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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    35

    Default Feeding solid sugar to bees

    Hello everyone. I saw a beekeeper giving solid sugar on top cover. I thought it was a good idea. It wasn't granulated sugar. He gave me the name but I forgot. Does anybody know what kind of sugar to give and where I can get it?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Hartford, CT
    Posts
    605

    Default Re: Feeding solid sugar to bees

    http://www.indianahoney.com/ihf/drysugar/drysugar.html

    Regular granulated sugar is fine.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,735

    Default Re: Feeding solid sugar to bees

    Quote Originally Posted by EmiKami View Post
    I saw a beekeeper giving solid sugar on top cover.
    Top cover? Please explain. There are many techniques, the so called mountain camp approach (see link in post #2), and fondant are two examples, but both of these are inside the hive feeding methods. At this time of year inside feeding is pretty much your only option. Please note that the food is placed immediately above the cluster and not on top of the inner cover. The main point is that you want the bees to have access without having to break cluster.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Brownsburg, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: Feeding solid sugar to bees

    I made a concoction of several ingredients, cane sugar powdered sugar, creme of Tartar, apple cider vinegar, HBH, Honey, and a little water boiled it, then let it set, on wax paper, let it set for about 3 weeks now I have some candy for the winter.
    Well, I made too much so I have left over, put in in plastic bowls placed it in a spare closet.
    When the temperature is warm, my bees are active, so I go place the candy on top of my hive, open up the lid, and they are all over it when the sun is out!
    At night, I place the lid back on and bring it back inside the house. I'm hoping they will eat this stuff and leave the stored honey for the cold spells, oh by the way, future weather models state a cold front and heavy snowfall will come to the middle of the USA around 12/12/2012. After that date it's gonna stay cold for the Midwest to east coast for some time, but as we all know about weather, it's subject to change!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Madison, WI, USA
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: Feeding solid sugar to bees

    I feed 2:1 syrup (with baggy method) until I close up the hives for good for the winter. Then I cover the inner cover with granulated sugar. I think this does 2 things: 1. It is available to the bees when the weather is warm and they are active, and 2. it acts as a moisture absorber when the weather is cold.
    life is finite while knowledge is infinite. - Zhuang Zi

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,716

    Default Re: Feeding solid sugar to bees

    Boiling sugars with acid (tartaric acid, vinegar) is how you produce hmf, which is toxic to bees. This is a very bad approach.
    Deknow

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Brownsburg, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: Feeding solid sugar to bees

    1 Tablespoon per 2 gallons didn't affect them, but I don agree.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,593

    Default Re: Feeding solid sugar to bees

    Quote Originally Posted by EmiKami View Post
    It wasn't granulated sugar. He gave me the name but I forgot.
    The name you may be asking about may be "fondant", or possibly "hard candy". You can search for earlier threads with recipes using those terms. You will find lots of discussion about exactly what the best way to produce these foods really is. Here's one thread that has several recipes:
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...-bricks-recipe

    I would suggest that you avoid any recipe that utilizes regular powdered sugar, because while the sugar itself is fine, there is also corn starch added to powdered sugar to prevent caking in the package. Bees cannot digest the corn starch.

    Here's a page on Michael Bush'e site about various ways to feed:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfeeding.htm

    My suggestion is to just feed granulated sugar, moistened just enough to get it to clump.

    Dry Sugar. This can be fed a number of ways. Some people just dump it down the back of the hive (definitely not recommended with Screened Bottom Boards as it will fall through to the ground). Some put it on top of the inner cover. Some put a sheet of newspaper on top of the top bars, add a box on top and put the sugar on the newspaper (as in the photos above). Others put it in a frame feeder (the black plastic trough kind). I've even pulled two frames out of an eight frame box that were empty and dumped the sugar in the gap (with a solid bottom board of course). With screened bottom boards or with a small hive that just needs a little help, I'll pull some empty frames out, put some newspaper in the gap and put a little sugar, spray a little water to clump it so it doesn't run out, a little more sugar until I get it full. Sometimes the house bees carry it out for trash if you don't clump it. If you drizzle some water on it you can get the bees interested in it. The finer the sugar the better they take it. If you can get "bakers" sugar or "drivert" sugar it will be better accepted that standard sugar but harder to find and more expensive.
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfeeding.htm
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    995

    Default Re: Feeding solid sugar to bees

    Simple 5 minute method. Needed: 1 sheet of newspaper. 1 5 pound bag of sugar. Take top off (remove inner cover if you use one, save till spring), put down one sheet of newspaper, cut a few small slits with hive tool, pour on the bag of sugar, put lid back on. I try to leave an inch or so of space around the outside of the newspaper for ventilation. I use the honey run apiary ventilated inner cover turned upside down for ventialtion. If you don't have something similar leave the top cracked. In a month or so the newspaper and sugar will be saturated with water from condensation and available for feed if the bees need it in Feb.

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