• Beekeeper John

    About the writer: John Kirk is an avid gamer, a writer, a student, and apparently likes writing in third person.

    I’m 22 summers old and a student at Rowan University, studying journalism. I’m from “South Jersey” for those who understand, New Jersey to those that don’t....Read more on the About Page....

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Maiden March Flight!

Yesterday I attempted to make a honeybee fondant. It didn’t quite turn out just as I thought it should. Those guides should really have step by step pictures or video. Maybe I should have just consulted my good friend Jen over at Twenty-Something and Starving!

At any rate the first step was to measure out the High-Fructose Corn Syrup. I did one cup:

Man that's dark stuff!

Then I measured out one cup of sugar:

As you can see, we like sugar at my house!

All the while I had the final ingredient, water, coming to a boiling:

Then the mixing took place:

Slowly....slowly

Sugar's next

Then I had to wait for it to all combine:

Letting it heat up

When all was said and done I let it cool until it was warm to the touch and laid it out on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper:

Getting it ready

After a night in the fridge to harden (which it didn’t and just remained sticky. Lame.) I gathered my smoker, some fuel and my hive tool and headed out to my hive’s winter home in the front yard and put the fondant inside.

I checked back on the hive later that afternoon as I was about to make my way back to Rowan for classes, and to my surprise and supreme enjoyment my bees were flying!!

Still snow on the ground too!

Closer now…

Hey Girls!!

Closer still…

Long time no see!

So my day was made to see those tough little bees come swarming out, doing their thing and just plain surviving. I feel like a successful beekeeper now! However, I’m not out of the woods yet, there is still some tough weeks to get through but by the end of this month, things should be looking up!

Hiatus Over

So school has started back up again and I now find myself with more idle time on my hands.

Which is great because now is the time of the season when my bees will need my help the most. As we start to move closer to spring a queen bee will begin to lay eggs that are to hatch at the beginning of the spring build up and become the bees that will help the colony into the late spring. With all the activity, it goes without saying that the colony will start increasing their consumption of honey, at times tripling their former rate of consumption.

This means that hives will start to get lighter in weight and on warmer days, they will need to be fed in order to make it through the rest of the winter. Since it’s too cold to feed them the sugar syrup, you will need to make fondant. Fondant is sometimes called “bee candy” because it is a near solid food supplement that can be fed to the colony in cold months and help them through the winter.

In a pinch you can even open the hive, place some newspaper on the top bars of the upper deep and put some granulated sugar on top in a pile and on warm days they will use it.

In other news I went to the South Jersey Beekeeping Association’s meeting this past Saturday. The guest speakers were the talented owners of Herbertsville Honey, Alf and Ceil Berg. They gave an amazing hands on demonstration of the making of their award-winning soaps and body creams.

In all it was a good weekend to be a young and excited beekeeper. Let me know how your hives are doing after feeding them some of that fondant.

Happy beekeeping!