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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Hallsville, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    42

    Default Feeding Bees Molasses?

    I had friends from Africa visiting me last fall. They also happen to be entomologists. i was asking their advice on my bee hives (This is my second year beekeeping and I could use all the help I can get). They suggested that I feed the bees molasses.

    I attended a short bee workshop (Natural Beekeeping) in January. The people at the workshop said one shouldn't feed bees molasses because of possible contamination. What are your thoughts? Is molasses contaminated and should I just stick with regular sugar?

    Thank you for your help!
    Laura

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,027

    Default Re: Feeding Bees Molasses?

    Molasses will be readily taken by the bees. Once they eat it they will quickly become very sick and many will die. Molasses contains many things that honey bees cannot digest, which causes lots of trouble for their digestive systems.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    773

    Default Re: Feeding Bees Molasses?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Clemens View Post
    Molasses will be readily taken by the bees. Once they eat it they will quickly become very sick and many will die. Molasses contains many things that honey bees cannot digest, which causes lots of trouble for their digestive systems.
    This is what I was taught as well. It's why we're told never to feed brown sugar--because of the molasses.

    HTH


    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper & Rusty's Bees ( LC and T)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    4,986

    Default Re: Feeding Bees Molasses?

    The problem is that molasses contains a relatively high amounts of "solids", which in turn results in high ash content. All brown sugars have this problem. Also "organic" sugar generally fits this category and is not good for bees. Here's more info:
    http://www.honeybeesuite.com/is-orga...tter-for-bees/

    If you are going to feed, ordinary granulated sugar is the best choice.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Hallsville, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Feeding Bees Molasses?

    Thank you for your replies. I'm glad I'm a procrastinator (in this case anyway) and didn't feed them the bottles of molasses I bought! I guess I'll stick with sugar water. Although, someone else suggested watered down honey for feeding bees. Any thoughts on that one?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    4,986

    Default Re: Feeding Bees Molasses?

    > Although, someone else suggested watered down honey for feeding bees.

    If the honey is from your hives, or a beekeeper whose hive health you trust, go ahead and feed that honey. But "store bought" honey is generally blended from many sources, and may possibly carry small amounts of something that is bad for bees but doesn't affect humans.

    If you want to feed, and are planning to buy that feed, buy ordinary granulated sugar.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Loup City, NE
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: Feeding Bees Molasses?

    Laura- Feed the bees their own honey back, creamed like fondant. Doesn't get any better than that,
    outside of their own comb which I do also.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,626

    Default Re: Feeding Bees Molasses?

    I've read where it can cause dysentery,HFC can also be a problem if it's over heated.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,439

    Default Re: Feeding Bees Molasses?

    Keep it simple and don't over think stuff. These forums are a great place to learn. A lot of people will tell you stuff w/o any real experience in the matter but it's up to you to choose your own path. Good thing you came and asked before trusting those entomologists.... If you have the abilities, you need to plant for your bees, then you won't have to worry about feeding. Feeding back honey is best but not always the easiest. Watering it down some helps, but do it in small batches so it doesn't ferment on a hot day. Sugar syrup is easiest, 1:1 is typical, and that's by weight not volume, plain granulated white sugar.

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