Bees can’t break the cluster to take sugar syrup when it is below freezing, but fondant can be placed on the frames right over the cluster giving them easy access to food. It can be made in advance and stored in plastic zip-lock bags in the freezer.
This recipe was provided by Loyd Luna, AABA Past President. It originally appeared in our January 2008 Newsletter.
- 5 pound, White Granulated Cane Sugar (not organic)
- 1 Quart, Water
- 1 1/4 teaspoon, Vinegar (Apple Cider or White)
- Bring water to a boil in a large pot.
- Turn off the heat and add sugar and vinegar, stirring constantly.
- When the mixture is completely dissolved, bring the mixture back to a boil and keep stirring until boiling commences.
- Cover and boil for at least 3 minutes.
- Insert a candy thermometer and boil uncovered until it reaches 250°F.
- Place the pot in a sink of cold water and use a small electric hand mixture to stir the molten candy, measuring the temperature as it cools.
- When the mixture reaches about 190°F, pour the mixture into rimmed metal cookie sheets, lined with wax paper (don’t use glass containers since this make it more difficult to remove the fondant).
- Allow it to cool undisturbed; when it is firm to the touch you can score it with a knife to permit easy handling and storage.
- Place it between sheets of wax paper in a zip-lock bag and fondant will keep almost indefinitely in the freezer.
Remove the fondant from the zip-lock bag or plastic wrap. Place the fondant on top of frames right above the cluster. Cover the candy and the space around it with cloth or newspaper to fill the airspace. Some beekeepers, place the fondant on 1/2 inch wide strips above the cluster.
Note: Remove any candy or syrup from hive as the weather warms.