Feeding Granulated Sugar for Light Hives



Many beekeepers are noting light hives this year. Feeding dry sugar is commonly called "emergency" feeding. But it is a viable substitute to fondant. And is much better than syrup in cold weather since syrup adds tremendous moisture to the hive.

Special Notes


***PennApic member Howard Frysinger from Glenmoore, Pa., has had great success placing dry sugar on the top bars beneath the inner cover. He uses a spacer shim and uses newspaper to hold the sugar.


***You must use care in placing sugar on the paper above the inner cover. If the paper is too tight, you may have the paper break allowing sugar to sift down through the frames. Knowing this can happen, allows you to use extra care thus all but eliminating any chance of this happening.

Picture #1

This is a 10 frame deep colony that has raised enough brood to survive the winter. Unfortunately, they are light on winter stores.

We will be adding an empty box above the inner cover. It is important that this super has no entrance holes and the inner cover has no notch.


Picture #2

The hive with the empty box placed above the inner cover.



Picture #3

Smoke any bees that come up through the inner cover hole.

Picture #4

Place a paper towel over the inner cover hole. Wet down the middle of the paper towel. The sugar will stick to the paper, and will harden so sugar will not sift down through the frames.


Picture # 5

Pour granulated sugar directly on the paper towel.

Picture #6

This is the pile of (2) 5 pound bags of sugar. You can easily place 25 pounds or more into this cavity.


Place your top back on and secure so wind does not blow it off.  

The sugar will soak up moisture which is very good.


The bees will eat up through the hardened sugar for many weeks.

It is best to check in late January or early February to ensure additional sugar is not needed.