We finally got some candy for our bees to eat today, Marg made it up in a pot this Valentines Day.
Here’s the Videos we shot:
Errata: In the video, Marg says the candy is heated to 288 F, when she meant 248 F.
Here’s video of us placing the Candy on the Hive:
The recipe we used was from The Hive and the Honey Bee
15 Lbs Sugar
3 Lbs Syrup
4 Cups Water
.5 Tsp cream of tartar
We made a one third batch.
The reason we are feeding the bees sugar candy is to help them through the last bit of winter, as they are starting to use up their stores of honey. This is evidenced by the cluster being in the top box of the hive, since they move up through their stores from the bottom box to the top box as the winter progresses. The stores farther from the cluster (the frames near the outside of the box) are more difficult for them to get to when keeping warm is a priority, so the Sugar Candy is a convenient snack on a cold day. The Candy has a little moisture in it and the white corn syrup gives it a slightly higher concentration of glucose, which makes it easier to digest and absorb than just granulated sucrose. Bee candy is an efficient treat!
March is the make or break month for the colony – if they stay warm and don’t starve, then we’ll have a nicely established colony at the beginning of the spring to give us a good harvest of honey in the late summer or early fall!