Thoughts on this candy board?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Sumner Co., TN, USA
    Posts
    161

    Default Thoughts on this candy board?

    My bees are on a farm roughly an hour away, and the past two winters I've put out 5-gallon drip feeders when it looked like the weather might warm. It does that a lot with the weather here in Tennessee...

    So I'm thinking of doing candy boards instead of drip feeders. Less spoilage, and contained in hives... Found this online (link below) and I like the idea of it (including burying pollen patties), but would like some experts' opinions...

    Yes, it's more work than putting newspaper down, but looks reusable and should be a one-time per hive, per winter deal...?

    https://www.tillysnest.com/2012/12/a...ndy-board.html

    Thanks!
    Since '14, working on Bee.S. degree.... :) Lots to learn!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,406

    Default Re: Thoughts on this candy board?

    I know others that have used it, and liked it. Especially Mel Disselkoen. His design was a little bit different, but not drastically.

    To me its another piece of equipment that I don't need.

    If you don't like the drip feeders, do the mountain camp method. If you don't like that, make some fondant or soft crack candy and put it in an empty super above the hive. I've done that plenty of times. Works great. Just make sure you get the super off before your spring flow starts.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Champaign, Illinois
    Posts
    2,461

    Default Re: Thoughts on this candy board?

    Tried candy boards on two hives last winter. They were ignored by my bees here in East-central Illinois.
    I think I'm better off feeding syrup in fall using ziplock bags and a feeder shim. Can feed a lot of syrup fast. I mean like 3 or 4 gallons a week if you have to. A good sized colony can take nearly a gallon overnight. Put it on warm if you can.
    Internet credibility is an oxymoron

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Bergen County, NJ
    Posts
    904

    Default Re: Thoughts on this candy board?

    2016-2017 winter weather was milder here in NJ, but still cold compared to TN. I did single deeps with this type of candy board. All hives survived fine. Couple of hives finished all the sugar, and some hives left couple of pounds by April 1st. No cooking sugar, opening hives in cold, replacing blocks etc. When they are not on hives, I used them to lay the hive boxes when doing inspections etc.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
    Posts
    1,548

    Default Re: Thoughts on this candy board?

    I tried the mesh stapled to the frame/dry the sugar slurry approach and found flaws opposed to bricks.
    One, the mesh sagged even though I had a cleat in the middle to staple the mesh to. IMO, this prevents the bees from moving frame to frame until the sugar is consumed.
    Two, I can't move the remnants around to put more in if needed without a lot p/o'd bees coming unglued on me.
    I'm trying Michael Palmer's philosophy this year, get em heavy before winter. But I'll still put the feeder rings on just in case.
    Rod

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    beaver county pa usa
    Posts
    395

    Default Re: Thoughts on this candy board?

    That is how I do it I make my board just like that. The only difference is I have a hole in the sugar in the middle of the of the board I use a square block of wood in the middle of the sugar then remove it after the sugar is in place. I also have a hole in the front where the top hole is like in the picture. I mix 1 qt of cider vinegar to 25 lbs of sugar pack it into the mold and let them dry after a week in my green house they are hard as bricks. The moisture from the hive is absorbed into the sugar over time in the winter helps to soften the sugar for the bees. I use a quilt box on top of the sugar brick. If they do not use the sugar I liquefy the sugar and feed it back to my splits in the spring. I do this method for over wintering nucs and single deeps and have had good success.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    1,461

    Default Re: Thoughts on this candy board?

    Quote Originally Posted by rwlaw View Post
    I tried the mesh stapled to the frame/dry the sugar slurry approach and found flaws opposed to bricks.
    One, the mesh sagged even though I had a cleat in the middle to staple the mesh to. IMO, this prevents the bees from moving frame to frame until the sugar is consumed.
    I nail a cross piece of dowling just above the wire mesh. Then attach the mesh to the dowling with wire and a twist. Sagging wire mesh problem goes away.

    Also use this in the bottom of quilt boxes to prevent sagging.
    Zone 3b. If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Portland, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    285

    Default Re: Thoughts on this candy board?

    Special K nailed it. I live in Sumner Co, near Portland. I use sugar bricks every year with a 3" ventilated shim. works great and keeps moisture buildup down.
    Beeman
    All things may be lawful; but not all things are advantagous.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Springfield, OH
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: Thoughts on this candy board?

    Those are essentially the same as the ones I built for my hives last year. Only difference is I used 1x4's and didn't rip them down to 2" like the ones in the link you posted. I solved the sagging problems by placing 4-5 thin scrap pieces of wood on top of the frames. Placed 10lbs on each hive (no pollen patties) and all that was left over in the spring was about 10lbs out of the 50lbs used. I'll be using them again this winter and need to make a few more as I grew from 5 hives to 12 this year.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Sumner Co., TN, USA
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Thoughts on this candy board?

    Thanks all for your input and insights! The distance between me and my hives makes the syrup less appealing, and I don't mind making the parts myself. I built several boxes (supers/deeps), inner/outer covers, bottom boards this year and really was quite gratifying. The scale of our hobby is still small enough for that to be feasible. I'm keeping a binder of all the things we're learning, and "wintering/feeding" is getting full!

    Really does make beekeeping more enjoyable knowing this community is so willing to help others grow and learn.

    THANK YOU!
    Since '14, working on Bee.S. degree.... :) Lots to learn!

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Dayton, TN
    Posts
    174

    Default Re: Thoughts on this candy board?

    Murphy, I'm in east TN near Chattanooga and I use a candy board.
    See attached link. I did exactly what it said and it worked flawlessly for me last winter. The shims under the hardware cloth take care of the sagging problem.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_WLCc21-Hk
    Andy

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