Friday, September 11, 2015

Claude Hoard's Sugar Block Recipe

17 lbs. Sugar
4.5 cups water
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. Honey-B-Healthy

Prep Work:
You should prepare your hive for winter feeding in late August by installing a 1.5-inch thick Imrie shim or homemade spacer to allow the sugar blocks to sit on top frames of the upper super.

Make a divided wood mold that will form two 8.25 X 14.25 X 1.5-inch thick blocks side by side.
Bottom should be 12.75 inches wide and 17.25 inches long, solid wood with (3) 1.5 X 1.5- inch tall framing slats lengthwise and two additional 1.5 X 1.5-inch slats across top and bottom to form the two molds.

Line molds with wax paper (but do not use Cut-Rite paper, wax melts off the paper too fast).

Try to use a stove burner that maintains constant temperature, a gas burner or electric burner designed for confection works best as these do not shut off and on during the heat process. Work somewhere other than the kitchen as the process makes quite a mess,

Bring water to a boil.

Stir continuously as you add the sugar, 2 cups at a time, until all sugar is added.

Boil sugar mixture at 240 degrees and until the mixture has the consistency of oatmeal.

Remove from heat, stir in vinegar and Honey-B-Healthy.

Pour mixture into molds and allow to cool.

Wait until mid-December to install your sugar blocks (wax paper side up). This will ensure that the cluster is deep in the hive and will prevent the bees from ignoring the stored honey in favor of the sugar blocks.

Sugar blocks should be checked as part of hive inspections in January, February and March. They should be removed once sugar/water feeding begins in April. The shim can also be removed at this time.

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