Happy New Year!

With an amazing snow day on Sunday, and a few days off for the New Year holiday Josh and I were able to made a candy board for the ladies.

Sadie found a post on the Beverly Bees blog that shared details of how to construct such a thing – and as a result – found a solution to getting us out of making fondant!

So… with a 50 lb. bag of sugar* – some handy work in our woodshop in the basement – and 24 hours of dry time – the board was made (and yes, Bow, Wow, Wow’s I want Candy was our soundtrack – I highly recommend listening to this while looking at the following images!)

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Josh cutting up some pine for the edging

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Cutting the pieces on a 45 degree angle

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Measuring against the inner-cover

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Wood glue on the ends of the board

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Lucky to have this handy dandy corner brace (perfect for making frames – and now candy boards) – Josh nailed each edge after he glued the ends

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Screwing in the queen excluder to the pine edging

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Making a 5/8″ hole in the board so the bees have an upper exit hole in the hive, as well as added ventilation for the hive

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50 lbs of sugar…  I only used 16lbs

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Quite a sight…

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The make-shift lab:

board frame – check

mixing bucket – check

vinegar – check

trowel – check

3 cups of water – check

wax paper – check

4″ x 5″ block – check

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We’re ready!

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Mixing in 3 cups of water with three tablespoons of white vinegar*

The vinegar does two things: it raises the pH of the sugar (making it easier for the bees to digest) and it helps prevent mold.

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Packing the sugar in the board. I lined the queen excluder with wax paper from my foundations I bought last year.  Some make boards with or without – I chose to use them this year – if it’s messy later in the season I’ll rethink this.

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Packing in tight and smoothing out with the trowel… that’s 16 lbs of sugar packed solid!

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Testing how dry the board is after 24 hours – it’s pretty solid (and heavy)!

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Ready for transport

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The bees!  It was such a treat to peek in and see my ladies  – I missed them!  They look good!

But didn’t want to get them too cold – so I moved fast… I lifted the inner cover, put down the candy board, and then sealed her up!

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Snug and well fed… one can only hope Mavis survives the rest of the winter!

I hope this finds you snug and well fed!  Enjoy these snowy days – and think spring!

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