Beekeeping EquipmentBeekeeping Techniques

Bee Candy Boards

Are you looking for an easy way to make bee candy boards to feed bees this winter?

Make bee candy boards effectively and easily. Depending on which beekeeper you talk to, this topic may be complicated. Adamancy about not using sugar to feed bees exist in many beekeepers. You may be told there is no problem feeding bees sugar is no problem by other beekeepers. 

Additionally, a hodgepodge of special ingredients is contained in other recipes for bee candy. There are multiple possibilities out there for making bee candy and looking at all of them can be mind-boggling.

To get my bees through winter I wanted to make sure they were going to have enough food. Therefore, going into the winter, they had plenty of honey in the hive since no one knows how long winter will last. 

A security blanket is feeding bee candy. Bees will consume what they need and this is a nice thing about them. Therefore, your bees will eat honey first if they have it. If we, have it, this bee candy is entirely for prolonged winter. The bees will eat candy after eating their honey first. 

candy board for bees

What You Need to Make Bee Candy Boards

  • 2 X 1 boards
  • Nails
  • Staple gun
  • Chicken wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Drill with ½ inch drill bit

How To Make Bee Candy Boards

  1. To fit the frames of your hives, you will first of all need to measure the boards. For example, the 10-Frame Langstroth hives I use are measured accordingly. For the bees to come and enjoy anytime they need it, I want the feeder frame to sit right on top of the box frame. 
  2. Follow by nailing the pieces together to make the frame. Because you want them to sit well on the hive all winter long you should make sure you have the pieces even. 
  3. After that, go to the third step. Take the chicken wire and cut a large square out of it. To attach the wire chicken securely to the boards you should use the staple gun. Any excess chicken wire should be trimmed.
  4. Finally, into one side of the frame, drill one entrance. After this, you can proceed to make your bee candy.

Making Bee Candy

When it comes to making bee candy, there are a million concoctions out in the world as stated before. I am not sure whether one way is better than the other. However, I think the way I liked the video was easy and the source I took it from had been in the beekeeping business for more than thirty years. 

Bee Candy Board Recipe:

  • 16 lbs. of organic sugar
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar. This is essential in preventing mold

Take a large bowl and pour all the sugar into it. Take the 3 cups of water and the vinegar and then mix them. After that, take the liquid solution of vinegar and water and then start pouring into the bowl slowly while stirring. You should not pour the solution into the solute sugar in the bowl all at once. This will make the content of the sugar candy set well since you will get the consistency of your sugar to be very thick by pouring in the liquid slowly and stirring. You can make it too soupy when you damp the water at once leading to you having a mess. 

Installing Bee Candy onto the Candy Board

bee candy board recipe

You should use as much water as you need to prevent mess. To spread onto the board, just like in the video, the mixture will need to be very thick. 

Wrapping with wax paper completely around the sides to hold it in is another way to have less mess. To protect the entrance and back corner from being covered you should grab a board since this will ensure that the entrance hole has not been interfered with and it will stay open. To get this you can use a board bottom of the photo tree the way I used it and it worked. After that, you should let it sit for a while after packing the sugar around. 

Just let it sit for at least a day or more once the sugar is packed into your board. I was at a conference for 2 to 3 days and I let mine sit for the entire time I was away. After the conference was done, and I came home, I installed them. By then, they were hard candy and for installation, there was a perfect setting.

Word of Caution: Messy Candy

When you make yours, you will find this out. This is because the first time I did not make the candy thick enough since it was a mess to make. To hold it in the wax paper helped a lot. However, no matter how thick you make the candy there will still be leakage. 

Therefore, you should make sure that the wax paper is taped well up and around the side when using it. Additionally, to scrape any sugar candy that fell to the bottom you can feel free to use a spatula. You can just put that runaway candy on top during installation once the candy on top is hard. You should never waste it since it can all be used.

When you go to install the candy boards for beehives, you will still have some mess and therefore you should that in mind. It is ok if some candy escape since during installation you can just put it back on top.

Installing Bee Candy Boards onto the Hives

You can install the candy boards into the hives once they are hard and set. You have the risk of the 16 pounds of sugar falling into the hives if they are not hard enough and this is considered a tragic death by candy.

To help support the candy boards, you can also use the ¼-inch strips just like in the video. 

The steps for installing bee candy boards once the covers are off include the following: –

  1. On the frame set the wood strips. So that the center of the candy boards can be supported you would want it to be in about the middle. 
  2. Follow step one by setting the candy board on top. Then, to the frame of the hive, take the frame of the candy board and fit. While doing this, you should ensure that the entrance hole stays in the front.

Note: You should ensure that the outside top cover and the inner cover are securely put back on. 

On a nice 40–50-degree day, you should be installing this candy board. you will see the bees start to come out from the bottom box where they were snuggled in and enjoy some of the sugar you have prepared for them if the weather is decent.

bee candy boards

Other Winterizing Tips

To prepare my bee hives for a Kansas winter, besides making bee candy boards here are some other things: –

  • To prevent rodents from slipping in, you should place entrance reducers in.
  • To prevent snow drifting you should put in windbreaks
  • If you have super boxes, you should store them in a safe place after taking them off
  • You should check for parasites and mites such as Varroa
  • During the first part of the winter, bees will be eating capped honey in the housing box and therefore you should look at the amount available.

It is time to close up the hives for the winter after this checklist is complete. Make sure there is plenty of ventilation or airflow coming through for the bees to allow them, to breathe when you do this.

The entrances always provide excellent ventilation.

Winter Maintenance Plan

This maintenance is very simple and it works. Moisture could drift into the hives, especially after a big snow or ice rain. 

bee candy board

Checking my entrances is simply my maintenance plan. I will check them regularly despite not closing them, especially after a big snow. For proper ventilation, I will need to make sure they stay open.

Not going out and wiping snow from entrances because of one snow storm should not interfere with my yearly goal of bees going through winter.

Caring for bees does not need much since they are low-maintenance animals. However, through the winter, they should be watched closely. You can make sure their homes are open to ventilation and closed for warmth even though you cannot see them. To get through the long winter ahead, they should have plenty of food.


  1. How long do you leave a bee escape board on?

To clear supers, a duration of 24 hours should be often sufficient. However, a more reliable period should be 48 hours for some people. When trying to clear many supers into a small brood nest (single), or during periods of poor weather when flight and colony activity is diminished more time may be particularly useful.

  1. Are bees attracted to candy?

Nectar from flowers is what many bees feed on. It makes sense that bees would be attracted to sugars and fragrances that smell flowery or sweet since nectar is sweet. At your picnic especially if you are drinking sugary sodas or eating fruits like watermelon and pineapple you are likely to notice bees because of this.  

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