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Author Topic: Candy  (Read 1310 times)
Bush_84
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« on: January 15, 2014, 04:01:25 PM »

So I made up around 10 lbs of candy and they are cooling in their molds ATM.  This was done due to starving hives and concern about being able to inspect them with dry sugar dumped on them.  I have never bad luck with fondant or candy.  My last attempt at candy was a a recipe with protein powder added in.  It was as hard as a rock when it set.  I put it in my hives and it turned into a soft taffy.  It drooped half way down my frames and became rock solid when the bees died.  That stuff I just set on top of the hive without anything underneath it.  How can I protect myself from this happening again?  My molds are paper plates.  Can I just leave the paper plate where it is and put that on top of the hive or does the candy really need to be in direct contact with the hive?  Will wax paper or newspaper be enough?  I really really don't wants repeat incident.
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tefer2
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« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2014, 04:49:03 PM »

We don't add protein powder to our candy unless we know they will have cleansing flights. Not happening in the middle in winter.
Making goods candy is very dependent on temperature when cooking.
A good quality temp gauge is a must to make turn out.
It should be hard when cooled down and not soft at all.
Turning that soft is a sign of to much moisture in the hive.
Think top entrance or top vent box for next winter.
We use a 2 inch shim above the top box and that is covered by innercover and top.
We have used a wood bound queen excluder on the top box to hold candy.
Before that, I made frames of 1 by covered with 1/2 hardware cloth.
Easy viewing of remaining candy by inner cover hole.
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Bush_84
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« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2014, 05:15:23 PM »

The disaster was last year.  I have upper vent in a two inch shim which sounds similar to what you run.  I plan on getting one of those ir thermometers.  For now I just want to prevent starvation without these things oozing down. 
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tefer2
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« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2014, 05:59:46 PM »

I've had protein patties melt in the hive before, not had hard candy do it though.
You could try to make it harder, like firm ball or even hard ball candy.
I like mine between soft ball and firm ball.
We use brownie pans lined with saran wrap for a mold.
I use this one for the candy.
http://www.meijer.com/s/wilton-candy-thermometer/_/R-142420

They are sold all over up here under several different names. Look the same.

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Bush_84
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« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2014, 06:30:54 PM »

Basically what I use.  I brought it to 270 and it's setting in paper plates because I guess that's what I had on hand.  Another question....will the candy be more dense that plain sugar due to loss of air space between sugar granules? 
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tefer2
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« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2014, 06:56:30 PM »

Heating to 270 (hard ball) is Robo's recipe for bee candy.
http://robo.bushkillfarms.com/beekeeping/emergency-feeding/
I think Danno uses that recipe also.
Gives true meaning the term "brick" that stuff is hard.
The bees still use it up and I think it collects more moisture than softer candy.
Your boiling off the liquid to get to temp, so I guess it's more dense.
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merince
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« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2014, 01:08:33 PM »

Candy right on top of the cluster will absorb moisture from the bees' breathing and soften from the heat from the cluster. I cook mine to the upper end of softball. Also, they would need the protein in the spring and not mid-winter.

You can probably lay a (as in one) sheet of newspaper under the candy, so it won't drip even if it gets soft and gooey. The candy needs to be in contact with the cluster for them to use it when it is below 50F. They can chew through a sheet of newspaper faster than through a paper plate.

My candy recipe: http://www.donnellyfarmsohio.com/2013/11/fall-inspections-bee-candy-boards-and.html I don't cook the pollen in, I add it after the candy has cooled down somewhat.
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Bush_84
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« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2014, 05:00:48 PM »

So this light golden transparent color is normal right? 



Sorry about the lighting.  Took out in the garage.  I can bring inside for better lighting if needed. 
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merince
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« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2014, 05:54:43 PM »

Mine are lighter, but I cook it to lower temps. I think it looks good (as far as I can see)
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tefer2
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« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2014, 07:30:53 AM »

Is that pic after is has set up? You can't see through ours after it has hardened.
Are you whipping air into it before you pour into molds?
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danno
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« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2014, 08:11:19 AM »

The brown color would worry me.  Brown means camelization.  My turn out white as snow.   I pour mine into dollar store foil pie tins and make them about 1 inch think.   They are very dense and heavy
« Last Edit: January 17, 2014, 12:58:29 PM by danno » Logged
Bush_84
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« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2014, 09:28:38 AM »

I stir it until it reaches the appropriate temp then I pour it into the molds and leave it.  It was hard as a rock when I took the pic.  I am getting so sick of throwing away sugar.  I suppose the last ditch effort is to get one of those ir thermometers and see if that works better.  At what temp does sugar normally carmelize?
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danno
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« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2014, 09:40:06 AM »

Not sure of the temp.   I make caramel for brewing some of my belgian beers recipes.   I just dont stir as much and it just kinda burns it.  It all happens really fast.   It might just be harder to control and monitor the temp with small batches.  I do 25 lbs of sugar at a time in my garage with a turkey deepfrier setup.  One thing that I should point out is making large batches is not a waste even if you only have a couple of colonies.  The stuff lasts forever.   In spring when the bee's start flying and dont need them anymore I pull all the remaining boards off and store them in sealed plastic buckets.  These get used first the next winter.     
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matthewstiles
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« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2014, 10:05:47 AM »

At what temp does sugar normally carmelize?

Fructose   110C, 230F
Galactose   160C, 320F
Glucose   160C, 320F
Sucrose   160C, 320F
Maltose   180C, 356F
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Bush_84
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« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2014, 01:38:23 PM »

Ya I could do an enormous batch but it seems like I am already wasting sugar.  I'd hate to do a huge batch if I can't even get a small batch right. 

Well most of those temps are in the 300s.  So either I am missing something or this thermometer is way off.
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Bush_84
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« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2014, 06:19:25 PM »

Here's something I thought of while sitting at work...I've always added lemon juice to all of the sugar products that I feed my bees.  I am assuming this is why my candy turned out funny.  So the next question....is this stuff darker because of the lemon juice rendering it usable or did the lemon juice change the chemistry of the sugar predisposing it to carmalization? 

Sorry for the double post.  This just hit me that I used the stuff whereas most suggest to use vinegar. 
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tefer2
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« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2014, 07:47:34 AM »

I found that there can be a big difference between thermometers purchased.
I placed 6 of them together and checked the results. The dial type were all over the place. The style I listed were within a couple degrees of each other.
I would try a small batch without the juice and use vinegar instead.
It should be opaque and set hard when cool.
Let us know how it turns out.
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tefer2
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« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2014, 08:11:57 AM »

Here's the recipe for a small batch.
Five lb sugar
2 cups water
1 tablespoon vinegar
Combine and stir to dissolve sugar.
Start heating to temperature without stirring
Heat to 234 degrees, about 12 minutes on my stove
Remove from heat and let cool to under 200 degrees, about 12 minutes
Stir or whisk till it starts to get cloudy and quickly pour into molds
You have to move fast after stirring cause it will set quickly
If you want to add anything else to the candy, do it just before you stir it.
When adding protein powder, I place in bottom of mold before pouring.
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Bush_84
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« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2014, 10:14:22 AM »

At 234 how hard does that set?
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tefer2
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« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2014, 10:28:44 AM »

235-240 is called softball, but the bee candy will be hard to the touch. Not gooey.
You can't dent it with your fingernail.
The higher the cooking temp. the harder it gets.
I usually let them cool down overnight in the open.
Scroll down this page for a photo of how white it looks.
http://wadesbees.wordpress.com/category/feeding-bees/
He is now using our recipe with the vinegar added instead of creme of tarter.
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capt44
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« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2014, 12:34:59 PM »

I make mine like Tefer2.
I use a glass candy thermometer.
When it reaches 234 degrees F I turn the heat off and let it cool to 200 degrees F
I then use a whisk and whisk it until it starts turning a white looking color then pour it into the mold.
I let it setup overnight and it's ready to go.
If it gets too hot it will be brittle and subject to shatter.
If you cool it down too fast while in the mold it will have cracks in it also.
I pour mine into the deep side of an inner cover or in paper plates with wax paper in them.
You can take the disk and store them in 5 gallon buckets.
The bees really like them when you add just a little Pro Health or Honey Bee Healthy to the fudge.
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Richard Vardaman (capt44)
Bush_84
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« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2014, 09:58:09 AM »

Ok let me ask this likely to be long and drawn out question.

Can I just toss the bag of sugar in there while still in the bag?  I read this on honey bee suite.  What I am looking to do with candy is make it easy to replace sugar once the bees have already gone through their supply.  I suppose I could put down another piece of newspaper and dump more sugar on top but that seems like it would take longer than I'd like.  I started looking into candy because you can slap that down in a second and close things up.  But why can't a bag of sugar be that easy as well?  Cut a small slit in the bag, maybe spray it with some lemon grass oil/water mix, and close up the hive.  The bees should be able to eat through the bag easy enough right?  Then if it turns out they didn't need it, I can pick up the bag and make syrup in the spring.  I am quickly finding that dry sugar is very difficult and messy to clean up if the hive didn't make the stuff solid.  This just sounds like a neat idea and wanted to see if anybody else has tried before I go and ruin another 10 lbs of sugar.
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BingalingBees
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« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2014, 01:38:03 PM »

I've had some success with making bee candy these last 2 winters, but I always heat to 240 to 242 degrees before cooling to about 195 degrees and adding a little ProHealth & Vinegar. The vinegar acts as a catalyst... smaller grains of sugar and helps with the conversion from glucose to sucrose & fructose - both which makes it easier for bees to digest in colder months.
 
Here's my recipe for 5 lbs sugar, which makes 5 medium size paper plates.
Bee Candy Recipe         
Emergency Feeding late winter / early spring         
5 lb sugar             Caution: Hot Syrup   
2 1/2 cups water     Handle with Care!   
1/2 teaspoon ProHealth         
1/2 teaspoon Vinegar         
Bring Water to boil on medium high heat         
Add sugar & stir, add more sugar & stir (don't cover)   

Continue stirring, and bring to soft ball stage ~242 degrees         
Remove from heat, cool to about 195 degrees, stirring occasionally         
Add ProHealth & Vinegar, stir vigorously and quickly pour into molds         
Should be fudge hard at room temperature when completely cooled.          
Place on top bars, and add empty honey super if required?



Or you can use mountain camp method of dry sugar on newspaper... wet newspaper on the bars (or they'll chew holes and dry sugar will run out bottom of hive), spread dry sugar on newspaper and mist with water to make crust. Place empty super on top or reverse your inner cover with space down and close up.         
« Last Edit: January 20, 2014, 01:50:06 PM by Robo » Logged

Brad Raspet - Mount Vernon, WA
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Bush_84
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« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2014, 10:08:07 PM »

The sugar bag thing worked out great!  All I did was put a 10 lb bag of sugar into a cake pan around the same size, dump a cup of sugar into the pan, allow the bag to soak it up, the next day flipped it over to air dry.  The bottom is rock hard.  Now later this week I will place a medium over my eke and put it over the top bars.  Easy peezey! 
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jim81147
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« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2014, 12:04:18 AM »

what is the advantage to using candy over just blocks of sugar , if any?
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BingalingBees
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« Reply #25 on: January 25, 2014, 12:16:57 AM »

smaller grains, sucrose converted to fructose & glucose making it easier, lees energy used by bees to digest...
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Brad Raspet - Mount Vernon, WA
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