capped honey, open nectar and brood.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-ID-ywOEVk
    Last edited by Lauri; 11-03-2013 at 08:53 AM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,978

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    > I don't remember who wrote this so I can't give them credit.

    I believe that would be JWChestnut.
    See post #23 of this thread:
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ar-Syrup/page2
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    rensselaer, ny, USA
    Posts
    495

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    In the first video above you are feding brownish blobs of "pollen patty". Could you, please, share a recipe for that?

    I plan on making some sugar bricks this week as it is too cold now where I am to continue liquid feeding. I use BeeMax styrofoam top feeders. About ten days ago I let them finish the liquid and removed the plexiglass dam that keeps them from drowning in the liquid. I happened to have some opened honey comb left from another project with a fair amount of residual honey in the cells. As an experiment I laid the comb sections on the floor of the feeder and allowed free access to it from within the hive. While the girls were happy to get it, I noticed that after really cold nights I had dead bees in the feeder and on the comb. I think that they got too cold and remained on the honey when they should have gone back down into the hive, but were too honey-drunk to care. So, that's the end of that experiment!

    Back to the idea of feeding sugar cakes laid directly on the upper level of the supers, so I was pleased to see your recipe. Pollen patties later in the winter, right?

    Thanks!

    Enj.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,978

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    See post #15 of this thread for Lauri's protein patty recipe:

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ghlight=recipe
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    896

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    See post #15 of this thread for Lauri's protein patty recipe:

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ghlight=recipe
    Both the recipe in this thread and the patty recipe in the thread above are heavy with apple cider vinegar. Now, I'm not the brightest bulb on the string, you understand, but I am troubled by this a bit. The object is to have "fat bees" coming into spring, right? Because they need something they store in their own body fat to help feed the spring brood, right? Except ACV is supposed to be this great fat FIGHTER that encourages leaner bodies in humans. So isn't a heavy usage of ACV actually counter to what we are trying to do, namely have "fat bees" coming into spring?

    I'm not suggesting we not use ACV at all (there's a lot of good stuff in it). Rather, I am wondering if we shouldn't be using it in smaller quantities?

    Like I said, I'm not the brightest bulb out there, so maybe I am missing something vital here. Thoughts anyone?

    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper & Rusty's Bees ( LC and T)

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Mirabel, Québec, Canada
    Posts
    423

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Hills Farm View Post
    Both the recipe in this thread and the patty recipe in the thread above are heavy with apple cider vinegar. Now, I'm not the brightest bulb on the string, you understand, but I am troubled by this a bit. The object is to have "fat bees" coming into spring, right? Because they need something they store in their own body fat to help feed the spring brood, right? Except ACV is supposed to be this great fat FIGHTER that encourages leaner bodies in humans. So isn't a heavy usage of ACV actually counter to what we are trying to do, namely have "fat bees" coming into spring?

    I'm not suggesting we not use ACV at all (there's a lot of good stuff in it). Rather, I am wondering if we shouldn't be using it in smaller quantities?

    Like I said, I'm not the brightest bulb out there, so maybe I am missing something vital here. Thoughts anyone?

    Rusty
    I don't think anyone's trying to get obese bees. I don't think it's even possible to accomplish such a feat. "Fat bees", I believe, is just a poetic way of saying "well-fed" or healthy. I can't claim to read into the minds of the people who shared their recipes, but I've heard of a number of reasons for using apple cider vinegar, such as staving off fermentation and adding essential minerals. There's another thread that talks a lot more about vinegar which you might find interesting.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    896

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    "Fat bees" refers to this quote from Randy Oliver:
    Bees not only store pollen and honey in the combs, but they also store food reserves in their bodies. This is done mainly in the form of a compound called “vitellogenin.” vitellogenin is classed as a “glycolipoprotein,” meaning that is has properties of sugar (glyco, 2%), fat (lipo, 7%), and protein (91%) (Wheeler & Kawooya 2005). Vitellogenin is used by other animals as an egg yolk protein precurser, but bees have made it much more important in their physiology and behavior, using it additionally as a food storage reservoir in their bodies, to synthesize royal jelly, as an immune system component, as a “fountain of youth” to prolong queen and forager lifespan, as well as functioning as a hormone that affects future foraging behavior!
    And here's a picture of it:
    http://www.scientificbeekeeping.com/...fatbees1-2.jpg

    And what I am asking is if ACV is touted as useful in weight control:
    A 2009 study on mice showed that consuming acetic acid (the active component in ACV), upregulates the expression of genes for fatty acid oxidation enzymes in the liver causing a suppression in body fat accumulation.[5]

    Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/apple-c...#ixzz2kCrxA5dh
    ...then are we undoing the vitellogenin accumulation in our overwintered bees when we add a lot of apple cider vinegar to their winter diet?

    Since I don't have a clue of how to find the answer to my question, I naturally asked it here, since there are so many people here who actually know this stuff!



    Rusty
    Last edited by Rusty Hills Farm; 11-10-2013 at 09:38 AM.
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper & Rusty's Bees ( LC and T)

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads