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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Fondant or Dry Sugar? Which is better for bees?

    I was feeding my bees 2:1 syrup up until the cold hit, and we started having freezing spells with nights down into the 20's and dustings of snow. So I put dry sugar in my hives a'la Mountain Camp. The bees seem to be eating it so far, but I will soon need to refill, as the warmer weather recently has really got them burning through it. Is it worth it to make fondant or simply keep feeding them dry sugar. They are not hauling it off, and seem to actually be eating it, in spite of the recent weather in the high 50's. I am half tempted to give them some sugar syrup, but I know as soon as I do, a cold front will move in.

    So Fondant... is it worth the trouble?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Default Re: Fondant or Dry Sugar? Which is better for bees?

    The dry sugar will not remain dry. The moisture from the bees' will soak into it over time and soften it. I use dry sugar because it's much less work and easier for me to deal with what is left over. I just put the leftovers in a bucket and reuse them next year.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Champaign, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Fondant or Dry Sugar? Which is better for bees?

    Google "hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) bees sucrose" and do some reading before you make your decision. I am with Michael on this. For me it is just easier to avoid all the controversy and extra work by feeding dry or lightly moistened sugar when I absolutely need it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Grays Harbor County, Washington, USA
    Posts
    187

    Default Re: Fondant or Dry Sugar? Which is better for bees?

    I read a lot about bees carting off dry sugar but I've never actually seen them do it . . . and it does all melt together after a while. So go with dry sugar and save the hassle. If you want it to melt together faster, you can spray it gently with water, but the bees don't seem to care.
    Rusty
    http://www.honeybeesuite.com "A Better Way to Bee"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Whidbey Island, WA
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Fondant or Dry Sugar? Which is better for bees?

    i dont much like the idea of feeding bees corn syrup or gelitan. doesnt seem to be things they would encounter in nature. so i will be sticking to dry sugar as mucha as i can... im also kinda a hippie so my thoughts may be biased lol

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: Fondant or Dry Sugar? Which is better for bees?

    I'll probably just stick with sugar. They seem to be taking it OK. At first they carried it out, now they just eat it. The hives were a bit light, I figure if I keep them stuffed with sugar, they might have a chance to make it through our mountain winter.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Fondant or Dry Sugar? Which is better for bees?

    I caught mine hauling the sugar out, so I wet it a bit better.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Default Re: Fondant or Dry Sugar? Which is better for bees?

    I wet it some for the same reason, but more to clump it up and show them it's edible than to make it digestible. I expect condensation to do that.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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