‘Honey B Healthy’ Recipe
5 cups water
2 ½ pounds of sugar
1/8 teaspoon lecithin granules (used as an emulsifier)
15 drops spearmint oil
15 drops lemon grass oil
Bring the water to a boil and integrate the sugar until dissolved. Once the sugar is dissolved remove the mixture from the heat and quickly add the lecithin and the essential oils. Stir until everything is evenly distributed. This solution should have a strong scent and not be left open around bees. Cool before using.
Bee Candy Board (wet method)
15-16 lb. of sugar
~3 cups water
1 tbsp. plain white vinegar (optional)
1 Pollen patty (optional)
If you choose to use the vinegar (as a mold inhibitor) add it to the water.
Pour 2 bags of sugar into a very large container and gradually add about half the water, stirring to wet the sugar well. Continue adding sugar and water alternately until all the sugar is wet.
Put newspaper or waxed paper under your candy board, and fill with wet sugar. If you are using a pollen patty, fill the board half-way, add the patty in the center, and finish with sugar. Screen the sugar off level with the top of the board. Allow to harden overnight.
Remove inner cover from hive, and replace with candyboard, screen side down. Replace outer cover.
You can now easily raise the outer cover any time and slip in additional sugar bricks if you need them.
For smaller batch use 2 four lbs. bags and 1 1/2 cups of water and stir. put in container and place in warm place and let dry. (Works great in an emergency.)
Bee Candy Board ( Hot Method)
Large stainless steel pot
16 oz. (2 cups) water ( Recipe may have to be increased for larger candy boards. )
5 pounds sugar
Cook to 248° F (use candy thermometer)
½ pollen patty (optional)
Plywood Candy Board (instructions follow)
Put 16 ounces of water (2 cups) into a large pot (preferably stainless steel) and place over medium to medium high heat. Add 5 pounds of sugar (you will need to mix it in with a spoon). It will be very thick and quite cloudy until it comes to boil and as it approaches the proper temperature (248 degrees), you will notice it changes from cloudy/opaque to clear
You need to continue to stir the mixture as it heats and comes to the proper temperature (candy makers call it the “soft ball” stage just before it hits the “hard ball” stage at 250 degrees). Do not be concerned or panic if the temperature hits 250 degrees, the candy board will still turn out fine.
Once the mixture is at 248 to 250 degrees, then remove pan from heat and let it cool for a minute or so.
As the mixture cools it will change from clear to cloudy. You can continue to stir it for a bit so you can get an idea of how quick it is thickening (hardening up). Do not let it get too hard or it will not pour out and run evenly across the surface of the candy board (it still has to be liquid enough to still level out on the board). Let the candy board thoroughly cool and harden before you place it on a hive.
I put ½ of a pollen patty on the board before I pour the candy mixture. I remove the wax paper from both sides of the pollen patty for two reasons.First the bottom side of the patty will stick to the board better and secondly, the bees have enough on their hands trying to stay alive without having to tug/pull and shred the wax paper off the patty before they can get to it. The pollen patty is not required, but many beekeepers who make their own candy boards put anywhere from a 3rd to ½ of a pollen patty on the board. It may give the colony an edge on the resumption of brood production in the late stages of winter.
The above recipe is for re-using existing candy boards. If you do not have one, you will need to make one first. It is essentially a piece of 3/8th inch plywood cut to the same dimension of a hive body with 1 inch by 2 inch boards cut to length and affixed (I use screws) to create “sides” to contain the candy mixture once it is poured on the board. Or you can use wire and the bees can come up into the box through the wire, then put the patty about near the top of the poured candy.
Swarm Trap Bait
Bees Wax/Used Beehives – There are a couple of things you can do to entice the bees to your swarm trap. The best way is to take a beehive that has already been used. The box will have propolis, beeswax, and all kinds of smells in it that let the scout bees know that your box is a suitable home. If you don’t have an old beehive the next best thing you can do is take some beeswax, buy some if you have to, and rub it all over the interior of your hive.
Lemongrass Oil – A lot of people, including myself, use lemongrass oil as a lure. This works really well when added to old beehives. Basically you take a little plastic baggie with a few pin holes in it, put a drop or two in the bag and seal it up. Place this at the bottom of the hive. I usually put some on my finger and apply it on the outside of the beehive near the entrance. The hives that I put lemongrass oil in seem to always have scout bees flying around them. I find that it works really well.
Queen Juice – Queen Juice is made by taking all your old and or unused virgin queens and placing them in alcohol. The reason this works is because of the Queen Mandibular Pheromone. Most people use a combination of Queen Juice and lemongrass oil. Those who use this method claim it does wonders. I have not tried it yet but plan on trying it in the future. There is also a commercial version available that you can buy.
Commercial Lure – These are lures that you can buy from most bee supply companies. You can buy Queen Mandibular Pheromone(Queen Juice) in little tubes that you place inside the hive. You can also buy Swarm Lure which is Nasonov pheromone. Most people use both Queen Juice and either Swarm lure or Lemongrass oil together. Swarm Lure and Lemongrass oil are chemically similar but lemongrass oil is much cheaper to buy.
Curt’s Lemongrass Wax Suave Lure
1/8 cup olive oil
I sq inch bees wax
Lemongrass Essential Oil
Geranium Essential Oil
Heat oil and melt wax into it. Add 20-25 drops of lemongrass oil. Add 10 drops of Geranium oil, add 10 drops of honey. Stir well and pour into small glass containers. Allow to cool and seal. Store in refrigerator.( if you want suave to be more solid add more wax but also add more essential oils. Or cut back on the olive oil. )
When ready to use take out and let warm to room temp and rub on inside of bee box that is being used for trap. Trap is best if hung at least 8 ft above ground with entrance to south.