Recipes for the Bees

These recipes are suggestions from members of the Dunn County Beekeepers. Use which you like or alter as needed.

 

Feeding is suggested in the spring especially if your bees have used up their winter stores of honey, they may need syrup for a few weeks until the nectar starts to flow. Especially feed a new package until they have established themselves in their hive with honey stores from nectar in the wild.

 

Watch for the dearth in late summer, when there are no flowers blooming. Summer dearth is usually caused by high temperatures, a lack of rainfall, or both.

 

Autumn feeding is 2:1 syrup which starts the hive preparing for winter when the flowers have left for the season. Reducing the hive entrance to its smallest to assist the guard bees in protecting the hive from robbers.

 

The winter “candy boards” are a supplement to the honey stores in the hive. There are various methods of feeding candy boards at the top of the hive along with a variety of recipes. Use whichever methods fit your beekeeping tastes.



Spring Feeding the Bees

posted Oct 22, 2017, 7:01 PM by Mary Phillips   [ updated Oct 22, 2017, 7:17 PM ]

RECIPE #1

1:1 Syrup

8 cups water

4 # sugar (8 cups)

1 Tbsp + 1/4 tsp Honey B Healthy

Makes 3 qt. + 1 pt.

 

           4 cups water

4 cups sugar

1 1/2 tsp Honey B Healthy

Makes 6 1/2 cups syrup

 

Heat water until steamy. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Do not boil. Cool then add Honey B Healthy.

 


Autumn Feeding the Bees

posted Oct 22, 2017, 6:58 PM by Mary Phillips

RECIPE #1

2: 1 Syrup

6 cups water

4 # + 4 cups sugar (12 cups total)

Makes 3 qt. + 1 pt.

 

Heat water until steamy. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Do not boil.

 

Winter Feeding the Bees

posted Oct 22, 2017, 6:56 PM by Mary Phillips   [ updated Nov 7, 2017, 5:47 PM ]


RECIPE #1

Sugar Candy for Honey Bees

2 cups water

5 lb. of white sugar


Mix in large tall kettle – soup pot. Heat slowly to 238 degrees (medium ball) on a candy thermometer. Keep thermometer off bottom of the kettle. Syrup will turn white / soft rolling boil. Takes about 30 – 40 minutes in a good size pot so it does not boil over. Do not scorch as burned or caramelized syrup can cause high bee mortality. Cool some / pour into candy board or other form to hold until hard.


RECIPE #2

Bee Candy

5 lb. white sugar

1  1/3 cup water

1 tsp. cream of tartar – prevents mold

1 pint WHITE corn syrup

 

Need:

Large / deep stock pot (heavy bottom works best)

Candy thermometer

Cake pan lined w/wax or prepared candy board

Paint stirrer with strong drill to beat candy

'Tunnel’ spacer for candy board

 

This candy can be put in a candy board and placed on the hives when they are wrapped or can be made in a cake pan for emergency feeding in the spring.

 

The candy board is an ‘inner cover’ with deeper sides so that it can hold the candy. Pound a number of large head nails on the ‘inside’ of the candy board to help hold the candy to the board when it is turned upside down on the hive in place of the inner cover.

 

Set candy board with nails up (center hole down) on a counter. Place the ‘tunnel’ from the center to the exit notch on the short side of the frame.

 

Put all ingredients in a large deep kettle. Stir to mix everything so that the sugar is not on the bottom and burns when you heat the kettle.


Bring to a boil, stir for a while, and keep boiling until it reaches a temperature of 240 degrees (soft ball). Keep thermometer off bottom of kettle. The mixture will be clear and very hot.


 Once it reaches 240 degrees, set the kettle in a deep sink in ice water to help cool.


To cool further and speed the ‘set up’ time, beat mixture with a paint mixer using a strong drill. As the candy cools, it will get very thick and eventually turn cloudy. Once it starts to get cloudy, it will ‘set up’ in about two minutes.The beating time is at least 10 minutes. Be patient, it will get cloudy.

Once cloudy and very thick, quickly turn into a cake pan lined with wax paper or onto a prepared candy board.


If you are using a candy board, make sure the tunnel stays in place. It will be removed once the candy starts to set up.



If you use a cake pan and want to have small blocks to feed, score with a knife. Once it has cooled further, it will break on the scored lines – make the scores deep – all the way through. If you want to feed all at once, leave in the cake pan until totally cooled.

 

Candy can be frozen to use later. If the candy does not set up, it will be sticky and the bees will get stuck to it when they try to eat it. Not good.

 

DO NOT MAKE A DOUBLE BATCH.  Even in a deep kettle, mixing with the paint mixer causes the candy to splash up the sides of the kettle. A double batch will cause candy to splash out all over your work surface and on you – very hot!.

 

RECIPE #3

Bee Candy board

This recipe is the easiest, yet there is some waste of sugar as the bees eat their way through since the candy as it is not ‘hard’ candy like the two above.

 

Need:

   4 to 8 pounds of sugar (or more depending on depth of candy board)

   Mister to spray water

   Water – very small amount –¼ cup or a little more for small board

   Candy board frame

   HALF INCH mesh wire stapled to board

   Tissue paper

   ‘tunnel’ made from wood or cardboard

   Carrying board a little bigger than candy board


Construct a candy board using a frame of 1 to 2 inches high to match the 8 or 10 frame box.  Cut an ‘exit’ in one of the short edges for bees to use as an upper entrance (like on an inner cover). Cut wire mesh so that the edges can be folded inside the frame and stapled to hold in place. Cut the corners to help fold the wire mesh. OR  Cut the mesh to fit the edge of the frame. Tape ends so you don’t scratch yourself. Now you have a wire mesh ‘box’ to hold the sugar.
Construct a ‘tunnel’ using a piece of wood or other items to make a tunnel from the center of the candy board to the upper exit on the frame. This ‘tunnel’ can be used by the bees once they have reached the candy board.

Place the candy board on a ‘carrier’ that will hold the mesh flat – do not want it to sag too much and hit the tops of the frames it is set on. A corelle counter saver works well or a piece of plywood.


Set the candy board with wire mesh down on the carrier. Put two layers of white tissue paper on the inside of the wire mesh and up the sides to hold the sugar from falling through the wire mesh. The paper new foundation is wrapped in works great. Place the ‘tunnel’ from center of board to upper exit.


Sprinkle a little sugar across the tissue paper. Spray lightly with water. Repeat until the candy board is as full as you want. DO NOT use too much mist/water. A little water goes a long way in making the sugar get crusty and hard enough that it will not fall through the tissue paper. The candy board can be carried to a place to set up using the carrier.  Remove the ‘tunnel’ spacer.


The candy board is placed on the hive when wrapped in the fall. A ‘peek’ in January will tell you if the bees have reached the top of the hive. In the spring, ‘blocks’ of candy can be placed on the mesh if needed or the entire board can be swapped for a new one.



RECIPE #4

Sugar Board

1 cup water

4 # sugar (8 cups)

1 tsp. white vinegar


Boil in large kettle to 248 degrees Fahrenheit.


Quickly pour into 9 x 13 cake pan lined with Teflon baking sheet; parchment baking paper or re-use the paper from between the wax foundation carton along with clothes pins to secure. Paper may remain on sugar board. Bees will eat through the paper.


Score quickly to allow breaking.




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