There is a thought process within the beekeeping community that as your bees enter the colder winter months, they require a minimum of 1 full frame of honey for every 1 full frame of bees within the hive. Sometimes that still is not enough, however, so many beekeepers in our area also add a “Candy Board” which is nothing more than a 2″ tall board packed with hardened sugar.
Why Use A Candy Board?
- Candy Boards help extend the hive’s food stores through the winter.
- They also help prevent moisture from building up in the hive.
- Because Candy Boards have a ventilation hole, they allow an entrance and exit for the bees to take cleansing flights on the warmer days.
- Nothing goes to waste because anything left in the spring can be used to make up your 1:1 sugar syrup for spring feeding!
Basic Candy Board Recipe
10 pounds of sugar
2 cups water
1 teaspoon plain white vinegar (optional)*
1 teaspoon Honey Bee Healthy if you have it (optional)
*If you choose to use vinegar, add it to the water first. The purpose of the vinegar is to act as a mold inhibitor in the sugar.
- Pour a 10-pound bag of Pure Cane Sugar into a very large bowl.
- Slowly add the water/vinegar sitrring after each 1/2 cup.
- The idea is to moisten the sugar and get it just moist enough that it will form a hard brick inside the candy board.
- Continue to add the water.
- Mix the sugar until there are no clumps or chunks and you have a fine, moist amount of sugar.
- Line your candy board frame with tissue paper (or newspaper) and pour the sugar mixture into the frame.
- Spread evenly, leaving a semi-circle opening just in front of the ventilation hole.
For a complete tutorial using this recipe, watch this video by Jason Morgan. His beekeeping club is in Indiana and if this method helps his bees survive an Indiana winter, this method will surely work for our North Carolina bees.