Sunday, January 1, 2012

Who can take a sunrise, sprinkle it with dew...

During warm weather, if you need to feed bees, you feed them a sugar syrup solution. But once the temperature drops below 40 or so, this won't work. You hope that the bees have stored up enough honey in the combs to last the winter, but sometimes you need to do "emergency" winter feedings.

I put emergency in quotes because it's not the optimal situation, but it beats the alternative (starvation). For the winter you need to make and feed "bee candy."

Bee Candy is essentially sugar candy. There are a variety of recipes out there (you can Google search and find one you like), but you basically boil sugar and water until it reaches soft ball, almost hard ball stage. Then you pour it into pie plates and let it harden. You then set the bee candy on the top bars, and the bees can eat it. Some people like to use just granulated sugar for emergency feeding, but I had a bad experience with that and I prefer the candy.

Last year I learned a couple of things about making bee candy:
  • Hot sugar syrup is hot. Don't get any on your fingers when pouring!
  • Pouring into plain paper plates will cause the candy to stick to the paper, and peel a layer of paper off when you take it off the plates. This year I laid down a layer of aluminum foil first, and had no sticking.
Here are some pictures and comments. Not exciting, I know; but it may be instructional.

Did I mention that the hot sugar syrup is hot?

I lined the plates with aluminum foil this time. They are also sitting on insulated cookie sheets - don't want to run the risk of have a problem on the counter with the heat.

The finished products, all stacked up!!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Widget by LinkWithin