I put this candy board sugar recipe on every hive I have in the winter, even if the hive seems to have adequate stores of honey. The way I see it, sugar costs me $0.50 a pound, and a NUC or package cost me over $100. To me, that just makes common sense.

Besides, who wants to go outside to check food stores in winter? We will forget to do it half the time and this will save more colonies than you can imagine.

This candy board sugar recipe for feeding your bees features vinegar as an anti-fungal element to keep mold and mildew from growing on the sugar over the winter. I've never had an issue with the bees not taking it because it had vinegar in it, and honestly, the recipe has so little the bees hardly notice. It's just enough vinegar to prevent mildew.

If the bees do not eat all the candy board sugar you made with this recipe, simply make it into sugar syrup in the spring and feed it to the bees to get them off to an early start before the first nectar flow!


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16 pounds of granulated sugar

3 cups of water

1 tablespoon white vinegar


Pour sugar into a large mixing bowl.

Add vinegar to the water, and slowly pour into sugar, 1 cup at a time while stirring until well combined.


This candy board sugar recipe will create a wet, but grainy textured sugar mixture which will hold its shape once you allow it to set up for a few hours.

Place your candy board on a flat surface. Once mixed well, pour sugar into your candy board and pack it down with a large spoon or spatula. Let it sit for an hour or two to begin to stick together. Now just add it right above your top bee box.

This actually serves two purposes.

1. Food source for bees

2. Sugar will wick all moisture from hive over the winter, keeping your bees drier and therefore helping to prevent condensation dripping on them and freezing them.

This article was part 2 of our Wintering your hives series. You can watch the video here, and check out our Youtube page for the others!

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