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Beekeepers: Winter Bee Feed

Why do Beekeepers add Feed? 

When an apiary starts to run low on naturally produced honey, many Beekeepers choose to supplement their bees with sugar syrup made from white granulated sugar or use bakers fondant blocks of sugar as feed! 

To use Fondant or White Sugar?

If the bees start to run low on honey from their own hive, the next best thing Beekeepers use is sugar syrup made from white table sugar. This syrup is used by Beekeepers in autumn, winter and increasingly early spring too, as a food supplement to the bees' food store. This syrup is typically made in roughly the proportion of two parts white sugar to one part water, by either weight or volume. 

If the temperatures are going to be low, Beekeepers tend to use fondant instead of the sugar syrup. This is because fondant is a solid block and can be placed physically nearer to the hive, which saves the bees from having to venture outside their hive into the cold! 

Which Sugars to Use?

Beekeepers always use white granulated sugars for feed.

This is because white granulated sugar has been refined. Meaning all the natural impurities such as cane molasses (found in brown sugars), have been taken out of white sugar! Meaning this sugar when dissolved into a syrup is as close to naturally occurring nectar as possible.

Find our range of white granulated sugars here.

What is Fondant?

Fondant is a soft inverted sugar paste made by heating refined sugar with a catalyst to break down its long chain carbohydrates into simpler sugars (sucrose  and glucose) that can be easily used by the bees. This is a similar natural process used by the bees when they convert nectar into delicious honey!

Why Feed Fondant?

Where the winter is milder the bees cluster less and, therefore, require more energy in the form of stores. This means that more feed must be left on the hive to see them through winter and even additional spring feeding is now very common.

Fondant sugar is the perfect sugar for bee keepers. This is because its liquid texture is a great bee feed replacement for nectar in the winter months. Fondant has already been broken down into simple sugars, so it can be eaten by the bees straight off the block. It’s easy to handle, store and the bees will love it. 

Find our Beekeepers product selection here.