HOMEMADE HONEY BE HEALTHY from beekeeper Gerard

Homemade HBH (Honey Bee Healthy�) Honey Bee Healthy� (HBH), whether purchased or homemade, is an additive to the syrup fed to honey bees for both spring and fall feedings, but not when honey supers are on. HBH stimulates feeding and stimulates the honey bees’ immune system.

 From the University of West Virginia: “From 1995 until 2000, Amrine & Noel (2001) tested several essential oils in diluted honey and sugar syrup as feeding additives to honey bees, in order to attempt to control varroa mites, tracheal mites and to reverse the parasitic mite syndrome (PMS) seen in colonies infested with varroa mites. We found that several essential oils improved the health of the honey bee and reversed the symptoms of PMS. Especially useful were wintergreen, spearmint, patchouli, penny royal, tea tree and melaleuca oils. Bob Noel began looking for natural emulsifiers to allow uniform mixing of our selected essential oils in the syrups fed to honey bees. He found that lecithin was a good natural emulsifier. Following two years of field treatments of essential oils to honey bee hives with PMS, we observed that spearmint oil was excellent in reducing the PMS. However, honey bees did not accept the emulsified spearmint oil in 1:1 sugar syrup as well as other essential oils. So, we searched for an additive that would make the spearmint syrup attractive to honey bees. Lemongrass oil proved to be the key. The combination of these two oils with lecithin is the mixture that we now call Honey-BHealthy�, and it has proved to be very effective at improving the health of the honey bee as well as having several other attributes.” HBH will also help to prevent mold and fungus in sugar syrup.

I make HBH as a thick (2:1) sugar syrup and add several glops to each batch of 1:1 syrup in spring, and 2:1 syrup in fall. (My sugar preference is cane sugar as there are no GMO’s in cane sugar.) 

What you’ll need: 
• 5 cups water 
• 5 pounds (10 cups) granulated white sugar 
• 1/8 teaspoon lecithin (health food stores usually have it) 
• 15 drops spearmint essential oil 
• 15 drops lemongrass essential oil 

Put the lecithin in about a ¼ cup very warm water and let it sit for a couple of hours before starting. Then crush the nodules and dissolve it as best you can by stirring vigorously. Should be good enough. Or you could put it in a blender and have at it. Bring the water to a near boil and remove from heat source. Add the sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the lecithin and essential oils. Let cool and put in a container in the refrigerator until ready to use. Old Karo syrup bottles work well. Keeps at least a year. Add a teaspoon of the HBH to each quart of syrup if you’re the measuring type. I just squeeze a few glops into my syrup since I usually make syrup in 2 gallon batches. 

HONEY GLAZED PECANS from beekeeper Fred

-1/4 cup butter
-1/4 cup honey
-3 cups pecans (1 lb. pecans = 4 cups)

1. Melt butter in a small saucepan.
2. Stir in honey and blend well.
3. Place pecans in a large bowl, pour honey/butter mixture over the pecans. Stir to coat evenly.
4. Spread pecans on a jelly roll pan.
5. Bake at 350 F for 12-15 minutes, until glazed; stirring occasionally.
6. Remove from oven and cool slightly. 
7. Spread on waxed paper to cool completely.


The following link to make cherry mead was provided by beekeeper Denise.

SUGAR BOARDS! (recipe included)


Knowing that another severe cold spell is on the way I went out to 4 Russian hives that I want to survive.  I had put 10 lb sugar boards on them in early January.  I had 4 spare sugar boards and went out to install them today; knowing it is only going to get colder.  I tilted up the old sugar board a few inches and rapped on the top several times.  This dislodged the bees clinging to the board and they dropped back into the cluster.  Then in about 2 seconds I switched to a new sugar board.  Only lost about 20 bees total from the 4 hives. 
The remaining sugar on the old boards  was primarily above where I had placed a feed patty in January.  The patty appears to prevent the cluster from moving under the bees working the sugar.  The working bees will not move from the cluster and hence won't work above the patty.
From the look of the 4 boards the bees ate 6 to 8 pounds of sugar from mid-January to late February; plus whatever they are get from the hive comb. .  At least they are still alive!
6 of 9 (66%) Russian hives still going.  5 of 13 (38%) package or Buckfast hives still going. Feeding all hives except for the top bar hive which I could not think of a good feeding method. 
Next year I think all hives will be set up with a 15 lb sugar board.

RECIPE: add 3 cups water to 10 lbs of sugar.  A little less water may work better, but more water is too soupy.   I poured this mixture directly into the sugar board and baked it at 250F for several hours.  Makes a mess in the oven if the edges are not sealed.  An alternate method is to heat it on the stove with a candy thermometer until the mixture reaches 250F and then pour  directly into the sugar board. 
I've lost two hives since putting on the sugar boards and 8 prior to adding them.  3/4 of our cold weather was after adding the sugar boards.


from our canadian beekeeper friend:


2 Cups POWDERED SUGAR, 10 tsp FUMAGILIN B.  (shaken and stirred up and stored away someplace dry - AND LABELED!  you do not want to accidentally use this for frosting!!!!)  THE DOSE: 1/8 cup sprinkled directly on top of the cluster.

SUGAR CAKES recipes:


What do you do with the wet honey come harvest? FERMENT IT!  This recipe makes 4 1/3 bottles (fifths). Add 3 pints honey to 10 cups water in a stainless steel pot. Makes ~1 gallon of "MUST".  Boil for 10-20 minutes - removing the foam/scum (pollen proteins) that forms on top.  Cover to prevent airborne yeasts from entering - allow to cool.

When cool add:  1 1/2 cups orange juice, 1 tsp ACID BLEND, 5 drops PECTIC ENZYME contentrate, 1 tsp YEAST NUTRIENT, 1 package MONTRACHET or LALVIN D47 yeast, 1/4 tsp GRAPE TANNIN.  (these ingredients can be found locally: FDL has both "NEEDSOME SUPPLIES" and "THE CELLAR")

Mix.  Pour contents into a 1 gallon bottle.  Minimize air head which can result in vinegar fromation.  Install air lock (add water to trap).  Allow to ferment until bubbling stops - approximately 30-45 days.  The mixture is initially cloudy, but clears with a yellow tint.  Siphon into clean/sterilized bottles.  Add 1/4 SO2 pill to each bottle (kills any remaining yeast)  CORK. Age - at least 6 months.  You can sweeten to taste, but unsweetened seems fine to me.

Strawberry Jam with HONEY instead of sugar!!!

Makes 7 half-pints

•  6 cups strawberries
• 1 box powdered pectin
• 2 cups honey
• 1/4 cup lemon juice

Mash berries, add pectin, stir well to dissolve. Bring to boil. Stir in honey & lemon juice. Bring to 9 degrees F above boiling and cook for 5 minutes. Spoon hot mixture into hot sterilized jars, seal, and hot water bath for 15 minutes.

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