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(left) The syrup is heated at a rolling
boil. Once it has reached 117 °C the
pan is placed in a sink containing
cold water
When it starts to go milky, it is
poured out immediately. A suitable
container is a roasting dish, here
lined with baking parchment
stirring, a sugar thermometer, a sink of completely cooled it will then break
cold water and your prepared into these blocks, rather like Kendal
receptacles. The batch size used here Mint Cake. Each block, or the contents
is sufficient to feed one colony or of individual containers, can go into its
maybe two not-so-light colonies. own plastic bag for storage.
Put 600 ml of hot water into a large FEEDING CANDY
saucepan and add two kilos of sugar.
Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then When you are ready to give your bees
heat. Bring the mixture to the boil. a winter feed, place the candy,
Once a good ‘rolling’ boil is achieved, exposed surface down, onto the top
you need to keep a close eye on the bars or feed hole(s) in the crownboard,
temperature with a sugar thermometer. directly over the winter cluster.
Depending on the thickness of yourWait until the temperature reaches
candy block and your roof space you117 °C (for historians and Mrs Beeton If bees are visible at the feed hole(s)
may need an eke or empty super to lift fans, this is ‘soft ball’) then take the in the crownboard you can place the
saucepan off the heat and stand it in the roof clear of the candy. candy above it
cold water. At this stage you will have You can place a plastic sheet over the
a clear solution and you will notice candy to keep it moist and fill the gap
that the solution at the outside edges between this and the roof with
begins to thicken where it is being crumpled paper or other insulation to
cooled most. You must move this as reduce heat loss.
you stir and mix it with the warm,
more mobile, syrup in the centre. SPRING TREATMENT
As the temperature drops below 70 °C In the spring, before you put the
watch carefully for the solution to start supers on, check whether there is any
to turn cloudy. The temperature will be candy left. If there is, remove it, as you
about 68 °C at this point and the don’t want sugar in your honey. You
mixture must be poured immediately can use the left-over candy to make
into the prepared receptacles. If you The block of candy can be put inup syrup for the next autumn feed.
delay, even for a few seconds, you can position with the backing paper stillMake a note to give colonies a bigger
end up with a pan full of solid candy. in place. If bees are not visible,autumn feed next time. If it is a very
remove the crownboard and put the
POURING THE CANDY large colony, was there enough space candy directly over the cluster
in the brood body for the autumnEmpty the saucepan into the
feed? Should the colony have beencontainer(s), taking care to remove as
overwintered on a brood-and-a-half?much of the contents as possible.
Could you have started the autumnAnything left in the saucepan will set
feed a little earlier?too but cleaning the saucepan is easy.
Simply fill it to the brim with water There are all kinds of reasons why the
and leave it to soak until the following autumn feed may not be sufficient to
day. The water will have dissolved any last the winter, some outside the
remaining candy. beekeeper’s control. Whatever the
If you use a single large receptacle, reason, giving a light colony a candy
you can mark the contents into winter feed is unlikely to do any harm
suitably sized blocks with a knife as and could well save a colony
they cool. When the slab has otherwise destined for starvation.
Page 30 Bee Craft digital January 2009
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