Burnt Sugar Bad for Bees

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Learning lessons the hard way – most definitely my biggest pet peeve about beekeeping.  But as I’ve said many times, if you don’t make mistakes, you aren’t learning.  I made what could be a serious mistake this past week.  A simple mistake that I didn’t think anything of until I decided to research it a little too late.

I made a batch of sugar syrup last weekend.  I added sugar, then water, didn’t stir it, turned on the heat, then ran upstairs.  When I came back, the bottom of the sugar had scorched; not much, but enough that it turned a caramel amber color.  I strained all the pieces out and fed it to the bees anyway.  I’d been meaning to look it up, but life is crazy, so not until 5 days later did I give it a Google.

In no uncertain terms, burned sugar syrup of any kind is bad for bees.  It will make them sick and it can kill them. 

Fan-freakin-tastic.  I removed all feed from the hives and whipped up a new batch of syrup.  I haven’t noticed any issues yet, but then I’m at work all day and haven’t seen the girls in action all week.  It’s too cold when I leave and too dark when I come home.  Frustrating, but it is what it is.  I’ll keep and eye on them and hope for the best.  Passing it on in hopes that others can learn from my mistakes.

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