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2013/10/29

Brr, cold Bees

Got our first frost last night, I moved the bees to the open sided garage, and threw a wool blanket over the top and bungied it close. They face South so any sun will get on the face of the hive. I've been feeding them sugar water, but I need to stop that, it's too cold for them to get it and it might start to mold. I am going to make a special fondant feeder, put that on the hive, and feed them fondant.
What is fondant you ask? I'm glad you asked.
Here's a recipe for it and how to use it. I'll be using this (from jaseemtp on the TSP forum):



Bee Fondant Candy

10 lbs sugar (white table sugar)
2 pints water
½ teaspoon cream of tarter (do not add more)
1 cup dry pollen substitute or soy flour or rye flour
1 pinch of salt

Needed Equipment
1 large pot
1 long handled spoon
1 candy thermometer
Pans or molds for fondant
Spatula
Electric mixer
½ tsp measuring spoon
Foil

1.    Bring water to a boil with salt added
2.   Add ½ the sugar to the boiling water and stir, then add the other ½ once it has dissolved.
3.   Add cream of tarter and mix well
4.   Stir at slow to medium speed WITHOUT stopping until the mixture boils.  Once boiling stop stirring.  If you continue to stir the sugar will foam over. 
5.   One the mix is boiling and has reached your target temperature, remove from heat and let cool to 200 degrees.  Temp of 238 for fugy, 250 for rock candy.  The cooling process will take about 13 minutes.
6.   Once the mix has cooled to 200 degrees, then you will add your pollen sub or soy flour.  Using an electric mixer makes this process a lot easier.
7.   Pour the fondant into your molds or pans.  This will be VERY hot so be careful.
8.   This mix will take a few hours to cool, do not rush this part.
This will yield about 11 pounds of fondant.

Things that I do
I use paper plates as my mold.
I sift the pollen substitute to remove any large clumps.
Normally I get it to 235 ish, if you do not want to put the paper plate in the hive the candy will come off pretty easy. 
I made some 3/4 inch spacers for my hives, that give me room to place the fondant and any extra pollen sub.  I will push my girls a little and after the winter solstice I will start adding more pollen sub. 
Hope this helps

Jason

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