My recipe/method for sugar blocks - Page 23
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  1. #441
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Utah, USA
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    213

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Thanks Lauri, very helpful as usual. Keep up the good work and very positive presence. You are an artist both in beekeeping and forum ethics! I for one, absolutely appreciate your pioneering spirit and genuine interest in advancing current knowledge and techniques, and being willing to share what you learn in creative ways, in spite of inevitable detractors. Feel free to continue deviating from the "NORM" and sharing your results! Your continued success is helping the cause, and many of us are taking note and benefitting from your efforts! Ren

    PS. Are you using insulation on 3 sides? Your pictures obviously have insulation on both sides, but can't tell for sure on back. The blue insulation that I have been using doesn't show the frost pattern like your foil covered insulation, or at least not as easily. I may change to the foil covered for future purchases.
    Last edited by warmbees; 02-27-2017 at 10:51 AM. Reason: Additional Question
    Beekeeping 15 yrs, 10 Hives - 6a - Engineering Solutions for Honeybee Survival! - WARMBEES.COM

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  3. #442
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Johnson City, TN
    Posts
    223

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Lauri, The last batch I made of your recipe didn't harden very well but I may have done something wrong. Nevertheless, I put the mixture on top of the inner cover around the inner cover hole and the bees are all over it now. So that got me to thinking that making it into a hard block is really not always necessary. So my concern is, can the raw mixture harm the bees it it doesn't go through the hardening and curing process?
    Bee just and just bee

  4. #443
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    5,525

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    I'm not Lauri, but I think I can answer your question:

    No, an unhardened mixture will not harm the bees. Many people just put loose granulated sugar on top of newspaper placed on top of the uppermost frames and feed the bees that way.

    Of slightly more concern, however, is placing the feed on top of the inner cover and not directly above the bees. It's probably is not an issue in TN because you are warmer and much farther along than I am here in northern NY, but food that the bees must go fetch is less useful to them in cold weather than food directly on the frames (either as hard, self-supporting bricks, or on newspaper as described above). In the future, when faced with un-hardened bricks, I would just put a piece of ordinary wax paper down on the tops of the frames and set the mixture on top of that. That way the bees can access it even in the coldest weather. Perhaps on the next round you could do that?

    My bees adore these bricks.

    Nancy

  5. #444
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
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    2,070

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Bee Draggle: Did you attempt to heat the sugar bricks? From what I have read here, that seems to be the major cause of non-hardening bricks, unless you messed with the recipe. I leave them out at room temp and they are rock hard in a day or two. J

  6. #445
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    1,423

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Am 99.99% there is no requirement for curing and hardening. Bricks are a convenience for the beekeeper. Also minimal time to insert in colder temps. Likely less lost sugar. In cold climates, bricks need to go directly on the frames. In my experience, the cluster did not go up through a 3 1/2 inch round hole with 20 lbs of sugar bordering the hole but above the inner cover.

    Last spring, a member of bee club installed a package on blank foundation and then it snowed and turned cold. Syrup was too cold for bees to take. She didn't want to move the hive into a garage, so suggested she put a wool blanket around the hive. Hive was out of the wind. I told the lady to make up a sugar brick recipe and place it on newspaper directly on top of the frames. Saw her in the fall and package did well. Wet slush provided enough carbs to get the bees through and did no harm to my knowledge.
    Zone 3b. If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  7. #446
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    frederick, md
    Posts
    806

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    I cover the top of the hive with sugar blocks in November, I put them on top of a queen excluder.
    This year, on a few of the hives, I have added blocks x three. The bees are inhaling them.

    Need a warmish non raining day to do a quick inspection. So far all are alive, with a slight tap can hear them buzzing along.
    Zone 6b: 18 hives in Maryland, Carniolan, Italian mix mutts: Still learning - started bees spring of 2014.

  8. #447
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
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    2,070

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Missybee, I am curious why you put the blocks on top of a queen excluder. I am not saying its wrong, but it makes it harder for the bees I would think, although apparently not much of an issue if they are devouring them. J

  9. #448
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, MO, USA
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    18

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    I made sugar blocks two weeks ago today. I used 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar to 8# sugar with about 1 teaspoon citric acid. This all fit in a 8X12 cookie sheet and was about 1 1/4" thick. It made three nice sized blocks. I air dried in the dining room. Was hard in a week.

    Couple things I think is important to mention. Mix a little vinegar in at a time. If you pour in a lot it tends to dissolve a lot of sugar. I tried to keep it the texture of snow as is mentioned elsewhere in this thread. As I spooned it in the pan I compressed it with a rolling pin as much as I could. I think this aids in it hardening into a block that won't break. I did spinkle some Bee Pro on top. I lightly spritzed it with water to set the bee pro to the sugar. I also put plastic wrap in bottom of pan to aid it lifting out in one piece. Mine all came out in one piece and the bees were grateful. I added Lauri's pollen sub with the blocks. They were all over it also.

    Getting very close to time for them to start brooding up. Temps to be in the high sixties here Wednesday and Thursday before cooling back off.

    I only have three hives all started as nucs last year that I plan on making my increase with this year so want to start them early and keep them well fed. They were no where near running out of stores yet. Sleeping much better with the added insurance.

    Thanks,,,,Lauri

  10. #449
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Dade county, Mo.
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    196

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    I make them using half the vinegar, rest water to the exact amount in the recipe. After being in the oven on low for a couple hours i take them out and they dry good enough to use the next day. They are soft coming out of the oven but harden up well overnight.

  11. #450
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    frederick, md
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    806

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by Fivej View Post
    Missybee, I am curious why you put the blocks on top of a queen excluder. I am not saying its wrong, but it makes it harder for the bees I would think, although apparently not much of an issue if they are devouring them. J
    I had them crumble one year, lots of chucks, the excluder keeps the chunks from falling down into the frames, probably nothing to worry about, but just what I do. The bees do not seem to have an issue. I just added more blocks today. The blocks were covered with bees, they were not to happy with me bothering them. I am glad I put on a veil and gloves.

    I slide them in real slow, the bees run down under the excluder so they don't get squished.
    Zone 6b: 18 hives in Maryland, Carniolan, Italian mix mutts: Still learning - started bees spring of 2014.

  12. #451
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Chicago, Illinois
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    8

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Lauri, I recently was referred to your sugar blocks recipe, and we're going to give it a try this year since our hive is low in honey stores. Is your recipe for one tray of sugar blocks? We only have one hive at the moment.

    Thanks!
    Delia

  13. #452
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Salisbury, NC, USA
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    170

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    if you only have one hive use a 4 lb bag of sure with 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar. That's what I use. Put it in a 11x13 aluminum pan or something similar to dry.

  14. #453
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    Feb 2015
    Location
    Chicago, Illinois
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Thanks so much, Jason!

  15. #454
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    Jan 2011
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    Clackamas Oregon
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    1,345

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    I would recommend doing it on a piece of parchment paper and after the top gets hard dump it out. The bottom will be soft and it will set up better on two sides. I also like to score the sugar with a knife so you can break it to strips to get the sugar back over the cluster when they eat out the center.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  16. #455
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    Feb 2015
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    Chicago, Illinois
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Excellent idea!

  17. #456
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    844

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Here's a look at my girls last winter working on Lauri's recipe bricks.

    , Bees, Sugar Bricks,Bees Feeding on Bricks.jpg

  18. #457
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Clinton Twp., Macomb, Michigan, USA
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    18

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Do you use the Sugar Blocks in place of Sugar Fondant?

  19. #458
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    Aug 2014
    Location
    Salisbury, NC, USA
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    170

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by FLGibsonJr View Post
    Do you use the Sugar Blocks in place of Sugar Fondant?
    Yes. It's much easier to make and the bees seem to take it when they need it. Helps some with moisture also. If you have extra blocks left over, you can use them in syrup in the spring. No storing and no waste.

  20. #459
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Clinton Twp., Macomb, Michigan, USA
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    18

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonA View Post
    Yes. It's much easier to make and the bees seem to take it when they need it. Helps some with moisture also. If you have extra blocks left over, you can use them in syrup in the spring. No storing and no waste.
    Thanks for the reply! I am going to try it!

  21. #460

    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    I make them part of the candy board with hardwarecloth. What they don't eat this year I will add new mix to the candy next fall

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