Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks
Rod, I started off with 2 cups vinegar and 2 cups water in 25 # sugar. But went to all vinegar (1 quart) two years ago an liked it.
Originally Posted by rweakley
Have you ever tasted bread and butter pickles? That is a strong 50/50 mix of sugar and vinegar. Zippy with lots of flavor. The balance of high sugar and acid content are what give most fruit and veggies their flavor, like tomatoes. I assume the preferred nectar sources are also tasty.
Vinegar itself is really not very strong..just 5% acidity. In plain syrup, I only use a small splash..about 1/4 cup in 5 gallons. But in the sugar blocks, after the vinegar does it's job of inverting the sugar, only the slight acidity, vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, etc are left in the brick after the moisture has evaporated away. The brick is consumed so slowly, the high vinegar content it probably a moot point. but I don't feed the brick in place of honey, I offer it in addition to plenty of natural stores. Which they have so much of, I am surprised they even glance at the brick. But they love it for some reason. I'm not to worried about why. The more stores they save for brood rearing the next spring the better. And like I said in the OP, maybe it is just a placebo effect for the bees too. They feel there is syrup available, even though they don't need it. So they are content. Keep up moral and enthusiasm over the winter months.
And you know the importance of hive enthusiasm in early spring. Might make the difference between just existing or grabbing a gear.
You know how worthless a demoralized hive can be too. Keeping up the enthusiasm and momentum in the hive may be as importaint as many other things, and possibly overlooked with overwintering methods..
Some of these are just my theories, based on observations.
I have only good results with the recipe I posted . But if you are not comfortable with this recipe..just change it to suit your ideas.
Last edited by Lauri; 11-12-2013 at 05:58 PM.
Lauri Miller. VSH Carniolan Hybrids. Glenn & Wild lines.
200+ hives, minimal mite treatments, no antibiotics or meds.