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Inverted sugar syrup for supplemental feeding?


Has anyone experimented with making inverted sugar syrup? Essentially boiling white sugar(sucrose=50%glucose, 50%fructose) with citric acid, or cream of tartar to 114 C (237F)* to split the glucose and fructose. Given that Honey is about a 50/50 blend of glucose and fructose it seems like inverted sugar syrup would be easier and more “natural” for the bees to digest then plain sucrose syrup when supplemental feeding needs to be done.

*Corrected my error on the temperature


"In confectionery and candy making, cream of tartar is commonly used as the acidulant, with typical amounts in the range of 0.15-0.25% of the sugar’s weight.[9] The use of cream of tartar imparts a honey-like flavor to the syrup.[8] After the inversion is completed, it may be neutralized with baking soda using a weight of 45% of the cream of tartar’s weight."


Basically that is the recipe for toffee only you would not bring the temp so high as for toffee 215ºC - I was considering using toffee as it is solid and the bees can suck at it.

Any thoughts??

Also - What cake makers call “Plastic Icing” - Fondant to the layman - I was thinking may be more economical, only thing is I’m not sure what the glycerine would do to the bees - it is a natural laxative??

Does anyone know a recipe for bee Fondant?


I found one!!



I did a little more googling, and a little more reading and I had no idea how heated this debate is… holy cow. Seems like the consensus is that bees invert their own sugar with an enzyme invertase. So it is unnecessary to do it for them, and inverted sugar syrup can contain toxic compounds that develop in the conversion process. So from what I gather simple cane sugar syrup with minimal heating is best. Seems like if that is the case then any candies or fondant products would be equally as bad for them as they are extensively heated…

Secret of BEE FOOD ( polen paty)

Yes I’m talking about A1 Cane sugar to make the fondant/toffee
A̶l̶s̶o̶ ̶I̶ ̶w̶o̶u̶l̶d̶ ̶u̶s̶e̶ ̶v̶i̶n̶e̶g̶a̶r̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶ ̶C̶r̶e̶a̶m̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶t̶a̶r̶t̶a̶r̶ ̶(̶T̶a̶r̶t̶a̶r̶i̶c̶ ̶A̶c̶i̶d̶)̶ ̶-̶ ̶(̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶a̶c̶i̶d̶ ̶c̶o̶n̶t̶e̶n̶t̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶s̶t̶o̶p̶ ̶i̶t̶ ̶c̶r̶y̶s̶t̶a̶l̶l̶i̶s̶i̶n̶g̶ although making fondant is controlled crystallisation - sorry chef in me coming out

Apparently Cream of Tartar can be toxic to :bee: :bee: :bee: :bee: :bee:


From what I gather though during the process of inverting sugar through acid hydrolysis can create hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) which is toxic to bees, so in theory vinegar would cause a similar reaction.


Secret of BEE FOOD ( polen paty)

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Yea probably so, I guess to me making a “simple syrup” is not really that much work being a chef by profession. If it were the best thing for the bees I’d happily take a few more minutes to boil a syrup to make a better food. I guess luckily for me the easiest solution is also the best solution. Sometimes it works out that way lol.


@adagna What is it about us Chefs we seem to get everywhere! LOL


Wow many works to do… Hahaha. I’m just add sugar syrup with soybean powder.


The advantage of invert is that it is more concentrated than 2:1 and the bees will take it down late in the season when they wouldn’t take 2:1