Sugar Syrup Math for Beekeepers

In the spring, a beekeepers thoughts turn to imagining the type of year the upcoming beekeeping season will bring. As eternal optimist, beekeepers expect a great season with plenty of sweet victories to be had.

But, yet, as in much of life, the start of a new venture is the hardest. The same goes for honey bees starting their new home. Whether in a tree or in a beekeepers box, they have to build a lot of honeycomb from scratch. The energy to build the comb comes from flowers. When there are not flowers in bloom, bees who have keepers, are usually given sugar syrup.


The ratio for the mixture of sugar to water varies, but there are rules of thumb for beekeepers to follow. 1 part sugar to 1 part water is what beekeepers will give their brand new bees in the spring. It attempts to mimic thin nectar as best as possible.

The question always comes up, "Do I Make sugar and water by weight or by volume?".

The answer is often, "It doesn't matter".


2:1 thick sugar syrup at the hives a the Birmingham Botanical Gardens


The answer is , "It doesn't matter", not because they are the same thing thing. But it doesn't matter because it has the same result. Bees turn the energy in sugar syrup into honeycomb either way.

To help you figure out how to make sugar syrup, and to understand what it costs you and how it effects your bees, I made this guide for you.

If you are mixing together more than a gallon of syrup together at a time, a paint mixer like this makes mixing it together quick and easy. 

Happy Beekeeping