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Thread: Feeding Sugar?

  1. #1

    Post

    This is probably a question with a simple and obvious answer, but I'll try anyway...

    Why do we disolve sugar in water to feed? Why not simply pour a 5lb. bag of sugar into a bowl?

    I hope someone can answer this so that my feeble mind can comprehend. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,598

    Post

    I think your just trying to simulate nectar, which isn't normaly granulated
    someone else might know a better answer

    Dave

    [edit]
    oh,oh, wait
    I know
    cause the bee's would have to spit in it to make it honey [img]smile.gif[/img]
    bee spit, eeewwwww

  3. #3

    Post

    :confused:

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,598

    Post

    I'm joking [img]smile.gif[/img] [img]smile.gif[/img]
    but really, they don't want it as a solid
    they want nectar
    they'd have to go get water to liquify it, we can help em out that much

    Dave

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Casper, Wy, USA
    Posts
    806

    Post

    Hi Guys,

    Sugar can be fed dry to bees. The best sugar to use is bakers sugar(10x powdered sugar)(not confectioners or icing sugar). It has a very fine granulation and the bees will use it, readily, when they need it.

    Regular granulated sugar is too coarse. The bees will work it when they are very hungry. But will perceive it as 'trash' and haul it out of the hive at other times. That doesn't happen with bakers sugar.

    Pooring a large can of sugar over the top bars, in the back of a hive, is a common way commercial beekeepers emergency feed hives. It's very fast and involves no equipment.

    I've used this method to give overwintered nucs a shot of feed without disturbing them when it's too cold.

    Regards
    Dennis
    I once wrangled bees. But now, I know better, so I do better.
    http://talkingstick.me/category/bees/

  6. #6

    Post

    I've never seen bakers sugar anywhere, but saw it online for $2.79 for 4lbs. plus shipping. Is there some place that it can be bought locally? Bakers maybe? Or would regular $1.88 for 5lbs. granulated sugar work if thrown through a food processor or bar blender? Why wouldn't confectioners sugar work? I know there is something (cornstarch I think) it it to keep it from clumping. Is that why it won't work?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Guatemala
    Posts
    244

    Post

    Yes, corn starch is sometimes added to confectioner´s sugar to prevent clumping. Corn starch is not digested by bees, so I assume it is rejected...along with the sugar. I may be wrong, for I am not a bee!

    Bees need plenty of metabolic water to dilute sugar crystals. They would much rather ingest a liquid form of sugar than a dry form.
    In Guatemala I´ve heard stories of bees throwing out cane sugar when it´s warm, and taking it when chilly. I´ve also heard from some that brown sugar is well taken, but others claim it gives the bees a runny stomach.

    All this discussing about what kind of sugar to feed, how and when has been going on for ages! If there were only one true method, don´t you think we bee folks would share the same receipe by now??

    Evidently every beekeeper is eager to find his/her own secret. That´s part of the joys of beekeeping. Let´s keep the trial and error going and let´s not come up with an absolute truth that all should follow. That would be dull!!

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