Monday, February 18, 2013


Ideally you will not have taken so much honey from your bees that they need feeding, but that may not always be the only reason they need help. 2012 was a terrible year in the UK for honey bees as it was wet or cold or both all through 'summer'. So plenty of our bees went into the autumn with low stores and needed help getting those stores increased before winter hit them. There are commercially available feeds on the market, like Ambrosia who supply fondant and syrup branded products and I get on ok with them (read this for another interesting viewpoint) if I don't have time to make my own. If you buy enough it can be much cheaper, so try and buy in bulk with your local beekeeping association. Even cheaper still - you can make your own; here is a recipe for fondant. 

You will need: 1 large saucepan, 1 electric hand mixer, 1 cooking thermometer, lots of shallow disposable setting 'pans' (take away containers are perfect)

Ingredients: 4 parts granulated sugar, 1 part water, 1 part teaspoon white vinegar

Pour sugar, water & vinegar into the saucepan & bring to the boil stirring constantly. Cover & gently boil for about 5 minutes.
Remove the lid & check the temperature with the cooking thermometer, continue to boil with the lid off until the temperature reaches 234F.
Remove from the heat & cool to 200F. Whip with the mixer until the mixture begins to turn white and creamy with air bubbles. Pour into the setting containers.
Allow the mixture to cool undisturbed. To feed your bees, place the container upside down over the hole in the Crown board so the bees can rise through the hive and feed on the fondant.

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