Feeding sugar to honey bees


The supply of white sugar (sucrose) to honey bee colonies can be a valuable management tool for beekeepers.

It is used to supplement a shortage of stored honey to prevent starvation of the colony, or to stimulate a colony to artificially promote breeding.

Feeding sugar syrup may also be useful in increasing the number of field bees foraging for pollen from the hive.

This will enhance their role as pollinators of a range of economic crops.

The methods of feeding sugar are diverse and varied. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Topics include:

  • nectar and honey
  • which sugar?
  • role in bee management
  • amounts to feed
  • sugar concentration
  • sources of sugar
  • sugar feeders
  • sugar contamination of honey


Primefact 1343 First Edition

Published: 01 Aug 2014