Making fondant/candy

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Joined
Apr 29, 2023
Messages
227
Reaction score
121
Location
Northumberland
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
100
Hi all, I've taken the dreaded decision to buy sugar and try to make my own fondant/candy as Tesco/Sainsbury's 5kg bags at 95p a kilo are the best I can find after Sugarfine quoted me £14 for 12.5kg and then ghosted. This is only my 9th yr of beekeeping but I've never even thought about resorting to making it before as sugar prices weren't so sky high - but with 100 colonies, I just can't afford to buy fondant. I've obviously consulted the Patterson curated Bible that is Dave Cushman's, here Feeding Candy (Fondant) to Honey Bees, but frankly, I'm a DISASTER in the kitchen, so am wondering how hard it is to make from those with experience of doing so? I was looking at buying 80-100 units of 12.5kg fondant so will be looking to make a commensurate amount of fondant myself. I'm time rich but monetarily poor. My plan was to buy 2.5ltr IKEA ziplock bags and pour the still warm, malleable fondant from a huge pan into them, allow to cool, then cut small hole in above crownboard and use as I've previously used Fondabee and half packs of the 12.5kg blocks for hungry full colonies. Is this workable in practise, or is the fondant too uncooperative to bully into de facto Fondabee packs with a not dissimilar depth and shape? I've ordered a huge candy thermometer in anticipation, so encourage me, please! Thanks all, Ror
 
It's a no brainer - buy it ready made, you will find a supplier prepared to sell you that kind of quantity in one go, and even nowadays at less than £14.00 a kilo.
Or learn to feed the bees enough syrup that they don't need fondant
 
I recently fed some nucs fondant, I got it cheap at last seasons pallet price and it also means nucs won’t get hammered splashing syrup about!
However normally it’s only emergency so little is used. In my area I can often feed syrup into November and in Spring weather depending feed syrup in Feb
So as Jenks suggests and surely your cheapest option is to feed syrup?
Failing that if you’ve actually bought bee specific fondant before I suggest looking at bakers fondant that’s likely now the same price or still cheaper than inflated bee fondant.
 
It's a no brainer - buy it ready made, you will find a supplier prepared to sell you that kind of quantity in one go, and even nowadays at less than £14.00 a kilo.
Or learn to feed the bees enough syrup that they don't need fondant
I've tried, Bryn - £14 was the best by some distance, apparently my location in rural Northumberland doesn't allow for discount. Local BKA are buying 2.5kg x 5 boxes of fondabee or 12.5kg of fondant in a box for £20. Syrup doesn't fit me so well - nearly all my hives are poly and last year wasps ate their way into the food, and fondant both helps me avoid robbing, and allows them to take it only as needed whilst the brood nest doesn't get stuffed.
 
I recently fed some nucs fondant, I got it cheap at last seasons pallet price and it also means nucs won’t get hammered splashing syrup about!
However normally it’s only emergency so little is used. In my area I can often feed syrup into November and in Spring weather depending feed syrup in Feb
So as Jenks suggests and surely your cheapest option is to feed syrup?
Failing that if you’ve actually bought bee specific fondant before I suggest looking at bakers fondant that’s likely now the same price or still cheaper than inflated bee fondant.
Only bought fondabee for nucs, used just baker's for full colonies. I'm like Willie Robson as regards preferring fondant over syrup and as below, syrup doesn't suit me, especially either the year it's turned out to be for wasps
 
There's plenty of recipes to Google and it's a handy thing to have if you get caught short
But material and energy costs put it on, at best, level pegging with commercial stuff.
If you factor in your time,the scalding,and the scolding when the kitchen is a United Nations disaster zone then it's not worth it.

I've made the mistake so you don't have to.

You can sell that Tala on eBay quite easily ;)
 
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Forget fondabee. try somewhere like Bako Northern & Scotland based in Durham. I bet you they will deliver a pallet, even somewhere like chocolate falls would bite your hand off for an order that size
 
Pallet price from Bako is close to £14 if you beat them down a bit.
Give your local rep a call.
 
Forget fondabee. try somewhere like Bako Northern & Scotland based in Durham. I bet you they will deliver a pallet, even somewhere like chocolate falls would bite your hand off for an order that size
Chocolate falls went under didn't they? Certainly my email for them is defunct and couldn't find them as they were first place I went. Bako in various locations have either not responded to emails sent 3wks since, or quoted £18 for 12.5kg. Is it REALLY such a bad idea attempting the fondant? Have tried sugar bricks and mountain camp with varying success for the former and a load of wastage with the latter. Anyone whose got a reliable contact for bulk fondant £14 or under would have my undying gratitude and spare kidney if asked.
 
I've tried, Bryn - £14 was the best by some distance, apparently my location in rural Northumberland doesn't allow for discount. Local BKA are buying 2.5kg x 5 boxes of fondabee or 12.5kg of fondant in a box for £20. Syrup doesn't fit me so well - nearly all my hives are poly and last year wasps ate their way into the food, and fondant both helps me avoid robbing, and allows them to take it only as needed whilst the brood nest doesn't get stuffed.
Did the wasps chew through the poly to get to syrup or am I misunderstanding?
 
why don't you contact Britannia superfine direct and ask for the price of a pallet of eighty? if suppliers like Gwenyn Gruffudd can sell a 12.5 kilo slab of their fondant for nineteen quid he must be getting it from them for a lot less
 
I'd also contact Wyefield apiaries and get a quite from them - last September they were selling pallets of fondabee in 12.5 kilo boxes (5x2.5Kg packs) £14.00 a box delivered, although I know the price has gone up since then
 
I have made fondant before and used it in 1kg take away tubs for a top up quite successfully. It’s always turned out much harder than bought fondant though and if you made big blocks you’d have to be careful to find a mould of some sort that makes it the right shape and thickness to fit your ekes (or supers)
 
Henley Bridge not to far from me use to be keenly priced but now see they ask £21 a case.
 
Making fondant is like making fudge. You need a sugar thermometer to take away the guesswork. They're cheap these days. Pouring into bags is an interesting concept as it would need expert timing. I've made fudge for years and rarely manage to get the exact point to stop beating. Use takeaway containers that you can put over the feed hole. Saying all that I buy baker's fondant. So much less faff.
 
Interesting! Were the insides of the poly feeders painted to stop syrup leaching into the poly - I'm wondering if it can leach through enough to attract them, although I would expect bees to be interested too...
 
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why don't you contact Britannia superfine direct and ask for the price of a pallet of eighty? if suppliers like Gwenyn Gruffudd can sell a 12.5 kilo slab of their fondant for nineteen quid he must be getting it from them for a lot less
Just bought a 12.5 kilo pack from Gwenyn for 19 quid.
Postage was about 7.50.
Arrived next day.
Can't see the fondant for the bees.
 

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