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Discussion Starter · #162 · (Edited)
1 sugar brick

1 cup water
5 cups sugar

While constantly stiring heat the mixture on high until it starts to boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook at a slow rolling boil for 10 minuets. Remove from heat and immediately pour into a small bread pan coated with vegetable oil and let cool.
Just so there is no confusion, this is not my recipe. If you are not going to add the vinegar, electrolytes, vitamins, acids and essential oils, you might as well just do the MT Camp method and save youself all the prep. work.

My recipe also is NOT cooked in any way. It is dried or dehydrated to form the hard block.
 

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Just so there is no confusion, this is not my recipe. If you are not going to add the vinegar, electrolytes, vitamins, acids and essential oils, you might as well just do the MT Camp method and save yourself all the prep. work
And if you do cook Lauri's recipe, just be aware that heat evaporates the essential oils. Don't know what it does to the probiotics in the electrolytes. It may damage them as well.

FWIW

Rusty
 

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Lauri,
Yes I should have made it clear that this is a recipe which I concocted myself, and yes at one time I did try the Mountain Camp method and I found it cumbersome for various reasons, the brick is quicker and easier to install in cold windy weather and remains centralized on the cluster due to its smaller configuration. I never added the extra ingredients you suggest because of the possibility of heat damage as Rusty has already pointed out. My 2 nuc hives did quite well all winter on these bricks, I have split one of the nucs two times already and the main flow isn't here yet :)

One of the beauties of your recipe is that additives can be mixed in with little to no damage to them and I salute you for the thought that has gone into your design.... :thumbsup:
 

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Lauri- I have been searching for your stimulative feed recipe along with the supplement pollen sub recipe. In my warm climate I have no problem with syrup feed. I have not been able to nail it down. Can you point me in the right direction
 

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Discussion Starter · #166 · (Edited)
What I use and like is what I call a fortified syrup.
Thin spring 1:1 recipe

12.5 # of cane sugar (1/2 of a 25 # sack of C&H)
about 3 gallons hot tap water
splash of cider vinegar about 2 T
1/2-1 tsp citric acid
1/4 tsp ascorbic acid
1/4 tsp electrolyte/vitamin mix
Mix in five gallon bucket with paint paddle and drill until clear.
Note: I don't really measure anything..just eye ball it. A pinch, sprinkle and a slosh.

Heres my source for acids:

http://www.amazon.com/Citric-Anhydr...r_1_1?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1399254980&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003EE5MZC/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i03?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 

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Lauri, just curious but why do you use vinegar, and ascorbic acid, and citric acid in the syrup? I don't feed much but I do use apple cider vinegar to adjust the pH.
 

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Discussion Starter · #169 ·
Lauri, just curious but why do you use vinegar, and ascorbic acid, and citric acid in the syrup? I don't feed much but I do use apple cider vinegar to adjust the pH.
I don't use the cider vinegar simply as a acidifier, it has amino acids, electrolytes and other nutritional benifets. The ascorbic and citric acids are for vitamin additions and to invert the sugar.

Here is input from JW Chestnut explaining the chemical reaction:

A primary reason for acidifying syrup is to "invert" the sugar. Cane sugar is pure sucrose. Sucrose is a 12 carbon sugar made up of two loosely joined six carbon sub-molecules (fructose and glucose). The acid disassociates the sucrose into the component parts, mimicking the nectar. This is termed by kitchen chemists "invert" sugar, and was used for baking. Most nectars (not all) are slightly fructose rich. The pH of nectar varies widely too (and many nectars, not co evolved with honey bees, have large components of indigestible (by bees) seven and greater carbon sugars. Practically, the sucrose sugar syrup can be inverted with vinegar or any other edible acid, and very little hydrogen ion donors are needed on the order of tablespoon per gallon. Ascorbic acid is made up of glucose (6 C sugar ring) with 2 carbon "tail" and various OH groups tagged to balance the Carbon charge. Many animals and their gut flora can synthesize this from any 6 carbon sugar source. A good reason to use at least some ascorbic acid (or tartaric) in the place of some of the simpler acids is ascorbic is a ring structure, while acetic (vinegar) is a simple unbranched chain. The ring is stable and "recycles" Hydrogen OH groups from solution. This means it is continually recovering donor potential and a little bit can invert an enormous solution much like a catalyst in reaction.

By using all three acids I am feeding a more diverse and possibly more complete mix.
It's the recipe I've used for 3 years
They like it and they do well. I have never fed Fumagillin and have never had case of Nosema.

Overwintered 133 colonies this year and came out with 128..but in acutality I did not lose any colonies. I just lost a hand full of queens sometime early spring and caught the queenless colonies before they dwindled. They were combined with the overwintered queen in the mating nucs in February and March.

Can I attribute my healthy colonies to any one thing? Management? Feeding and nutritional recipies? Genetics? Location? Lack of exposures to commercial crops and other commercial beekeepers?
It's likely a combination of all of those things and other factors I haven't even realized.
Every year that goes by, however, I do give more credit to my genetics.

I've caught swarms near town that were likely from domestic hives and they have not done so well.
They usually go to town for a short time, then fizzled out by the fall without treatments. They were managed exactly the same as my existing hives.
The lack of disease resistance and lack of vigor is is so obvious I usually requeen any collected swarms unless I get them from remote areas.
 

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Lauri
Would a dehydrator work as a device to decrystallize honey jars (Glass) since the temperature cans be set and controlled? I am looking for something to recrystallize a volume of jars at one time.
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #171 ·
The Cabaleas dehydrator is digetally controlled and very accurate. So accurate and controlable I am going to convert one into a incubator.

It would work great for gently warming honey already in jars. The wire racks, while stout, would have to be reinforced to hold that much weight though. A solid pan like I use for the bricks would help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #173 · (Edited)
Hi Lauri,
I'm a little south of you. Are you still feeding syrup? Thanks

Troy
Generally the only hives I feed syrup to in spring are newly made nucs, overwintered nucs if they need to get a kick start early spring and simulated swarms (Or collected swarms)
Basically when I break up a large overwintered hive with a 2012 queen.

I have a lot of hives in one area so I expect to feed some colonies on occasion. ALmost time to distribute hives to other yards. My flow should start here in about 2 weeks. Maybe less this year. I'll have to go check the blackberry buds.

New nucs get fed until established:


Simulated swarms get fed, but generally won't take up much since they have a lot of foragers:



Starter and finisher colonies for rearing queens get fed:



Any colony that doesn't have enough foragers to gather feed naturally or colonies I an askign to draw out new frames without a flow get fed.



Hive below was an overwintered 3 over 5 frame nuc...Fed to get more frames drawn and good population of bees. Peaking right about time for the flow.

 

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Lauri,

With your sugar blocks, how do you deal with the bees' burr comb attaching to the meshed inner cover? Scrape/melt with a propane torch? Don't have that many issues?

Thanks,
Tony P.

ps - I'm in the Northeast, and would love to try the Spar Urethane / Stain look on my hives, how has the coating held up for you compared to paint? Have you had to sand down and reapply often?
 

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Discussion Starter · #176 ·
Lauri, how do you like your frame feeders?
I love them. They go into a nuc when I make them up and stay there all year..empty most of the time. I just move them up when I add a second box and they are installed already anytime I may need to feed. They stay in all winter too taking up space If I don't have any drawn frames to replace them with. No messes but I've found large bunches of bees overwintering in there when hive populations are very high. I was surprised with I removed them this spring and dumped out a bunch of bees. No real comb building issues at all. The tiny bit of comb they build I just leave. Adds to the ladder effect.

I use top feeders, frame feeders and inverted mason jars. WIth all three I can feed effeciently for all hive configurations. Sometimes a hive needs fall feed, but has no room to install a frame feeder. Then I use a top feeder. I use clear silicone to form a gasket at the bottom of the screen or you get bees sneaking through and they drown.

A quart of syrup on a hungry large hive during an extended period of dearth is a total waste of time. I use these top feeders and give them 3 or 4 gallons all at once. They take it up quickly and get to rearing lots of young bees for overwintering. It's amazing how fast they can produce frame after frame ofter frame of new brood with one good feeding, if the queen has shut down because of lack of flow.



If you need to clean out the screen just pull it out of the grove. Silicone will stay on the screen and you just pop it back into place after cleaning






Smaller mating nucs use inverted mason jar.



If it's raining or fall robbing is likely, I just invert a coffee can or pot over the jat to protect it.



 
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