My recipe/method for sugar blocks - Page 10
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  1. #181
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by threepingsthree View Post
    In the original post there is a picture of a dehydrator I think. What brand / model is it?
    In Lauri's post #171 she mentions using a Cabelas dehydrator.
    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...or#post1101348


    I think you will find it here: http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/searc...tem1=IK-515819
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

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  3. #182
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Lauri...which make/model of dehydrator are using for your sugar blocks? Is the same as the Cabelas one you mention...it looked different in the photos.

    Thanks
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  4. #183
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Yes Janne, it is the Cabelas dehydrator. They come in black now but otherwise are the same commercial type.
    I did get your message by the way. I've just got not time to be on the computer much..too busy right now. I'll get back to you ASAP, but it will be a while.
    Lauri Miller.
    Carniolan Hybrids. Glenn, Latshaw & Wild lines.

  5. #184
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauri View Post
    Yes Janne, it is the Cabelas dehydrator. They come in black now but otherwise are the same commercial type.
    I did get your message by the way. I've just got not time to be on the computer much..too busy right now. I'll get back to you ASAP, but it will be a while.
    Thanks Lauri...no rush my old dehydrated simply doesn't cut it with racks of moist sugar...but not certain where I would stash one the size of yours especially when it is a once a year deal for me as I don't dry out veggies etc very often.
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  6. #185
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    Cordova, TN, USA
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    I looked but didn't see an answer to this. I have kept some blocks frozen that weren't used last year. Is there any downside to using them? I mixed in the Megabee into the blocks... THanks Rick

  7. #186
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    Great Falls Montana
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Those blocks are pretty well two saturated a sugar to be successfully infected by anything. They would be perfectly safe if you hadn't frozen them. Please bring them up to room temperature before putting them on your bees.

  8. #187
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    Elmira, NY
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Dup

  9. #188
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    I just attempted to make my first block this way. I put it into the oven to dry, apparently the lowest setting was too hot, the sugar melted into this block that looks like firm honey. Is this ok to give to the bees? It is firm, although I can slowly deform it. It tastes great though.

  10. #189
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    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    @Maudbid,

    No! Do not give the melted sugar to your bees if it has turned brown or even tan. It has carmelized and would now be harmful to them, the same way that carmelized sugar syrup can be harmful.

    OTOH, if you don't have a lot of other ingredients in it, it's well on its way to being a caramel syrup for your banana split or your creme brulee.

    Enj.

  11. #190
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    It is not brown or tan, it is the nice golden color of 2:1 syrup. My gut is telling me it is not worth the chance, your advice confirms it.

    It is really great tasting, he apple cider vinegar and citric acid have given it a lemony flavor. With the vitamins and electrolytes it would make a healthy desert.

  12. #191
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by maudbid View Post
    I just attempted to make my first block this way. I put it into the oven to dry, apparently the lowest setting was too hot, the sugar melted into this block that looks like firm honey. Is this ok to give to the bees? It is firm, although I can slowly deform it. It tastes great though.
    What temp did you attempt to dry it on? The raw mix is somewhat golden because of the addition of the cider vinegar & elctrolytes. They cook/boil the heck out of sugar mix's to make fondant,etc. Heated sugar is not the same as overheated honey. I doubt you actually caramelized your sugar on a low oven setting.
    But if you think it has been caramelized, don't use it.

    My concern would be the gooy mix would oose down between your frames eventually. You would probably be better off turning it into syrup and starting over.

    There is a fine line with the liquid..a little too much and you can get goo, too little and the brick won't solidify and will stay crumbly. If you cook it, it will not turn out the same as the OP.

    The beauty of these blocks, when done right and they have the proper texture and solidification, is that they are so easy to handle out in the field..to slip in here or there on hives that may need them (as long as you already have a feeding rim in place). Especially when weather is bad.

    They are quick to make, but they do take drying time. You have to think ahead for your winter needs.

    Heres a photo of a brick I just made that was just air dried. I can't use my dehydrator yet, because me bees are still active and my dehydrator is in my greenhouse. They try to get in there when they smell that mix and it is a death trap.
    If you compare the block to the white insulation between the hives you'll see it is a yellowish color.






    The mating nuc shown above is an on going experiment.
    This mating nuc was a triple challenge. Laying workers, old virgin & very late summer mating.
    And now for a fourth challenge, it has no stores going into winter.

    It had previously developed laying workers and the comb was quite ugly. I installed a 12 day old virgin queen August 28th, closed them up and let them have at it. (The old virgin was intentional to see just how old they could be and still get mated)

    They actually did very well for a while. The queen was mated well even though she was older and it was so late in summer. The bees repaired the comb that has been ruined by the laying workers. They reared a good crop of worker brood.

    But, and of course it makes sense, when the older bees died off the younger bees were left, they had no forager force to bring in feed. (Those older bees were REALLY old, because they had been queenless long enough to develop laying workers)
    This small colony (Has a decent population but is all sucked down from the cool air exposure) They are healthy and young, but they have almost no stores. Hive is light as a feather.

    I could distribute the frames & bees to other nucs, but it is a good chance to see just how good these fortified sugar blocks really are.
    I gave them a block, as you can see here and closed them up for winter. I'll recheck them in a couple weeks and replace the block if needed. (Since they are so low on stores, It's possible they'll go through the first block in record time)

    If I offered syrup now at the end of October, they may or may not take it. Nigh time Temps forecast to be in the 30's soon. But for the sake of the experiment I will only give them the block.
    I will shake some dry BeePro on top the block however-since the weather is mild and there IS still time for them to take up a bit more protein-just to feed that bit of brood they currently have. NO protein during winter, unless our weather is really wacky and they are activly rearing brood. I just wasn't prepared with the beepro when I took this photo.
    That will be the extent of the supplimental feeding.
    Last edited by Lauri; 10-30-2014 at 08:10 AM.
    Lauri Miller.
    Carniolan Hybrids. Glenn, Latshaw & Wild lines.

  13. #192
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    I like sugar blocks. They're easy.

    This winter I'm putting a single medium hive (basically a nuc - started in August) over an existing hive using a double screen board. Has anyone had any trouble checking on or putting sugar blocks in a hive that's under a nuc/single? Maybe you just swing that single right off the top. I don't know how easy it is to tip it and slide a sugar block into the top of the underneath hive.

  14. #193
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    AUBURN IN.
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    LAURI --do the bees use the sugar block for adding store or just for eating

  15. #194
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    I see in some of Lauri's pics there is a screen on top of the feeding shim and was wondering why , is it so bee's can't fly up when checking the sugar bricks or is there another reason .

  16. #195
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by laketrout View Post
    I see in some of Lauri's pics there is a screen on top of the feeding shim and was wondering why , is it so bee's can't fly up when checking the sugar bricks or is there another reason .
    Personally I use these as inner covers. I like being able to check on the hive without really disturbing the bees. When I feed syrup, I just sit the jar on the screen. I do the same with a water jar in summer so they don't have to go hunting for a water source. But I'm in Alabama, so a screened inner cover works here without helping the SHBs. Solid inner covers just give them one more place to hide.

    HTH

    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper and Rusty's Bees.

  17. #196
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Rusty do you use a quilt box .

  18. #197
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Lauri mentioned in one of the posts here not to feed any solids in cold climates and I believe she was referring to pollen substitutes as the bee's can't get out for cleansing flights . Can cider vinegar in any way hurt the bee's that can't get out on a regular basis or can they handle it in the colder climates .

  19. #198
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    FWIW, I like the screened inner covers for three reasons!

    1. holds the floor of the quilt box off the supers so the bees cannot propolize the floor (which in my case is burlap) or the quilt box seams themselves...no prying apart cold boxes in the cold weather, the quilt box slides off easily.

    2. can check the bees quickly without worrying about guards flying out and either stinging me or getting lost in the cold

    3. creates a small clear space in which to place the feed block/sugar

    The bees will come up and feed on the sugar block/sugar on any day that is even close to mild. They can migrate up the centre of the hive in the warm column of air rising off the cluster. I don't think they store that sugar as honey, but since they don't tell me what they are doing.... : )

  20. #199
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by laketrout View Post
    Lauri mentioned in one of the posts here not to feed any solids in cold climates and I believe she was referring to pollen substitutes as the bee's can't get out for cleansing flights . Can cider vinegar in any way hurt the bee's that can't get out on a regular basis or can they handle it in the colder climates .
    I've been using it for a couple of years in my candy boards and now in my sugar blocks. I don't see any dysentery during the winter or before the first cleansing flights. Since there are no solids in it I don't see how it would hurt. It does invert the sugar which I feel is a good thing.

  21. #200
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    From what I can tell its a feed rim with screen on the top correct , like the pic in post # 140 .

    Thanks cam , I'll through some in the next batch .I have a recipe with 10 1/2 oz vinegar to 8 1/2 pds. of sugar , which I believe is Lauri's recipe cut down to a 1/3 , other candy recipes call for a lot less vinegar . Does the 10 1/2 oz to 8 1/2 pds. sound right .

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