Page 5 of 10 FirstFirst ... 34567 ... LastLast
Results 81 to 100 of 184
  1. #81
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    thomasville, north carolina USA
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauri View Post
    If you use a bit of Lemongrass oil or Pro Health..your house will smell great!
    Lauri, I need yours or anybody else that can help.
    I just bought these 2 Pure Essential Oil Lemongrass & Spearmint
    100% Pure and Natural, Undiluted
    http://www.wfmed.com/lemongrass-choice-up-to-32oz/
    My question is on the lemongrass, it has a note on the top of the bottle saying "For external use only, keep away from children"
    For external use only, can the bees can still consume this without issues?
    Now the Spearmint doesn't have that warning on it, neither has them listed aromatherapy so just making sure before using on the girls... Both from WFmed
    Thanks

  2. #82
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    861

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    My revised 1/3-batch recipe, below, is an improvement, but still coming out a little gooey on the bottom where extra vinegar seems to collect:

    19 cups granulated sugar (i.e. 8.3 lbs)
    1.3 cups cider
    2 tsp citric acid
    0.5 tsp Honey-B-Healthy
    (I went simple and left out the electrolytes)

    Baked at 170F for 8 hours. Allowed to cool overnight.


    I did apply cakes made by the above recipe, and in the hives where the cluster was near the top, the bees had covered half the cake before I had the inner cover back in place. They like it! But, it would be easier to work with if it was less sticky and gooey.

    For the next batch, I am going to cut the vinegar portion in half. Plus, I may be over-heating it, too, and will revise to 140F for 4 hours.
    --shinbone
    (3rd year, 14 hives, Zone 5b, 5400 ft, 15.8" annual rainfall)

  3. #83
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,622

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    This thread has been interesting to watch unfold.


    If you change the recipe or cook it, it will not come out the same. Bee Pro is not an ingredient in the blocks. It is an option to sprinkle on TOP. If your bees can't get out regularly for cleansing flights, you don't want to force them to eat solids. Most likley California or Florida are the only places you can feed solids this time of year in the USA.
    This is a NO COOK recipe. it is dried or dehydrated. Cooking may melt the sugar and give you a big lump of goo.

    If you put the moistened mixture directly in the hive without drying it first, you will be putting far too much moisture in the hive during the cold winter months. It's the natural condensation ON the hardened DRY block that makes the tiny droplets of syrup available to the bees. Sugar mix that is already moist will simply ADD moisture and condensation to the hive interior.

  4. #84
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    thomasville, north carolina USA
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    It's been cold at night but parts of the day here in NC have been sunny in the 50's, yesterday afternonn both my hives had activity going in and out. The bee pro i put in my mix isnt really a lot, i figure what they get to eat it'll hold them better over the cold & rain days they can't get out.

  5. #85
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    thomasville, north carolina USA
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Bee candy just made.jpg
    This is what mine looked like after I finished it

    large hive picture # 2.jpg
    This is what it looks like after 1 week in my large hive, I added 1 more brick in this one last night

    small hive after a week.jpg
    after 1 week with my small hive

  6. #86
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,622

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Yup, that's how they eat it. Middle first, right above the cluster. This block needs to be pushed together to keep it's location directly above the center of the cluster.
    It's great for singles that have no feed to move up to. This is another late mating nuc I'm overwintering. Approx. temp during this photo was 45 degrees.



    These colonies take the tiny syrup droplets and store them in the comb right where they are clustering. Makes it unnecessary for them to move onto other feed within the hive. Critical if it is too cold to break the cluster to move. Location of the sugar block is critical. It must be directly above the cluster with immediate access. Not above a barrier, like an inner cover or newspaper.
    There is a small microclimate directly under the sugar block that the bees love. It captures some warmth of the colony with a little bit of syrup..

    Disregard that old left over protein patty you see on the right. Just something I didn't take out of the hive in fall. They were stilll working it at that point so I left it in.
    Last edited by Lauri; 12-28-2013 at 04:35 PM.

  7. #87
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Durango, Colorado
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Thanks for the recipe. Very close to what I currently do for my bees. It is funny to read the comments.

    Looks like we have a similar philosophy - build bees in the late summer dearth. When the local Bee Club President came out to see my hives, she was shocked by the number of bees in my hives. She thought the pollen patty and late summer feeding was going to harm the bees in that they would have too many to feed through the winter. I looked at it like this - if something happened late in the season such as loss of queen, the colony would have the resources available to create a new one. I do offer supplemental feed in the way of blocks in the winter, just in case, as insurance to keep them from starving. We'll see if my approach is a good one - three years and I'm still learning.

    Hope the bees keep me.

  8. #88
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,622

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    The thing is, even in a hive that has plenty of stores, the bees live off the little bit of syrup the block provides and they leave the honey for rearing brood in spring. My biggest problem is, come spring, some hives are honey bound. But that is a 'problem' I can easily rectify. I'm going to rearrange and checkerboard the big hives anyway. I just remove excess honey, make nucs or give to light hives.
    I'd like to have more empty comb for checkerboarding, but my fear or uncertainty of hives starving overrides allowing them to Just have enough stores to make it through the winter.

    This is my third year of using the sugar bricks. I see the outcome evey spring and get a better feel for who needs them and who doesn't. They would ALL relish them, no matter how big and heavy the hive, but they are a little time consuming to make and not necessary for all.

    None of my hives are light going into winter, so only the single deeps and nucs get the blocks this year.
    Last edited by Lauri; 12-28-2013 at 04:26 PM.

  9. #89
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Durango, Colorado
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    This is the the first year I have added blocks and noticed yesterday that two out of the four colonies have eaten most of their block already! Little pigs! The other two hardly touched theirs. I'm cool making the blocks for my small yard.

    I can handle a honey bond situation in the spring.

  10. #90
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    891

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauri View Post
    This thread has been interesting to watch unfold.


    If you change the recipe or cook it, it will not come out the same. Bee Pro is not an ingredient in the blocks. It is an option to sprinkle on TOP. If your bees can't get out regularly for cleansing flights, you don't want to force them to eat solids. Most likley California or Florida are the only places you can feed solids this time of year in the USA.
    This is a NO COOK recipe. it is dried or dehydrated. Cooking may melt the sugar and give you a big lump of goo.

    If you put the moistened mixture directly in the hive without drying it first, you will be putting far too much moisture in the hive during the cold winter months. It's the natural condensation ON the hardened DRY block that makes the tiny droplets of syrup available to the bees. Sugar mix that is already moist will simply ADD moisture and condensation to the hive interior.

    I use 185 in the oven to get it dried out in 2 hrs. At this temp it's like a super charged dehydrator VS cooking it. I had WAY TOO MANY to get made and need them TOO SOON to wait for them to dehydrate naturally and I didn't have a big dehydrator to get it done that way. I did have some I did in my gas oven and the thermostat must have broken, because they did melt into a goo, but those done in a new electric over with a good thermostat at 185 turned out fine. I think if you don't get the ratios right and have a little too much vinegar you can end up with it being a little gooey no matter what you do, so a little less that called for is better than a little too much as far as the vinegar is concerned.

    PS My bees LOVE these. All my hives will probably get these from now on (none of my hives tend to be heavy going into winter because of splitting and robbing pressure).

    Thanks again Lauri

  11. #91
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,622

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    You are very welcome. Glad you all liked them too.

    They've worked great for me. Bees love them, possibly for reasons I have yet to realize.

    Give them a sugar brick and they are content.
    Makes the beekeeper a little content too

  12. #92
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    861

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Lauri - Thanks for starting this thread, sharing your recipe, and your continued input. I know you use a dehydrator for your sugar bricks, but I don't have one and needed bricks faster than air drying would provide, thus my use of the oven. BTW, could you comment how you came to add the electrolytes to the recipe?

    herbcoop - could you post your finalized recipe and preparation method? Thanks.
    --shinbone
    (3rd year, 14 hives, Zone 5b, 5400 ft, 15.8" annual rainfall)

  13. #93
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,622

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    If I was going to use an oven to dry the bricks, I'd set it on about 130 and leave it overnight with the oven door cracked. (Please don't burn you house down. A new battery in the old smoke detector might be a good idea. ..Just sayin ) I've seen folks do this on youtube and it seems to dry the bricks well.

    I started adding electrolytes when I observed the bees sucking compost tea out of the big drain holes in the fruit tree pots the last few years. They almost swarm around these holes, removing some of the soil, even though there is plenty of water resources on the place. I assumed they were after minerals, electrolytes or enzymes of some kind. I started adding the electrolytes with vitamins to syrup, patties and sugar blocks to fortify them. I started out with a very low dose and gradually increased until I felt it was sufficient without being too strong. The bees don't go after the drain holes near as much since I started doing that. This brand of electrolytes is a multi species formula, non specific to cow or swine. It had a high level of sugars and acids compared to other brands.



    Here is something new to me someone suggested as a suppliment. "Micronized Azomite"

    This naturally mined, volcanic mineral has over 66 minerals and trace elements that are important for plant nutrition and growth. It improves depleted soils. Apply with compost, humus, manures, or other fertilizers to provide additional levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Will not burn plants.

    http://www.7springsfarm.com/azomite-...d-powder-44lb/

    They used it in feed, but I was going to use it to top dress my fruit trees in pots, water them and let the bees take up the liquid from the drain holes. The soil will filter out any solids. I'll to a test to see if the bees are more attracted to these pots VS the other unfortified ones. I'm very careful about feeding bees. I wouldn't personally mix this product with feed directly.

    I grow fruit trees and blueberry bushes in pots for another home project. (Like I need more things to do)





    These are 8 year old "Duke" Blueberry plants in 25 gallon pots. All these plants are potted in a mix of composted horse manure and peat moss. The Micronized Azomite might just be a good addition to that mix and give the drainage juice that "Starbucks" appeal.
    Last edited by Lauri; 12-28-2013 at 08:15 PM.

  14. #94
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    charleston, wv, usa
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    For those who are having problems with gooeiness, you could make the recipe for sugar cubes using vinegar instead of water. The recipe calls for 1 tsp of liquid for 1 cup of sugar, scaled up that's 1 1/4 cups of liquid for 25# of sugar. Mix well and mix some more to moisten every crystal and _pack_ into your pans and score. No need to dehydrate, they set up overnight (I don't use pans, I use frames, so bottom is not confined), might need to put another pan on top and invert to check the bottom.
    To achieve the acidity that Laurie is using, you might use more ascorbic acid mixed into the dry sugar and you can mist the hardened blocks with vinegar, allowing it to dry between applications.
    Try the 1 tsp liquid to 1 cup sugar to convince yourself.
    Last edited by HIVE+; 12-29-2013 at 08:31 AM.
    "SERENITY is realizing that the bees know what they are doing, even when you don't..."--thenance007

  15. #95
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    thomasville, north carolina USA
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Shinbone, i did already look at the last post on page 4. If you have any questions let me know

  16. #96
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
    Posts
    527

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Lauri, would you mix & spritz litely the HBH on top of brick?

    HIVe+, you are saying, no H2O, only ACV?
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  17. #97
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    charleston, wv, usa
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Lakebilly,

    you are saying, no H2O, only ACV?
    Yes, that's the way I mixed my last ones up and they did fine. I pmed Chemguy about concentrating vinegar, trying to get all the goodness of Lauri's recipe into the small amount of liquid I needed, but it's time consuming, at least the way I did it.
    If inverting the sugar is the goal, remember Chemguy said the vinegar molecule's catalytic power is not used up, and IMO, the moisture for the reaction will be supplied from condensation.
    "SERENITY is realizing that the bees know what they are doing, even when you don't..."--thenance007

  18. #98
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Cloquet, MN
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    The best bet in Lauri's sugar brick recipe is to follow it to the letter. It can be halved and quartered if you don't have that many hives, but if its gooey, you either cooked it, or used too much ACV. The non cook part makes it easier to manage...no candy thermometers,,,etc.

  19. #99
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    538

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    My girls are still grooving on the first set of bricks I put in last weekend.

    Yesterday I cleaned the bottom of the hive to remove dead bees (It's very cold here and I use a wooden entrance reducer that gives the morgue beesa lot of work to remove the corpses, so I help them out.) I also cleaned off and reinserted the sticky boards underneath my screened bottoms.

    What I noticed, however, is that each hive had about half a cup of sugar debris that had fallen off the bricks, or been removed by the bees for some reason. Has anybody else seen that? It's not a big percentage of the bricks, and maybe if I ran solid bottoms the bees would be gathering it up from the floor for later consumption (ick!). But I would like it better if they ate it all, right from the brick. My bricks are quite hard when I put them in.

    In contrast to Laurie's (PNW) winter climate, I am (in northeastern NY) colder and considerably drier. So I'm wondering if due to the hygroscopic nature of sugar, her bricks stay slightly more humid than mine, which may dry out too much around the edges and tops. Hence I may get more crumbliness.

    What is remarkable, nonetheless, is the bees' demeanor change (I hesitate to say the word "mood", even though that's what it seems like to me, their beekeeper) when the sugar bricks are in the hive. They are just mellow. When I was working around them yesterday: repeatedly poking a stick in under their cluster to scrape out the dead bees; shining bright lights in with a mirror to see what I can see; moving the stacks slightly to reconfigure their insulation panels, etc. They would peek out, or a few guards might fly out to land on my hands then just cruise back in when they'd satisfied themselves all was OK. I fed syrup in the fall and they weren't like this. It is very pleasant to work such calm and content bees.

    @Shinbone: I wouldn't reduce the vinegar by half next time, I'd reduce it by ONE-QUARTER. In other words just use 1 cup, instead of 1.3 cups. I used 1 cup vinegar for 14.1 very well-packed cups (so probably somewhat more than the nominal 14.1 cups). Just put of curiosity could you describe what kind of sugar you are using (beet/cane/unspecified? and packaging and size and pre-use storage conditions?) I am using Dominos Cane from 25-lb coated, woven polypropylene bags that are stored in a slightly humid and very cold environment (my unheated larder which has a wooden floor set directly over dirt - this is a Pre- Civil War house with all the latest mod. cons., c. 1840.) No matter how you made it, I'm sure your girls are loving it!

    Enj.

  20. #100
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    861

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    enjambres - Thanks for the suggestions. To answer your questions:

    I am using white granulated sugar purchased about 6 months ago and stored since then in my house in a sealed plastic container sold for storing pet food kibble (think big "Tupperware" container). I don't know the source of the sugar before processing. The sugar originally came in a 25 lb paper bag from my local supermarket. I think the brand was "Dominos."
    --shinbone
    (3rd year, 14 hives, Zone 5b, 5400 ft, 15.8" annual rainfall)

Page 5 of 10 FirstFirst ... 34567 ... LastLast

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