30 pounds of sugar

You have to feed your bees during the winter. Much of the hive will die off, and they’ll cluster together, most likely in the middle of the hive. (A worker only lives for 30 to 90 days, anyway.) Right now we’re feeding them with a top feeder, which has concentrated sugar water. Once it gets colder, we’ll take out the top feeder and put in “candy boards.”

It seems appropriate to talk about candy boards now, just before Halloween. The recipe is 10 pounds of sugar, two cups of water, and a spoonful of vinegar (as an anti-fungal). Here’s the before picture:

Supplies to make candy for the candy boards.
Bee suit, vinegar, sugar, portable drill and paint mixer.

The sugar comes in 25-pound bags from warehouse stores. I added a standard five-pound bag from the local supermarket. Used a stew pot, mixed things together and it forms a slushy texture that you then push down into the frames. Do this three times (we have three hives), and you end up with this:

Three candy boards each with a 10 pound "candy" slab.
Ten pounds of sugar in each frame.

These will dry in a day or two and then I wait until it gets cold, certainly no later than Christmas.

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