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Why feeding shouldn't be done out in the open:



I would love to see the HMF levels in that honey. As HMF is meant to be a toxic (to bees) by-product of boiling sucrose, and candy canes have to be made by boiling sugar, it seems like an all-around irresponsible idea.

For our non-US members, candy canes are a kind of “boiled sweet” (syrup cooked to “hard crack” if you make your own confections), usually red and white striped and peppermint-flavoured. They appear around Halloween and continue in popularity until Christmas.


Interesting. I wonder if researchers have tried using this coloured feeding syrup to track disease transfer in colonies.


Actually this raises another topic that comes to mind. People on the forum are often cautious about eating honey that comes from feeding bees on sugar/water. I have never really thought it was an issue, because of how much nectar/honey that the bees bring in at the same time as feeding.

You can feed bees on sugar syrup that is colored with food coloring. That would be a good way to tell how much stored honey contain sugar syrup honey, based on the color of the honey.


also a good way to make some weird couloured honey, eh Jeff?

I wondered about a bit of sugar in the honey- whether it was such a bad thing… plus also don’t the bees eat and puke it up several times? Adding some bee indefinable ‘character’ to the sugar?

(p.s. I don’t feed my bees sugar- at least I haven’t yet)


Hi Jack, yes I heard about the technique a long time ago.

I don’t feed my bees, only on the odd occasion. If I think a colony need a little feed to tie them over for a day or so until they start foraging, I’ll give them straight honey.


The primary reason people suggest not feeding when producing honey is that if any of it is to be sold, it must meet the state requirements for Honey. In my state, it must be from natural nectar sources. So sugar syrup would disqualify any product where I am located.


and I agree with that- you mustn’t sell ‘honey’ that is made from sugar syrup…