After the recent cold spell it was a huge relief to see the bees flying today. There was an audible buzz as I approached the hive and I have to admit all thoughts of letting the children help me or use the stethoscope for practice quickly disappeared. The bees were bringing bright yet deep orange pollen in, which may be from snowdrops. Hefting the hive it felt quite light, so it was good timing to feed them some fondant candy.
After reading the ingredients list on pre-made bakers fondant I decided to have a go at making some myself. I followed the basic recipe and quantities given by the barefoot beekeeper:
1kg granulated sugar
Heat until sugar dissolves then boil until thermometer reaches about 114 degrees C (soft ball), cool and then intermittently whisk with a handheld electric or hand whisk, it gradually turns opaque. Pour into containers just before it sets.
All went well and I proudly took my offering to the bees, only to have a moment of self doubt about how to present it to them. I had originally assumed I would turn it upside-down over the hole in the crown board. But as I stood there images of bees getting swamped by a slowly slumping avalanche of white stickiness invaded my mind. I ended up placing it the right way up in the eke. I watched one intrepid bee sampling it from the surface and to my relief it didn’t get stuck or sucked in. In fact it flew off as I replaced the lid. I wonder if it will round-dance the location to it’s sisters in the hive?