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Hello,

I just checked my beehives yesterday for weight and horribly enough, one of them had starved (which was alive 10 days ago!!!)

I should have just placed dry sugar on all the hives a week ago, but it was so cold here and they did not seem so alarmingly light like they were yesterday.

I fed all of them dry sugar under the inner cover on a sheet of newspaper, which they are all eating, but I know I will need to feed again next week.

I would rather not make fondant or hard candy, as it is involved to make and I will need alot of it. I would like to give the bees alittle more water in the feed if possible and make it easier to handle.

I have seen where people do not heat the sugar but rather just add water to make a sort of paste which then drys over a day or two to become essentially a giant sugar cube which is easier to put in the hive than loose sugar. Has anyone tried this and how does it compare to dry sugar??

Thanks
 

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I have been mixing 16 sugar to 3 cups of water as a base recipe. I have also substituted three quarters of a cup with apple cider vinegar. And added some 3 tablespoons of honey be healthy. Mixed in a five gallon bucket. I made lids with a 1" rim with a 3/4 hole drill in the one end for a vent. With a patty by the vent hole. I have all so made it up in bread pans as a mold made up a less than 1" thick. Next year ALL of my hive will be set up this way going into winter.
David
 

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Some one here posted to add 2 cups of water to 10 pounds of sugar and I tried it yesterday and I must say easy just roll in to balls and lay them on the top bars works nice.;)
 

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A couple years ago I found one hive really light in Feb. I mixed 10 lb of sugar with enough water that I couldn't see any dry sugar anymore. I just spread it on the top bars with a spatula.
Dumped some on the bottom board and some on the inner cover.
When necter stated coming in there was about a teacup left.
 

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I mix water into cane sugar until damp, spoon it into a paper plate and set that plate on the top bars. Use a 2" spacer or empty super for room over the plate. Then pour a small bit of water on the sugar for more wetness. Bees love it and can take it quickly. You could add a table spoon of vinegar.

If the bees are running on empty I like just stacking,pouring damp sugar on the top bars as in an earlier post!
 

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I use the dampened sugar to feed my bees. I made a number of sim bioxes that are about 3" tall. i stapled hardware cloth to the bottoms of them then laid newspaper down and added the sugar on top. I get about 25# of sugar in each one of tehm. If I'm going to feed them, i don't want to have to break in there every week to top them off till the flow starts.

For a recipe, i use 10# sugar and a pint of water. I do add a spalsh of vinegar to the water. i don't know if it does much good or not, but many recipes i've seen call for it. I stir this up if a 5gal bucket with whatever stick, rod, scrap i have nearby. Then i dump it into the shim box and let it sit overnight to harden.

FWIW, it seems to work juse fine as the bees have been up in this sugar for nearly 2 months now and are still alive
 

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You might also consider making some of Lauri Miller's sugar blocks. Granulated sugar, apple cider vinegar, powdered citric acid, a of large animal electrolite powder, and a bit of HbH. Mix up in a large pail, fill aluminum cooking trays (about 1" deep), deeply score the sugar mix to make fracture lines, and dehydrate (or bake at extremely low temps - less than 200F). The "cooking" period lasts, perhaps, as long as 6 to 8 hours. These bricks store very well, and are extremely easy to insert into a hive as they have their own integrity and you can just slide them easily on top of the top bars, pushing the bees safely aside. Although scoring makes nice-sized bricks, if necessary you can break them into smaller pieces with a sharp whack of your hive tool.. For the first application, though, a "full sized" slab ( I get two full-sized" slabs from a quarter-sheet sized baking pan) is useful to set right over the cluster. Refills often need smaller chunks since hopefully the girls haven't completely run out by the time you get back. When doing a refill, you can slide the remnants together to keep the main mass of the sugar right over the cluster, although in my experience they do work on the outliers, too. Though in cold weather, the closer the sugar is to the main cluster, the more useful it is to the bees. I try to keep mine above the center of the hive.

Lauri makes these in large batchess, using 25 lbs of sugar. In her thread about them I posted a reduced quantity recipe, that's more useful if you only have a few ives. I've been feeding (3 hives) since December and I've only made 18 lbs of bricks and still 4 or 5 lbs left.

To find my reduced-size version of Lauri's original recipe, click below.
http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?290641-My-recipe-method-for-sugar-blocks/page4&highlight=sugar+bricks

That's a link to my post in this long, and very informative, thread (complete with Lauri's excellent photographs.) I didn't invent the recipe, and don't want to anyone to think I am taking credit for anything other than scaling it down. The whole thread is well worth reading. My bees are too busy munching up these bricks, otherwise, I'd have gotten some glowing consumer testimonials since they are just insane for these bricks.

Enj.
 
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