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  1. #101
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    rensselaer, ny, USA
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    462

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    @Shinbone:

    I think that Dominos 25-lb sugar bag (do you recall if it was originally a yellow and white package?) is probably the same sugar I use, e.g. cane sugar, not beet. My sugar may be a little more humid because of its storage conditions, but otherwise the same thing. Just try a bit less vinegar and see what happens.

    I have to make another batch soon, and I will do a better job of measuring the sugar in a dry measuring cup, not just approximating it in a liquid measuring cup like I did the first time. (Too lazy to wash two measuring cups!)

    Enj.

  2. #102
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,910

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    I am blessed here. You can store sugar exposed to the air. Not enough humidity to make it clump.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  3. #103
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Bakersville, NC
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Hello,
    Thanks so much for this thread - the bee bricks are exactly what I need to put on a couple of my hives. I made the first batch last night using with 4 lb of sugar and 1/3 cup of vinegar and a very small pinch of citric acid (the kind used for canning). I didn't have electrolytes but used a teaspoon of Honey B Healthy. Dried them in kitchen oven on about 180 with the door propped open a bit. It took about 2 hours for them to dry into bricks perfectly.

    I'm concerned because they smell to me *very* strongly of vinegar! Used 1/3 cup of regular Heinz apple cider vinegar (made from apples it says on jar). Is that strong vinegar smell normal? Noticed it when I opened the zip loc bags for a moment today. Didn't know if I got the proportions off on this small batch. I used the proportions from the recipe Herbcoop posted earlier:


    Shinbone my first came out real bad then I tried again and this one came out perfect

    1 bag 4 pound of sugar from walmart
    1/3 cup of bragg vinegar
    4 teaspoon bee pro
    1/4 teaspoon of the electrolytes

    Mix real good, I used a cookie sheet pan and laid parchment paper down and I spread the mixture on the parchment paper and lightly rolled it out with a rolling pin. I used my pizza cutter to cut 6 blocks. I have a dial oven so I put a meat thermometer in to make sure it was around 170 degrees and then baked for 2 hours and checked. I then left it in the pan on a cooling rack until the next morning then stored them in air tight container

  4. #104
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,595

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Ya, they smell like vinegar all right. Draws the bees like a magnet.
    Have you ever smelled bread and butter pickle brine? It is 50% sugar and 50% apple cider vinegar, along with some spices. Smells very strong, but tastes wonderful.
    If you think about it, the condensation from the hive probably dilutes the brick, a little at a time so they can consume it.

    It's the balance of acids and sugars in fruit and tomatoes that give them the best flavor.

    The way the bees relish the bricks, they seem to enjoy the robust flavor.

    Don't worry about the smell of the vinegar. Really, what else would it smell like with those ingredients? Sugar has no real smell or scent of it's own.

  5. #105
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Bakersville, NC
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Thanks for that reassurance! It seems so unusual that bees would like vinegar. This is a great technique and I appreciate you posting it. I love your Facebook page too Lauri. :-) I appreciate so much all the things I've learned here - folks have been so wonderful to answer questions too.

  6. #106
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    thomasville, north carolina USA
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Blueridge, as Lauri said i
    t does smell like vinegar, I'm surprised that thats the only time you smelt it was when opening the bag. Mine stunk up the whole house "LOL". I'll use a couple of drops of lemongrass in it next time to see if my wife and daughter can handle that smell :-)

  7. #107
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Gloucester County, New Jersey
    Posts
    209

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Small Hive Beetles love apple cider vinegar.
    I assume it won't be a problem in the winter?

  8. #108
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,595

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    I don't have small hive beatle up here, so I can not answer that question.

  9. #109
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Strasburg, Pa, USA
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    I have been looking for a recipe for sugar blocks, I have found several online and on here. My question is some call for the sugar to be cooked to certain temp. and then there are the ones that aren't cooked, which is better for the bees, why are some cooked and others not cooked?

  10. #110
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Bakersville, NC
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    I thought of this too. Am planning to use them only in winter for this reason. Not sure how bad the SHBs are here in the Blue Ridge, but when I lived in Arkansas, had to use beetle traps. Put some pollen patties on a weak hive one spring and the beetles got in it -- yuck!

  11. #111
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,595

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    I made some more blocks today. I have to say, the sugar I stored in the barn for three months has a bit more moisture in it than when I bought it. The C&H paper sacks are not as good as the plastic sacks with handles they used last year. They were more like feed sacks. I used 1/4 less liquid and it turned out about the same. So looks like sugar moisture content may play a part in liquid amount of recipe. Mix is a little dryer, I'll see if it hardens up the same.

    Heres what those plastic sacks look like:



    Here are a few links to the government sugar sale....

    USDA Took $53.3 Million Loss on Sugar-to-Ethanol Sale

    http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-...30-709635.html

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/201...to-ease-glut-1

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...0HE20M20130918
    Last edited by Lauri; 01-02-2014 at 07:47 AM.

  12. #112
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    thomasville, north carolina USA
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Honey View Post
    Small Hive Beetles love apple cider vinegar.
    I assume it won't be a problem in the winter?
    I seen quite a few & I put traps in the hives in Oct - Nov but I haven't seen any on my sugar bricks, my large hive and with my weak hive just bees no sign of beetles

  13. #113
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Rotterdam, New York, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    I'm wondering if anybody thinks the probiotics in this vitamin mix provide a benefit to the bees??

  14. #114
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    883

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    One of them does. Can't seem to find my link at the moment, but, yes according to my research one of the 2 probiotics mentioned is effective on bees.

    Maybe Rader has a link?

    HTH

    Rusty

    edited to add this quote from a post by Michael Bush:

    http://web.uniud.it/eurbee/Proceedings/Diseases.pdf

    "During a study aimed to characterize the intestinal microflora of honeybee larvae
    and adults, we found that some lactic acid bacteria inhibit in vitro the growth of these
    pathogens. These bacteria, belong to the genus Lactobacillus, are normal inhabitants of
    the gut of honeybees and are GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe).
    Strains of this genus have been shown to have important metabolic and protective
    functions in the gastrointestinal tract, interfering with enteric pathogens and
    maintaining a healthy intestinal microflora."
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper & Rusty's Bees ( LC and T)

  15. #115
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    927

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    I tried a little honey be healthy in mine. Anyone see any negatives? Didn't use a lot but it really smells when drying.
    20 hives, 10 years, T and TF, All local stock

  16. #116
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    thomasville, north carolina USA
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Lauri- Thats a whole lotta sugar you have there "LOL"

  17. #117
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Rotterdam, New York, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    I found this about the probiotics http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3299755/
    Last edited by Blocker; 01-02-2014 at 05:04 PM. Reason: making link active

  18. #118
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,595

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Herb, that's only 1/2 ton.

    I used 2 1/2 tons last year. But I made up a lot of nucs and doubled my size from 55 overwintered hives to 130 colonies overwintering right now. All from my own stock, no purchased bees. That's why I'm busting my buns making more equipment to accomodate the colones anticipated spring growth. I'll be forced to sell nucs this year. I can only handle so much growth each year. Many of these colonies are overwintering in four deeps and will need to be split into nucs this spring. Which means I'll need sugar.
    It's all good, but sure keeps me busy.

  19. #119
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    thomasville, north carolina USA
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Thats totally awesome

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauri View Post
    Herb, that's only 1/2 ton.

    I used 2 1/2 tons last year. But I made up a lot of nucs and doubled my size from 55 overwintered hives to 130 colonies overwintering right now. All from my own stock, no purchased bees. That's why I'm busting my buns making more equipment to accomodate the colones anticipated spring growth. I'll be forced to sell nucs this year. I can only handle so much growth each year. Many of these colonies are overwintering in four deeps and will need to be split into nucs this spring. Which means I'll need sugar.
    It's all good, but sure keeps me busy.

  20. #120
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    814

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Just posting photos of my Lauri-Bricks in action as made by the recipe version I posted in Post #82. These LBs were on the hives for 7 days when the photos were taken. Hives #1 and #2 are digging the LB, as posted below. Hives #3 and #4 (no photos) have hardly consumed any of the LBs, though they are working on it. All the hives do have at least some honey, too.

    Hive #1:







    Hive #2:



    --shinbone
    (3rd year, 14 hives, Zone 5b, 5400 ft, 15.8" annual rainfall)

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