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Feeding Honeybees in the Spring

Here on Cape Cod, did you know that the queen begins to "awaken" and lay eggs in the hive sometimes as early as February? Those baby bees need a food sources and at the end of their winterization, often food supplies have greatly dwindled. We continue to encourage our beekeepers to check on the food sources all through the winter and replenish with sugar via the Mountain Camp Method, candy boards or fondant. But as weather turns warmer, it is time to switch from a solid feed to a liquid. You can easily make a simple sugar syrup at home that allows you to support the bees until there are adequate foraging foods from Mother Nature available to your bees.

In springtime, we feed the honeybees a sugar syrup that is a 1:1 ratio vs a fall sugar syrup that is a 2:1 ratio. To make a spring time sugar syrup for your bees this is what you will need.

Spring and Summer Sugar Syrup 1:1 Recipe


  • 10 cups of water

  • 5 pounds of granulated sugar


  1. In a large pot, bring your water to a rolling boil.

  2. Remove the pot from the stove.

  3. Add the sugar to the water, stirring constantly until all the sugar has dissolved.

  4. (Optional) Add Honey-B Healthy as directed on the packaging label/instructions.

  5. Allow the sugar syrup to cool completely.

  6. Mix it again and then transfer it to your feeder of choice.

  7. Place the feeders on the hives.

It is not uncommon for honeybees, especially new hives, to take in a gallon of this sugar syrup every few days. So be sure to check and replenish their supply regularly and stock up on sugar.


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