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While recently looking for a local source of drivert sugar, I realized that sugar options are many and I’ve been challenged as I try to discern what’s what.

invert syrup. Is it liquid or semi solid? Some sources seem to use “syrup” and “sugar” interchangeably. Also described as congealed.

fondant sugar. Some is sugar and cornstarch, so is it just powdered sugar? Some has invert sugar and corn syrup.

finely ground cane sugar. Would this be more accessible to the bees in winter months? Dissolve more readily for 2:1 syrup?

There will be multiple application variables and end goals for the when and whys of giving sugar. To stimulate brood rearing, winter resource insurance, emergency feeding in winter/spring etc. I became curious about all the options, how they relate to feeding bees and it left me wondering “ what is all this stuff”?
 

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Keep it simple and cheap- use plain refined sucrose. It has been proven over the years.
A study by the USDA:
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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invert syrup. Is it liquid or semi solid? Some sources seem to use “syrup” and “sugar” interchangeably. Also described as congealed.
I've only seen it as liquid. The bees seem more attracted to it than straight sugar syrup, but I don't see any real advantage.

fondant sugar. Some is sugar and cornstarch, so is it just powdered sugar? Some has invert sugar and corn syrup.
If you are feeding it to bees I would make sure there is no cornstarch, nor powdered sugar (which contains corn starch). The invert sugar will keep it moist longer and keep it from granulating so much.

finely ground cane sugar. Would this be more accessible to the bees in winter months? Dissolve more readily for 2:1 syrup?
I have looked for this. It is usually called "baker's sugar" but I never seem to find it for sale retail. The bees would accept it dry a bit better than regular granulated sugar. It will not dissolve any better really so if you're making it into syrup I would not pay the extra price. I would just buy granulated sugar.

There will be multiple application variables and end goals for the when and whys of giving sugar. To stimulate brood rearing, winter resource insurance, emergency feeding in winter/spring etc. I became curious about all the options, how they relate to feeding bees and it left me wondering “ what is all this stuff”?
Dry sugar, candy, fondant, or drivert is emergency feed to keep them from starving. They take the drivert better than the dry sugar, but they will eat either when they are out of food. It really won't stimulate brood rearing. It also won't cause moisture problems like syrup when it's too cold. Syrup has the advantage of stimulating brood rearing under the right circumstances. It's good for fall or spring feeding.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thank you. That’s good information. I’ve heard of people feeding drivert prior to heading to The Almonds and thought it maybe had some stimulative effects. It would make sense that it doesn’t as it‘s still pretty much just cane sugar?


I put some “finely ground bakers sugar” on some hives this fall mostly out of curiosity. Visually, it looked no different than regular cane sugar. I’ll have to look at it under the microscope at some point. The bees jumped on it pretty quickly but maybe they would have jumped on regular sugar just the same. I didn’t do any side by side comparisons.

In my looking, Drivert/invert sugar is hard to find outside of restaurant/bakery wholesalers. MLake sells it, but only through phone sales and it won’t qualify for free shipping.
 
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