Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Candy for Honeybees

The other day I peeked in my beehives to check their sugar brick status.  I have been feeding them all emergency feed as it has still been to cold for them to reach the honey they have left in the hive.  2 hives needed refills so I whipped up some bricks o sugar.  The recipe can be found here in a previous post.  I use a couple inch shim on top of the hive to leave room for the brick between the frames and the covers.  This week it has been really nice and I definitely see early trees blooming so hopefully they can get some steady warm weather and food coming in and won't need the sugar soon.  Last year I waited too long to remove the shims, sugar and extra space and the bees built comb in the space created by the shim and stuck a bunch of drone brood in there.  I fed the brood to the chickens and cleaned out the comb, but I hope to avoid that this year.

Remnants of the old brick.  "Feed us, lady!"  That is what they are saying.  
Finished brick in place.   The bees some up between the frames and can eat from below if it's real cold or come out and eat on top of the brick if it's warm enough. 

Sugar Brick
Another brick going in.  
My smoker.  I didn't really need it, as it was a calm day and the bees were down between the frames.  I would have used it to push them down if they were on top of frames so I would have room to set the brick on without squishing them.  
Finished sugar bricks.
Sugar bricks cooling.  
Sugar bricks poured into aluminum pans lined with parchment (or waxed paper)
Heating the sugar and water to make the bricks.  This stuff is SO hot.  Beware of splashes and use a big enough heavy bottomed pot since it really boils and bubbles up and you don't want a sugar lava overflow onto your stove top!

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