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How To Mix Sugar Water for Bees in SC

How To Mix Sugar Water for Bees in SC

Written by : honeytop

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Making sugar water for honey bees is a simple process, but there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you’re providing them with the best possible nutrition. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 part white granulated sugar 
    • 1 part wate
  • Equipment:
    • mixing containter, ie a pot or bucket
    • Measuring cups
    • Spoon
    • Container for storing the sugar water (such as a jar or feeder)

Instructions:

  1. Mix the sugar and water. You can do this by weight or volume. For example, you could use 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water, or 5 pounds of sugar and 5 pounds of water.
  2. (optional) Heat the water a little. You don’t need to boil the water, but heating it gently will help the sugar dissolve more easily. Don’t let the water come to a full boil, as this can burn the sugar and make it harmful to the bees.  Typically I do not heat the water, I just use warm water from the faucet.
  3. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Once the water is warm, add the sugar and stir until it is completely dissolved. There should be no sugar crystals visible.
  4. Let the sugar water cool. Before you give it to the bees, let the sugar water cool to lukewarm. Bees won’t drink hot liquid.

Tips:

  • Use white granulated sugar. Avoid using brown sugar, honey, as they can be harmful to bees.
  • Store the sugar water in a clean, airtight container in a cool, dark place. It will keep for up to a week.
  • A rule of thumb is to provide sugar water when natural food sources are scarce, such as during a drought or in the early spring, or when you first install your bees into a hive.
  • You can use different ratios of sugar to water depending on the needs of your bees. A 1:1 ratio is a good general purpose mixture, but you can use a 2:1 ratio for a more concentrated food source if your bees are low on stores.

Here are some additional things to keep in mind when feeding honey bees sugar water:

  • Place the feeder in a location where the bees can easily access it. This could be near the hive entrance or in another area where the bees are foraging.  Or on top of the hive on the inner cover. 
  • Make sure the feeder is clean and free of pests.
  • Monitor the feeder regularly and replenish the sugar water as needed.

Video on making sugar water.

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