When to stop feeding sugar

Hi all
I have a noob question in regards to feeding dry white sugar.
When feeding sugar to bees during winter do they just consume it as a food source or do they store it.

I did a bit more research and found my own answer

A: It is. But, as I mentioned above, the purpose of fall feed and the purpose of winter feed are different. A hearty feeding of 2:1 syrup in the fall while temperatures are still warm enough to evaporate it will be stored by the bees and used to increase their winter food supply. On the other hand, the purpose of winter feed is to keep bees that are low on stores from starving—they are not going to store their winter feed, they’re going to eat it.


sorry for the delay in getting back you until know but life’s other distractions have been calling loudly of late. Your problem solving answered this perfectly so congrats on that front and thanks for posting your reposting the response for others.

A decent book that you can download on feeding your bees in the Fat Bees Skinny Bees which I have posted the link to download this free below and whilst a part of it is pages of latin plant names and other geek associated guff the far majority of it is a very good read and well worth reading during a cold winter. You and your bees will certainly benefit from your new knowledge on this subject and you will then be armed with the facts to help save your bees in the future and also promote brood growth & honey gathering by your bees at other times of the year.


The download will also save you $35.00 which is the going rate for this publication as a hard copy.



Yep I experienced this first hand. I had purchased bees later in the season (but not so late that they would not survive) and as advised fed them pretty well to build numbers up before winter so they could survive the cold. As you do I was experimenting with feeding based on the stores in the hive and had given them a feed of syrup as the daily temperatures were dropping off. A feeder that the bees would normally empty in a day took days for them to get through. Upon seeking advice from my bee mentor he explained that it was because the moisture in the syrup was not evaporating. Now I know. They have some dry sugar in their feeder now. I can’t help myslef and every now and then crack the lid to have a look. They are eating it. Some days they are all over it and other days there is not a bee on the sugar at all. I guess they use it as they need it.


Hi Kurt
I was told by Eric when I got my first hive, if you need to feed in winter to use dry white sugar.
I am in to my second winter now and give my bees dry sugar regardless as they only eat it if they want it.
The reason I was interested to know if they stored it was in regards to removing it so it would not be in honey come harvest.
We have had temps in the 15deg days all June and a few trees flowering and oxalis starting so they are getting some nectar, probably feeding on sugar so they can work harder :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


For anyone following this thread interested in the process of feeding dry sugar using a Technoset hive top feeder, I took some quick photos.

  1. Remove the outer lid

  2. Add dry sugar

  3. Pull the plug to give bees access to the sugar, and store the plug in the feeder (so you can find it again!)

Grabbed this photo when inspecting hives today. Bees are up in the lid of the consuming the dry sugar (sorry for quality, had to be quick!).

Hi Eric
Do your Technoset tops get wet inside? And I mean really wet. If so, is it just condensation or is my top gathering rainwater? With only one hive it’s no big deal, but I can’t imagine somebody with many hives constantly drying those tops.

Hi RBK, Thanks for the sharing the pics here. It gives clear vision of what to do.