Candy Board for Bees is a winter inner cover with insulation & candy feed and has worked well for us overwintering colonies. The insulated inner cover candy board for bees is a item we fabricate onsite at our Minooka, IL location. They are typically placed on the hive on a warm day in early December before the winter solstice . The board includes the assembled wooden rim, double sided foil backed insulation, ventilation notch in the rim and the hardened candy embedded in the board (we custom build these at our place in Minooka).
Our batch of candy boards for fall of 2023 will be ready for pickup after Thanksgiving and we are taking orders for them now (shipping would happen around the same time).
These winter candy boards for beehives accomplish several things:
- adds insulation to the top of the hive so moisture does not condense on the inner top area and drip back down on the bees
- the candy board sugar will absorb some of the excess moisture and soften it making it easier for the bees to consume the candy
- adds winter candy so the bees have emergency feed if they run out of honey (you can easily monitor the candy feed by peeking at the candy board in winter)
- having the emergency bee feed across the entire top of the colony box allows the bees to move upwards from any frame and access the candy
- ventilation notch allows excess moisture to escape instead of trapping it in the colony
We build these bee candy boards for 10 FRAME, 8 FRAME, 5 FRAME and other custom sizes. The boards can be built with the candy or without. We will also refill candy boards from previous purchases at a reduced cost.
The candy boards for beehives should be picked up from our Minooka IL location as the candy tends to break and fall apart if handled roughly in shipping / transit. We can also make boards without the candy for a slightly reduced price (you can cook and add the candy at your place). Store candy boards flat with candy facing up away from high humidity as the cooked sugar mixture will absorb moisture from the air.
How to make candy board for bees recipe:
- Utilize one of our pre-made candy board rims with insulation and ventilation notch
- We typically produce enough candy for 6 to 7 candy boards at one time so adjust this recipe accordingly
- Wear appropriate protective gear and heat proof gloves when handling the candy
- In a large 44 quart pot bring 3/4 gallon of water to a boil
- Add 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- Slowly add 50 pounds of granulated sugar – mixing constantly so as to not scorch the sugar
- Bring the temperature of the mixture up to 245 degrees, stirring occasionally being careful to not let the mixture boil over
- Be careful to not overcook the candy as it will caramelize (darken) and the bees will not eat it (it is bad for them)
- At 245 degrees turn off the heat (we use an infrared thermometer to monitor the temperature while cooking / you can also use a candy thermometer)
- Optional – add 1 tablespoon of Honey Bee Healthy or Pro Health and mix thoroughly
- Pour molten candy into candy board forms being super careful of the hot candy as it can cause severe burns if you splash it onto yourself
- Allow candy to cool, clean up any stray candy while it is warm (once it cools and hardens it can be difficult to remove)
- Store finished candy boards flat with candy facing up away from high humidity as the cooked sugar mixture will absorb moisture from the air
Call or email us if you have questions on any of the above items.