BEE BREW AND SUCH; Syrup recipes

Hot and Dry Syrup
2 parts water
1 part sugar
This is recommended for extreme hot/dry weather. Rule of thumb: the weather determines the formulation used.

Light Sugar Syrup
1 part water
1 part sugar
Mixes well in very hot tap water. Used to stimulate the brood rearing processes in the spring, never in the fall.

Intermediate Sugar Syrup
1 part water
1.5 parts sugar
Used when installing packages and when administering medication, such as Fumagilin-B®. Best syrup mix for late summer and very early fall when the temperature is still high and the humidity is low. To build winter population.

Heavy Sugar Syrup
1 part water
2 parts sugar
Used in mid-fall to build stores and in late winter to carry bees into spring when not using Bee Candy.

Special Note
In times when the Bees slow down in their consumption of syrup, mold will grow on the liquid and the sides of the feeder. Little affect on the Bees will be noticed, however fermentation is a problem with their digestion so change the syrup often. You may defer the mold by adding 2-4 Tablespoons of filtered Apple Cider Vinegar and/or 1 level teaspoon Cream of Tartar. Some even use Clorox added to the syrup, but I have not tried this and hesitate to do so.

Bee Candy (A) “The Hive and the Honeybee”
15 lbs sugar
3 lbs corn syrup (3 pints)
4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
Dissolve sugar and Cream of Tartar in hot water. Heat to 242 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Stir as temperature goes up. Remove from heat and continue stirring while cooling to 180 degrees F. Then begin to beat the mix until it begins to harden. Pour in molds or on wax paper so each cake is about 2 lbs and about 1/2-inch thick. (Move rapidly as this mix sets quickly.) Place the candy on the top bars directly in the path (thermal column) the bees follow in the winter movement upward. Use a 2” shim or an empty shallow or medium hive body. Place a sheet of newspaper over the candy to draw moisture to the candy softening it for the bees. Replace the inner cover and telescoping cover.

There are many versions of this process. Try different mixes and settle with the one the bees process readily, and pay no attention to the beekeeper’s comfort or ease in processing.

There are many that have success with using the cheap paper plates as forms. Remember, candy must be solid, opaque in color and not sticky at room temperature when done.

Bee Candy (B)
10 lbs sugar
3.5 cups water
3.5 teaspoons white vinegar

Mix the vinegar and water bringing them up to boil with the cover on the pot, then slowly add sugar stirring until dissolved and re-cover. Continue to stir occasionally and re-cover until the brew comes to a boil. Keep the lid on for a few minutes to run the condensate down the sides. Note: Replacing the lid will become important when doing consecutive batches as it helps prevent caking on the sides. The temperature will reach the desired 242 degrees F when enough water has boiled away.

Take whole pot, sit it in cold water in sink and whip/stir vigorously. Careful—this stuff is hot! When temp gets down to 200–210 degrees F start the pour. Do not waste time as the set starts at higher temp in this mix than the one above. The second batch can quickly follow by putting the water and vinegar in the same pot and bring to a rolling boil with the lid in place so the crusted sugar will wash down. Then slowly add the sugar.

Hints: I use a pot with glass top so I can keep tabs on the brew to avoid a boil over. I use a Turkey-Fry thermometer that is a dial with an extra long probe. I run the temperature up to 242 degrees F. I have many batches to do so I do not clean up the pot until I have completed the season. Keep any sugar off the outside of the pot.

Solidified vegetable shortening (like Crisco®) mixed with granulated white sugar to the consistency of greasy dough patties, i.e., it will stay together and not crumble. Ratio of 2 parts sugar to 1 part grease. Put hamburger-size patty on piece of wax paper. Place the patty on the top bars near the brood cluster.

Note: Yards located in areas infested by the small hive beetle should not have grease patties. Beetles feed on them.


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