Yesterday it was a warmer winter day, so I checked in on the bees. They look pretty good, but had devoured their candy I left in there.
Since it’s only January, I decided to give them some extra food! So, last night I decided to make more candy to slip into the hives today.
Before winter set in, I put the spacers on the top of the hives to make room for bee candy. The Mr. made them by ripping down some old barn wood he already had.
Gather up your ingredients. You’ll need sugar, water, vinegar, a pot (I use an old one), pie pan or metal container to pour it in and a candy thermometer.
Start off by mixing in the sugar and water into the pot. It’s a 4:1 ratio of sugar to water. To fill up one pie pan, I use 4 cups of sugar to 1 cup of water. Pour in a tiny amount of vinegar. Just a little splash.
Stir and stir until it starts to come to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, put the lid on and let it boil for 3 minutes (it will be clear at this point!)
After 3 minutes, take off the lid and put in the candy thermometer and wait until the temperature gets up to 234 degrees F.
Once it reaches the temperature mentioned above (234 degrees), take it off of the heat and allow it to cool to 200 degrees F.
Once it gets close to 200 degrees, whisk it well and pour it into a cheap pie tin. It hardens quickly, so pour quickly. (I keep a spatula close by to scrap the quickly hardening candy with!)
Allow the patties to cool completely before putting them into the hive. (In the picture above I lined the pie pan with parchment paper, but it’s not necessary.)
You can double the recipe, if needed.
Recipe for 1 pie pan bee candy:
1. Gather sugar, vinegar, water, pot and candy thermometer.
2. Mix 4 cups sugar to 1 cup water and a splash of vinegar.
3. Mix continuously until it comes to a boil.
4. Cover the pot and allow to boil for 3 minutes.
5. Take off the lid and put in the candy thermometer and continue to let it heat up to 234 degrees F.
6. Then pull the pot off of the heat and allow the candy to cool to 200 degrees.
7. Whisk the liquid candy and pour quickly into the pan.
8. Allow it to cool completely before placing in the hive.
I have used this recipe for years and the bees seem to like it! And future me, you will be thanking me for finally putting this in a place where it won’t get lost!
Enjoy and happy beekeeping! If you have hives, I hope your bees are doing ok too!