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!)


Josh cutting up some pine for the edging


Cutting the pieces on a 45 degree angle


Measuring against the inner-cover


Wood glue on the ends of the board


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


Screwing in the queen excluder to the pine edging


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


50 lbs of sugar…  I only used 16lbs


Quite a sight…


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


We’re ready!


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.



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.


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


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


Ready for transport


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!


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!