Making your own sugar syrup ahead of time is a great way to prepare for the arrival of your package bees!
When your package bees arrive, having enough sugar syrup ready to feed them will help the honeybees adjust to their new home in your hives. For each package, we recommend making one gallon of syrup.
How to Make Sugar Syrup for Package Bees
A one-to-one mixture of sugar and water — measured either by weight or by volume — provides the energy your bees need to stimulate brood rearing and start drawing out foundation. For each gallon of sugar syrup, measure out 10 2/3 cups sugar and 10 2/3 cups of water.
To make the sugar syrup, heat the mixture gently until all of the sugar is dissolved. Remove the syrup from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Once it has cooled, we suggest adding Nozevit Plus to control Nosema and Honey-B-Healthy to make the sugar syrup more attractive to the bees.
Note on Video: Dadant & Sons no longer recommends the use of Fumagillin B to treat Nosema in honeybees. Instead, we recommend Nozevit Plus from Apivita, available in the Dadant & Sons online store.
Nozevit Plus should be added to the cooled sugar syrup as instructed by the manufacturer for feeding package bees in spring. Honey-B-Healthy may be added to the cooled sugar syrup at a rate of 1–2 teaspoons per quart of sugar syrup.
Recipe for One Gallon of Sugar Syrup
- 10 2/3 cups of granulated sugar
- 10 2/3 cups tap water
- Nozevit as directed by the manufacturer
- 4–8 teaspoons Honey-B-Healthy
For more information about package bees from the Dadant & Sons Learning Center, check out some of our other articles:
For beekeeping equipment and educational materials, visit our online store.