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Bee Hive building & a place to share howto's on equipment
 #4754  by Chrisbarlow
 07 Sep 2019, 09:31
Does any one make sugar blocks to feed bees with and if so, what are your thoughts

this is the recipe 250ml cider vinegar, 5kg sugar , 1/2 teaspoon citric acid, a few drops of lemon oil

https://youtu.be/KR6AHrOSVRU

I am curious to know, why are the individual ingredients necessary.

sugar is obvious, thats the carbs.
I think I know why lemon grass oil, I understand it to be attractive to bees, so making the food more appetising
I suspect the vinegar is added due to possibly being perceived as a source of extra nutrients.
No idea why the citric acid is added.

Further query, is this suitable to put on in cold dead of winter instead of fondant?

Modifications to the above receipe could be to add pollen substitute

I have read a blog below from Massachusetts which has similar winter temps to us and they gacve it a thumbs up, although the winter she talks about was unusually warm.
https://www.beverlybees.com/sugar-candy-board-assessment-feeding-bees-in-winter
 #4755  by Chrisbarlow
 07 Sep 2019, 09:59
just to add a little more info. here is a few comments on another forum about sugar blocks

https://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?304868-Fondant-V-Sugar-Blocks
 #4761  by Patrick
 07 Sep 2019, 18:17
There is a noble tradition of bunging all sorts of things in hives and feed supplements are no exception. The more arcane the constituents the better - carp anglers making boilies have made an art of it.

I have an Italian beekeeper friend who swears by a herbal tea she put in her winter feed and was apparently shocked I did nothing similar.

I have no idea re the vinegar aside from remembering an enthusiasm a few years back to supposedly “invert” sugar syrup using acids such as acetic (vinegar) or citric (lemon juice).

Personally I keep acids and sugar apart as it is suggested HMF levels can be elevated, but I am no chemist.
 #4762  by Chrisbarlow
 07 Sep 2019, 19:08
Patrick wrote:
07 Sep 2019, 18:17
I have an Italian beekeeper friend who swears by a herbal tea she put in her winter feed and was apparently shocked I did nothing similar.
I am shocked you dont do some thing similar to!

Sorry thats wrong, I would be shocked if you did, thats it.
 #4763  by Chrisbarlow
 07 Sep 2019, 19:09
thats given a clue to why add the citric acid then, maybe to invert the sugar possibly. That never crossed my mind although it should have.
 #4765  by Patrick
 08 Sep 2019, 09:00
Chrisbarlow wrote:
I am shocked you dont do some thing similar to!

Sorry thats wrong, I would be shocked if you did, thats it.
:lol: :lol: :lol:
 #4854  by Chrisbarlow
 20 Sep 2019, 18:36
Well, made up some sugar blocks. Dried em ok in a warming cabinet. Seem fine. Big test is to stick on some bees and see how they work em.