My recipe/method for sugar blocks - Page 13
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  1. #241
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    I will be watching for folks thoughts on the comparative value of these two products...is spending extra $ going to get significantly different results?

    Quote Originally Posted by WesternWilson View Post
    Sorry Daniel, I meant Ultra Bee...both that and Bee Pro are protein powder mixes you can yourself make into protein patties, as Lauri posted above.
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

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  3. #242
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    How does an extended sugar blocks thread
    ended up like this.

    I had use beepro and megabee before. I like
    the mega better in fast consumption and fat
    winter bees build up. But it tasted awful in the
    powder form almost like salt and vinegar powder.
    Not something I like to eat. Has anybody tasted
    the bee pro before to give a description?
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  4. #243
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Have you tasted pollen to make a comparison? The stuff I have tasted is pretty bitter.
    Everything gets darker, as it goes to where there is less light. Darrel Tank (5PM drawing instructor)

  5. #244
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Anyone made one of these for dehydrating.?

    http://www.artifex.org/~meiercl/dehy...ator_plans.pdf

  6. #245
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    I have been having trouble getting the blocks to dry, Lauri, how thick are your blocks? I think I made some too thick. Ganged together my nucs a few days ago, ended up using pieces of the thinner blocks I made rather than full blocks. I was not sure if a couple of the nucs were alive (we have had to deal with that sudden cold surge) put I popped a piece of brick in anyway and ganged them up. As I started putting the insulation on top, it became apparent that they were all alive, every brick had bees on it already. They do like them!

    JC

  7. #246
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    I make my bricks in aluminum cake pans...about 8x13x1.5 They dry well in the dehydrator. Some of my hives are all over the bricks and others have no interest...all have equal honey stores. I don't know what determines which hives go to them immediately.
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  8. #247
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by EastSideBuzz View Post
    Anyone made one of these for dehydrating.?

    http://www.artifex.org/~meiercl/dehy...ator_plans.pdf
    Pretty much. Actually have made many of them. I call them incubators or kilns. depending on how hot I run them. Use something a lot more insulated and you don't need so much power to get the temperatures. I would run the same size thing on about 75 watts of power. One I run with 250 watts is over 22 cubic feet of interior space, reaches a temperature of over 200 degrees if I want it to, and is used as a dehydrator at times. Think an over sized refrigerator.
    Everything gets darker, as it goes to where there is less light. Darrel Tank (5PM drawing instructor)

  9. #248
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Whats the average temp for a dehydrator .

  10. #249
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Gillmore View Post
    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?
    Yes on low I do mine at 170 the lowest setting in the over. Except for the strong vinegar smell in the house all day it works just fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    How does an extended sugar blocks thread
    ended up like this.
    Has anybody tasted the bee pro before to give a description?
    Do people taste the Purina also to see if it is better then the Alpo?

  11. #250
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by EastSideBuzz View Post
    Do people taste the Purina also to see if it is better then the Alpo?
    You should know better than to pose such a question on Beesource!

    How about a professional (human) dog food taste tester ...
    http://www.nydailynews.com/life-styl...icle-1.1445406



    ... a more interesting question is ...
    ... does KeithJ taste test Nutra-Bee ...
    ... or does JSL taste test with his product ...
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  12. #251
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by EastSideBuzz View Post

    Do people taste the Purina also to see if it is better then the Alpo?
    I suppose you could. I am not sure what information you would gather by doing so. It seems you think that better taste means better dog food? IN the years I spent breeding dogs we used a lot of factors to evaluate the value of any given food. mainly related to the health and condition of the dogs on any given amount of food.

    Same would be true for subs. a sub bees don't eat has no value.
    Everything gets darker, as it goes to where there is less light. Darrel Tank (5PM drawing instructor)

  13. #252
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    I made a batch per lauri's instructions and put in the oven at 200 degrees for a few hours. Everything looked good after 2 hours. The top was dry but it felt soft underneath so I left it in for another 45 mins and found foam at the top and a soft melting mass of sugar liquifying around the edges.
    Have I ruined it?? Will it still be safe to give the bees??

  14. #253
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by JonnyBeeGood View Post
    I made a batch per lauri's instructions and put in the oven at 200 degrees for a few hours. Everything looked good after 2 hours. The top was dry but it felt soft underneath so I left it in for another 45 mins and found foam at the top and a soft melting mass of sugar liquifying around the edges.
    Have I ruined it?? Will it still be safe to give the bees??
    I don't think her instructions were to bake. I did bake mine also, but used 1 cup vinegar to 5 pounds sugar. Next time I used more and got a hard crust and gooey center so I put it back in a bowl and mixed more sugar until sandy and tried again, it came out OK. It made me think of the time I tried Alton brown chewy candy recipe, those things never dried out, always had moisture.

  15. #254
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    @Laketrout,

    Finally got my first batch in the dehydrator today and measured the temps: @140 F. Plus because this is a dehydrator there is fan forced air.

    And a note about using a rolling pin to make an evenly compressed (more crack-resistant) cakes. A friend who has never used one before said he really pressed down on the sugar mixture, with a poor end result. It wasn't until today when I was making mine that I realized that if you haven't had experience rolling out pie dough you might not realize that it takes a only moderate downward pressure and a smooth outward movement in short, sort of glancing bursts to push the sugar down evenly. You should see it flatten down nicely as a bump of material travels in front of the pin. Work in one direction until you've done the whole pan. Add material to fill in low spots and then either rotate the pan 90 degrees, or rotate the pin and work from a crosswise direction. If you can sweet talk someone into making a pie from scratch watch how they roll out the dough. It's exactly that motion.

    Enj.

  16. #255
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by drlonzo View Post
    jw - I forgot to mention the aroma didn't I. Sorry! It does put of a very loud aroma while it's in the oven. My wife is very understanding, she and the kids went to grandma's while I was doing ours. When they got back, house smelled like vinegar but went away pretty quickly. lol.. Bees were very happy though!
    Totally have stunk up my house with the Vinegar smell. My 13 year old complains the most about me trying to kill her with the smell. Need to get a large dehydrator. Cant find a big rack like Lauri has.

  17. #256
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by enjambres View Post
    @Laketrout,

    Finally got my first batch in the dehydrator today and measured the temps: @140 F. Plus because this is a dehydrator there is fan forced air.

    And a note about using a rolling pin to make an evenly compressed (more crack-resistant) cakes. A friend who has never used one before said he really pressed down on the sugar mixture, with a poor end result. It wasn't until today when I was making mine that I realized that if you haven't had experience rolling out pie dough you might not realize that it takes a only moderate downward pressure and a smooth outward movement in short, sort of glancing bursts to push the sugar down evenly. You should see it flatten down nicely as a bump of material travels in front of the pin. Work in one direction until you've done the whole pan. Add material to fill in low spots and then either rotate the pan 90 degrees, or rotate the pin and work from a crosswise direction. If you can sweet talk someone into making a pie from scratch watch how they roll out the dough. It's exactly that motion.

    Enj.
    I just use a plastic spoon [ladel size]. Tamp it down as I go and they come out fine.

  18. #257
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by enjambres View Post

    And a note about using a rolling pin to make an evenly compressed (more crack-resistant) cakes. A friend who has never used one before said he really pressed down on the sugar mixture, with a poor end result.
    It is tough to try and describe how to use a tool isn't it? It has a touch and technique to it. I used to roll about 300 lbs of dough a day.
    Everything gets darker, as it goes to where there is less light. Darrel Tank (5PM drawing instructor)

  19. #258
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by EastSideBuzz View Post
    Totally have stunk up my house with the Vinegar smell. My 13 year old complains the most about me trying to kill her with the smell. Need to get a large dehydrator. Cant find a big rack like Lauri has.

    Don't know if you have the room but think about an old broken refrigerator. I have never had a problem finding someone that woudl be glad to have you haul one away. I got lucky and found a broken laboratory incubator. it is actually larger than a refrigerator. I added a heat source and made some costume racks for it. I could stack 500 lbs of sugar cake in that thing. Come to think of it I could stack just 500 lbs of sugar in it just to keep it stored. Even apartment size fridges work well. The only thing I don't like is not being able to see in. The lab incubator has a full glass door on the front. Broken down whine coolers like they set under the bar and it holds a dozen bottles of wine are even better. they have glass fronts.

    Anyway just a few ideas of what you can make a dehydrator out of.

    As for a heat element and thermostat. get a lamp kit from Home Depot for around $10. and a hot water heater thermostat from the same place for another $10.

    I usually drill a hole in a block of 2X4 to hold the lamp fixture. then I attach another block of 2X4 to the first so that they are in an L shape. The lamp is sticking up from the bottom block the thermostat gets screwed to the top of the L and hangs right over the lamp. there is only about 1 inch between the lamp and the stat. This gives you very stable temperature control.

    A hot water heater stat may have trouble letting you get to 160 degree or so. If so cover the location of the disk with a piece of metal until it allows temps to get that high. Basically you can toy with just how the stat is exposed to the heat source and get higher temperatures.
    Everything gets darker, as it goes to where there is less light. Darrel Tank (5PM drawing instructor)

  20. #259
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    A hot water heater stat may have trouble letting you get to 160 degree or so. If so cover the location of the disk with a piece of metal until it allows temps to get that high. Basically you can toy with just how the stat is exposed to the heat source and get higher temperatures.
    So I typically use these when I build warming fridges. It should work for the dehydrator also. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Thanks for the refer idea. I have one for warming. I guess I can look at another for dehydrating. Not as portable as one of these http://www.restaurantequipment.com/holdingcabinets.html.

    I wonder if you can convert this into a dehydrator http://www.lowes.com/pd_591037-47224...0160175&rpp=32. If you add heat coils you could have a dehydrator and refer all in one.
    Last edited by EastSideBuzz; 11-24-2014 at 12:27 PM.

  21. #260
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Enjambres , thanks for checking the temp wasn't sure how hi they went , also how important is a fan .

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