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Author Topic: carmelized sugar?  (Read 933 times)

Offline rober

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carmelized sugar?
« on: January 03, 2014, 04:56:59 PM »
found a bunch of candy board recipes which are pretty much the same. one recipe however mentioned that overheated syrup that has caramelized is harmful to bees. any other views on this  I had a batch get up to 250 deg. plus. I poured it into molds so as to keep moving forward making more boards. the top surface is setting up like a creme brulee so the syrup probably did caramelize.

Offline Moots

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Re: carmelized sugar?
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2014, 07:24:26 PM »
found a bunch of candy board recipes which are pretty much the same. one recipe however mentioned that overheated syrup that has caramelized is harmful to bees. any other views on this  I had a batch get up to 250 deg. plus. I poured it into molds so as to keep moving forward making more boards. the top surface is setting up like a creme brulee so the syrup probably did caramelize.

rober,
Disclaimer: I'm really not sure!

However, I do remember reading and hearing warnings when I was researching how to best prepare 1:1 syrup for feeding that you DO NOT want to add the sugar to the water when it was boiling because it causes a chemical change to the sugar that is harmful to the bees.  Whatever that's worth.... ;)
"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
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Offline rober

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Re: carmelized sugar?
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2014, 07:46:11 PM »
I brought everything to a boil as a mixture. the molded blocks are cooling opaque & the syrup does not taste caramelized. the other boards I made were not overheated & are reacting like the molds so it's probably o.k. I'm still curious about the caramel question though.

Offline wildbeekeeper

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Re: carmelized sugar?
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2014, 05:13:11 AM »
Could be the water you used. I always start off with cold water in the pot start heating and add sugar.  I tried starting off with hot tap water a few times and the boards never set up and were very "soft"

Offline buzzbee

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Re: carmelized sugar?
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2014, 07:12:00 AM »
Carmelizing sugar creates solids that bees have trouble digesting and could lead to dysentary. If it's cold out this can be a big problem.

Offline T Beek

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Re: carmelized sugar?
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2014, 07:13:21 AM »
I brought everything to a boil as a mixture. the molded blocks are cooling opaque & the syrup does not taste caramelized. the other boards I made were not overheated & are reacting like the molds so it's probably o.k. I'm still curious about the caramel question though.

It 'may' be OK based on the description.  However it 'may' be one of those 'better safe than sorry' predicaments.  

That said, sugar is relatively cheap.  If they were my bees I wouldn't take the chance.  Its been said by many Beeks for many years that overheated (caramelized or not) sugar water (or honey) is not good for honeybees.  Follow your instincts and do your best for your bees and they will return the favor.
"Trust those who seek the truth, doubt those who say they've found it."

Offline rober

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Re: carmelized sugar?
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2014, 02:50:38 PM »
thanks y'all! that's what I needed to know. always trying to separate fact from fiction. with the batches after the overheated one I just heated & stirred til the mix started to bubble & turned it off. it may not have reached the recommended 234 deg. but I do not think that is critical. the mix was clear before it stated to cool. it seems like the the sugar mix does not boil until around 220 deg.

Offline buzzbee

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Offline rober

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Re: carmelized sugar?
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2014, 10:31:54 PM »
i read robo's link & he's heating his syrup to 270 deg. he's also boiling the water before adding the sugar. that contradicts some other recipes but seems to be working for him. so here we go again-ask 10 beekeepers & get 14 answers.
disclaimer-I'm not criticizing anyone, just repeating what I've read.

Offline Moots

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Re: carmelized sugar?
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2014, 11:12:55 PM »
i read robo's link & he's heating his syrup to 270 deg. he's also boiling the water before adding the sugar. that contradicts some other recipes but seems to be working for him. so here we go again-ask 10 beekeepers & get 14 answers.
disclaimer-I'm not criticizing anyone, just repeating what I've read.

Welcome to the life of being a BeeK!  :-D

Not sure what the difference is, maybe there's a difference concerning 1:1 syrup and Candy.  I found several links with recipes...This first one warns against bringing it to a boil when talking about 1:1 syrup, yet references 238°F for making Bee candy. LINK to BeeKeeping Feeding Recipes!

Here's another site that recommends 234°F for Candy....LINK!

234°, 238°, 270°....who knows, but obviously boiling is intended when making candy and the suggestion to avoid boiling that I mentioned applies to making 1:1 syrup.  Sorry if I confused the issue.
Good Luck!  :)
"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
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Offline danno

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Re: carmelized sugar?
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2014, 02:49:42 PM »
I've been using robos recipe for many years.   You have to be glued to the pot and NEVER stop stirring while keeping a eye on the thermometer.  A average year I make 400 to 500 lbs using this recipe.  2 qts of water, 6 tbsp of vinegar and 25 lbs of sugar.  Hard candy is over 95% solids and doesnt start boiling until the temps are over 250.  What you are doing by boiling is driving off most of the water you added to start.  If you stop below 265 - 270 you will have soft spots in your boards.  This recipe with make nice white (not burned brown carmel) hard candy