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Thread: Powdered Sugar

  1. #1
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    Aug 2004
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    Syracuse, NY (upstate)
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    Can someone explain the difference between 'powdered sugar' and 'confectioners sugar'? According to the Mann-Lake catalog (pg 37) their powered sugar is 100% sucrose sugar while confectioners sugar (like on a powdered donut) contains corn starch which "can harm your bees" (quoting the catalog). I know the powdered sugar I buy in the store has the corn starch, but didn't know there was any other kind.

  2. #2
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    May 2003
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    Bellingham WA USA
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    You can make your own "powdered (sucrose)" by using a small spice grinder - the high speed blade ones- It makes the regular table sugar powder fine. There is also a very fine granulated sugar that I bought fromone of the larger companies. Yoou difinitely should NOT use confectioner's powdered sugar due to the cornstarch. I think they use it to make the frosting do what frosting does .

    [This message has been edited by mrbillz (edited September 03, 2004).]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Central Square, NY, Oswego County
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    Arrow

    The corn starch sugar is hard for the bees to digest and will affect the queen if she is being put into a queen cage with this sugar used in the queen candy. I use regular sugar that comes from the grocery store (5-10-25 lbs bags). If your thinking of using it for queen candy make fondant out of regular sugar and you'll be ok. I just am wondering what your going to do with the sugar. You can also put the regular sugar into a food processor to grind it up finer. I have also had that problem and can not find a place to buy starch free confectioners sugar so I started to use regular sugar.
    Dan
    PS I'm just north of you by 30 miles.

    [This message has been edited by bjerm2 (edited September 03, 2004).]

  4. #4
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    'bjerm2' - I want to use the powdered sugar two ways:

    First, to use it with a jar for a 'mite roll' to determine the mite load in the hive instead of killing the bees.

    Second, to try dusting all the bees in the hive as a way of reducing the mite level in the hive. I don't know how well this will work, but I've read some annecdotal posts that seem to indicate that it causes a higher% of mites to drop through the Sreened bottom board.

    p.s. bjerm2 do you ever go to the bee club group that meets out by the Onieda Airport?

  5. #5
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    That type of use of the powder sugar will not hurt the bees at all. It is more of a don't feed the bees with this stuff than an occasional roll and puffing it on to the hives. Go ahead won't hurt anything.
    And no I have not went to any of thier meetings. Where are they located and when are the meetings?
    Dan

    [This message has been edited by bjerm2 (edited September 03, 2004).]

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Evansville, IN, USA
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    Greetings . . .

    Take look at comments by Dee A. Lusby, dated March 6, 2002 on "Forum2/HTML/000182.


  7. #7
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    Jul 2004
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    Seattle, Washington State
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    well... in the food industry, powdered sugar is the same thing as confectionars sugar. The name difference came from a candy chef from Europe.

  8. #8
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    Jun 2004
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    Central Square, NY, Oswego County
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    Chef Isaac
    But the main diffrence is that the sugar they are selling in the grocery stores has corn starch. It is bad for the bees if they can not fly to get rid of thier 'waist', and that is why it is not used in feeding the bees that are going to be confined. There was a study done also and it was found that the starch also shortened the life of the bees.
    Dan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hotlanta, GA
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    yeah, I can't find any w/o starch either...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Boynton Beach, Florida, USA
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    Hi Guys,

    Powdered or confectioners sugar is the very fine white stuff with a small amount of cornstarch added to prevent lumping.

    Bakers sugar is an extremely fine granulated sugar. When I purchased sugar directly from the factory, bakers sugar was the finest sugar I could obtain without the cornstarch.

    I've heard lots of people say that cornstarch could be bad for bees, but haven't seen any studies to that effect or any evidence in my own bees. I wouldn't try to overwinter any bees on it.

    But the small amounts the bees are exposed to when they can fly are probably insignificant. The bees are exposed to lots of similar compounds in their natural diet. And will actively gather corn dust around any corn grinding/cattle feeding operations in the spring. They seem to like it alot. The bees can become such a nuisance gathering corn dust, that yards have to be moved to avoid problems here.

    Regards
    Dennis

  11. #11
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    Jun 2004
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    Central Square, NY, Oswego County
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    <<topbarguy
    I've heard lots of people say that cornstarch could be bad for bees, but haven't seen any studies to that effect or any evidence in my own bees. I wouldn't try to overwinter any bees on it.>>

    Here are two places there are more.
    Dan
    http://www.beesource.com/pov/usda/abjfeb1977.htm
    http://www.mainebee.com/articles/march2001.php

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