Author Topic: SUGAR BRICKS  (Read 11637 times)

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Offline riverbee

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Re: SUGAR BRICKS
« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2016, 12:55:16 am »
jen, i used two different sheets, one was a regular large cookie sheet and the other was an aluminum sheet cake tin.  i liked the depth and length of the sheet cake tin.  i haven't used the pie tins.  with the sheets, (go back to my first post) make sure you cut/score your squares just after you pour your mixture in.  once dried, these squares will probably have to be cut again. it's sort of a pita.  i was looking for an easier way where i didn't have to cut/score, and just pile the sugar in something that i could easily dump out when dried.  the cookie sheet and sheet cake pan worked, i just was annoyed at having to recut the squares.  ;D paper plates, pie tins, or paper bowls would be great i think, cuz no cutting involved.  paper plates don't hold much even though they are a larger diameter, pie tins much better i would think......they are deeper than paper plates. the bowls i am going to try!

hope this helps?!

ps jen, the sugar won't dry overnight, depending on your method, what you are using, and how deep the container is..........
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: SUGAR BRICKS
« Reply #21 on: December 02, 2016, 03:26:27 am »
Jen, in the case of both recipes, I didn't "pour" the sugar into pie tins.  It wasn't liquid.  I used my hand to scoop it up and pressed it into pie tins.  The end result was, shall I say, fluffy?  Still very easy to do.
As for using pie tins, there is wasted space in the oven and storing.  On the other hand, using cookie sheet pans or jelly roll pans, would be more efficient use of space.  Perhaps that is what river is referring to.  You and I probably don't have as many hives as river and pie tins are fine.  I left my sugar bricks in the pie tins to transport them. 
I just realized that sugar bricks are similar to the molded sugar cake decorations I used to make 40 years ago.  If protected, those things lasted indefinitely.  I don't think anyone makes those anymore!  Out of style.

Jen, you are right about Fire King.  Good stuff!  I think I have a coffee cup or 2.

Offline Jen

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Re: SUGAR BRICKS
« Reply #22 on: December 02, 2016, 12:21:09 pm »
Hi Baker  ;)  Usually I only have 2-3 hives, so pie tins worked well. But this year I'm wintering 3 hives and 4 nucs. So, I think the jelly roll pan would be more efficient. Or, even 13x9 tins side by side. 

Made up my HBH last night, and I will be adding 1 cup of honey to the batch as well.

Already have one dead out nuc. For the first time I will be feeding all winter. 
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Offline riverbee

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Re: SUGAR BRICKS
« Reply #23 on: December 08, 2016, 11:51:33 pm »
jen,
just make sure you cut/score the sugar squares well.........and you will probably have to cut them again once dried.
i am a little late to the reply here, but post back and give us an update on how your's turned out!
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Offline Jen

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Re: SUGAR BRICKS
« Reply #24 on: December 08, 2016, 11:59:06 pm »
Hi Riv, That is soo funny, I'm making them right now. I did the recipe with round pie tins this first time to get an idea of what one batch makes. I have 4 nucs, and three hives. So I scored two of the pie cakes so each nuc would get half of a pie cake. I really l like this recipe, so easy and can get done in one evening.

Sure thing, I will post back  8)
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Offline riverbee

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Re: SUGAR BRICKS
« Reply #25 on: December 09, 2016, 01:08:33 am »
lol jen.........thanks!  too funny you are mixing now!

the recipe is easy!
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: SUGAR BRICKS
« Reply #26 on: December 09, 2016, 04:06:57 am »
I have made 2 batches of recipe #2.  I have the oven thing down now and it has worked well for me.  The second time I mixed all my liquids, including some of my own honey,  thoroughly in the mixing bowl before adding the sugar.  4# of sugar at a time works well for me.  I am in no rush.  I end up with a very fluffy granular sugar consistency that is easier picked up by the hand and pressed into a pie tin.  After a couple of hours at 175 degrees and allowed to sit in the oven over night, I have rock solid bricks. 

Offline riverbee

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Re: SUGAR BRICKS
« Reply #27 on: December 10, 2016, 01:23:29 am »
bakers, i had to go back and re-read your adaptation, from your post # 7..........

"I adapted the recipe and used 4# of sugar, 1/3 cup water, 5 drops of Honey B Healthy and drizzled a little of my girl's own honey in as well. "

for the 4 lbs of sugar, were your liquids the same?

i want to try this, and i like being able to put them in the oven for a couple hours or so at 175, then overnight with the light on to have rock solid bricks.  some of mine were so thick from recipe # 1 i had to let them dry out outside the oven.  worked but time consuming.
i want to try this, but instead of pie tins, i am going to use the dixie bowls.......lol, wish me luck!
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: SUGAR BRICKS
« Reply #28 on: December 10, 2016, 07:24:18 am »
river, the dixie bowls should work.  I think my bricks were ready after a couple of hours, but I let them remain in the oven overnight for insurance. 
Using the original recipe #2, I simply divided.  I believe the original called for 12# of sugar.  Since the sugar I had on hand was in 4# bags, I divided the rest of the ingredients by 3.  I didn't measure the amount of honey I added at the beginning with the rest of the liquids.  It was at least 1/2 to 1 cup of honey.  The more honey, the longer it will take to harden.  As you know, baking with honey, things stay softer for a longer period of time. 
Using recipe #1, that says to add 5 drops of Honey B Healthy, I thought that was a good idea too.
Recap:
1/3 cup of water
5 drops of Honey B Healthy
1/2 to 1 cup of your own honey
Mix the above ingredients.
Add:
4# sugar
Mix with mixer in bowl until liquid is thoroughly distributed.  The consistency will be fluffy and granular.  It is easily moved into a baking dish by hand. (You can actually pick it up)
I used pie tins to hold the sugar mix.  Place in 175 degree oven for 2-3 hours.  Turn oven off and allow to set in warm oven over night.   The end result should be rock hard. 

While our weather was still warm, I put a pie tin of this outside and the girls flocked to it. 

Offline Jen

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Re: SUGAR BRICKS
« Reply #29 on: December 10, 2016, 12:56:04 pm »
Here's my sugar bricks. I made the 1 lb (2 cups) recipe 5 times, scooping sugar into each pie tin and pressing it into the tins firmly. I put 2 cups of sugar into a large bowl. Put 1 1/2 ounces of water into a small jar, added about 5ish drops of HBH into the water, put the lid on the jar and shook the jar real well. Poured the water solution into the sugar, mixed the sugar solution with my hands real well, then pressed it into the pie tins. Put into 170 oven for 1ish hours, then left the bricks in over overnight with oven light on. They came out very hard but breakable. Which is nice, because I can break them into pieces if I want, which helps with nucs.

It confounds me that the bees would eat this very hard sugar when really their mouths and probiscus is designed for liquid nectar and water. How do they manage eating hard candy? What is the science there?


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Offline Some Day

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Re: SUGAR BRICKS
« Reply #30 on: December 10, 2016, 09:51:00 pm »

It confounds me that the bees would eat this very hard sugar when really their mouths and probiscus is designed for liquid nectar and water. How do they manage eating hard candy? What is the science there?



I can help with the science since I have been married for 44 years.  The bees are female and it against their nature to allow anything like candy to be stored in the house.  The fastest way to rid the house is to consume the offending candy.  This is based on observation of my live-in queen.

Offline Jen

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Re: SUGAR BRICKS
« Reply #31 on: December 10, 2016, 10:15:11 pm »
Some Day, my live-in drone would attest whole heartedly to your theory. You just may be on to something there  :)
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: SUGAR BRICKS
« Reply #32 on: December 11, 2016, 06:22:00 am »

It confounds me that the bees would eat this very hard sugar when really their mouths and probiscus is designed for liquid nectar and water. How do they manage eating hard candy? What is the science there?



I can help with the science since I have been married for 44 years.  The bees are female and it against their nature to allow anything like candy to be stored in the house.  The fastest way to rid the house is to consume the offending candy.  This is based on observation of my live-in queen.

Hey!  I resemble that!   ;D  Speaking of which, where are all the tasty posts about Holiday candy and cookies?

Offline Lburou

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Re: SUGAR BRICKS
« Reply #33 on: December 11, 2016, 01:35:06 pm »
Jen, I've read the bees produce a liquid that allows their mouthparts to process the raw sugar.  :)
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Offline Jen

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Re: SUGAR BRICKS
« Reply #34 on: December 11, 2016, 02:18:14 pm »
Lee, that would make sense, in that they have the capability to convert the granuals
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Offline Lburou

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Re: SUGAR BRICKS
« Reply #35 on: December 11, 2016, 03:28:54 pm »
Jen, I did some reading since my last post and was reminded that they produce a liquid to eat the granules when the hive is otherwise dry and there is no source of water (when they can't fly because of the cold).  In preferred circumstances, the hive will have a water source or condensation to help process the granules...much better for the bees.  :)
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Offline Jen

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Re: SUGAR BRICKS
« Reply #36 on: December 12, 2016, 12:27:55 pm »
That's good to know Lee, and we are going to have a rainy winter  :)
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: SUGAR BRICKS
« Reply #37 on: January 17, 2017, 07:46:35 am »
I prepared some more sugar bricks yesterday to have on hand.  Later in the day, when the temperature reached 50 F. I decided to lift the lid on the hives to see how the emergency food was holding up.  Glad I did as one colony was running low.  I slid in a sugar brick and closed up shop.  Then I went and checked on an out apiary.  In between rain drops I quickly peeked in and found one colony low on emergency food. 
I am concerned about one colony that was a swarm I lured.  I found some alive bees and some frozen bees in there.
The bees are definitely consuming the sugar bricks.   

Offline Jen

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Re: SUGAR BRICKS
« Reply #38 on: January 17, 2017, 02:16:12 pm »
Hi Baker, I'm on my second batch of sugar cakes. My 3 big hives haven't bothered with the cakes too much. But my nucs are dining on them, some more than others. And I to have seen frozen bees at the cakes  :sad:
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Offline riverbee

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Re: SUGAR BRICKS
« Reply #39 on: January 17, 2017, 05:19:40 pm »
thanks for the updates bakers and jen.........mine are still good to go, i have extra bricks ready to go if need be.  it's been so very cold here.  mine are still heavy with bricks on top.  i haven't made any extra yet out of the paper bowls bakers. i will if need be.  haven't been able to lift the lid to peek in with our sub zero temps.  i like to quickly peek in on a warmer day if the hive seems light and/or check the bricks on top, and add if needed.

 
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