Feeding Bees With Dry Sugar

December 10, 2018

During the cold winter months, honey bees with inadequate food stores may need to be supplemented food. When daytime temperatures are below 40 deg. Fahrenheit bees like to stay clustered and feeding with sugar syrup can be a bad idea. The syrup, when too cold, can harm the bees. This is when we must use dry sugar to give them the food they need.

Dry sugar can be applied many different ways. In my opinion, one of the easiest ways is called the Mountain Camp Method. This method uses one sheet of newspaper, fondant or superfine sugar, and an eke (if you don’t know what that is, google it).

  1. Place your inner cover over the top of your box the same way you would if you were closing it after an inspection (If you don’t have an inner cover it is not necessary).
  2. Lay the newspaper over the inner cover or (top bars on the highest story box of the hive if no inner cover is used).
  3. Place the eke on.
  4. Cut a 2” - 3” hole in the center allowing the bees access to the sugar.
  5. Gently pour the sugar in a circular motion, around the cut hole, onto the newspaper (try not to spill any sugar outside of the hive, it may attract unwanted guest).
  6. Check the hive in a week or so to see how progress is going.

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