Feeding Your Bees

Do your bees need fed? YES as I stated in the blog about installing your bees - feed your bees at least 2 weeks or until they will no longer take the feed. Bees often need feed not just when they are a new hive being established!


ALWAYS USE WHITE SUGAR.....not confectioners sugar, brown sugar, or any other substitute!! Some beekeepers use high fructose corn syrup.


Spring feeding is a lighter feed at the ratio of 1:1 by weight or volume. This is to mimic the natural nectar flow. Feeding the bees help with the wax glands production to build comb, build up stores of food and rear brood. Feeding can literally be life and death to the hive!!


There are several types of feeders and choosing one is personal choice. I will only mention a few but there are so many ways beekeepers become resourceful inventors when it comes to feeders.

  • Open Feeding: filling a container (bucket, pan,...)with sugar water and placing it about 100 yards away. make sure you place racks, sticks, or leaves to keeping the drowning deaths to a minimum. This is an easy method but keeping in mind you are feeding wild bees and other pasts too.

  • Frame feeders: a plastic container made to replace one of the frames in your hive. Still will have some drowning deaths but they are designed for bees to be able to get out. Filling it with feed means opening the hive to check on refilling it.

  • Boardman feeder: There’s a glass jar that is filled with syrup and then placed upside down on a perforated lid. The bees access the syrup through the holes in the lid, and the sugar water doesn’t run out.

  • Top feeder: this is my preference!!!! It is a wooden box to fit on top of your hive with a plastic liner to hold the feed. there is a screen over the opening; meaning the bees don't actually have an exit here. No disturbing the hive to check on feed, they hold a few gallons.

If your package bees stop taking sugar water, remove it for a few weeks. A few weeks later offer the feed again.. If the they don’t want the sugar water, remove the feeder again. Keeping feed on the bees does not mean every other day or weekly which is why I recommend a feeder larger than a quart jar. Yes a quart jar will work but I have seen times where the jar had to be filled more than once a day. So if you use the jar method keep a close eye on it.


If you are feeding during the hot season your feed may sour or mold, keep a check on it. Spearmint or lemongrass essential oils can be added to help reduce mold and helps with mites.


I, also, recommend feeding pollen patties to your new package!

Pollen is collected to make bee bread, which they mix with some nectar and their enzymes that help to preserve the pollen. Bee bread is used by nurse bees to feed larvae. Pollen tends to incites the production of brood. Thus your hive grows quicker.


Let me know if I can help in any way !


Kind words are like honey, — sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.

Proverbs 16:24

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