Sugar Bricks

Bee related information that doesnt fit any where else

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Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1279
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Sugar Bricks

Post by Jacobs » Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:34 pm

Swarms I caught in early May or later and splits I made at that time did not put up honey. Some of my out yard hives that swarmed late re-queened, but never pushed the queen down and back filled the upper supers with nectar/honey. Hives of decent strength have been eating the sugar blocks I have given them at a faster pace than in past years. One hive in Brown Summit has eaten over half the 2 bricks (1.5+ lbs each) I put on it 3 weeks ago.

This "winter" season for me will be one of constantly hefting hives from the front and the back, and popping the outer covers on 50 degree+ days to assess stores and prevent starvation.

royl
Nursebee
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:22 am

Re: Sugar Bricks

Post by royl » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:06 pm

If possible, could you share the Sugar Brick recipe? I can use it for the bees this winter and the neighborhood kids this Halloween.

Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1279
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Sugar Bricks

Post by Jacobs » Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:21 am

I don't have the "cooking" perfected--sometimes these bricks will break apart into smaller pieces, but the bees don't seem to mind. I use a heavy pot and a candy thermometer & will play with the temperatures a bit to see if I get better results, but the basic recipe is-

2 cups water
10lbs. sugar
stir & heat to 175F
Pour to desired thickness into lightly greased metal bread pans (picked up at yard sales or thrift stores for around 50 cents apiece & also used for making blocks of wax). Let cool. No more than 1 per trick or treater but 1 or 2 with a shim on a hive.

An easier and quick method for emergency feed is to put the shim on a hive, a sheet of newspaper that does not completely cover the top bars so bees can get around it easily, a couple pounds of plain sugar, and use a spray bottle to dampen the pile of sugar some so that the bees have the moisture they need to be able to make use of the sugar. Most of my hives did fine with bricks last winter, but 1 starved during that 1 week period that never got above freezing. They apparently had no water/moisture in the hive, could not make use of the dry sugar brink, and starved as a cluster just under it. On some forum boards you will see this sugar pile emergency feed technique called the "Mountaincamp Method."

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