Bees work hard to collect honey. This workload can make them tired and decrease honey production. A known way to boost the bees is to give them sugar water.
But it’s a hassle to make the solution over and over again.
So you must have thought, how long does sugar water for bees last?
Sugar water for bees can last for a long time if preserved properly. It depends and can last from a couple of hours to weeks. So, you need to use sterilized products while making the solution. Also, keep the water in a dry place to retain its freshness. You can refrigerate the mixture too.
This is only the beginning. A lot of things about the lifetime of the sugar water are still there.
So let’s jump into the details together-
How Long Will the Sugar Water for Bees Last?
Sugar water for bees can last for a couple of hours to weeks under preferable circumstances. On the contrary, it can deteriorate within a short time if the conditions are improper.
The expiration time of the solution is not dependent on just a single factor. Several factors together play an important role in preserving the sugar water. Also making the sugar-water solution in the correct methods will increase its lifespan.
So let’s see the best sugar water for bees recipe.
Correct Method of Making Sugar Water for Bees
Feeding bees sugar water in summer is a very popular way to help the tired bees. It helps the bees to regain their strength and start collecting honey again. But the sugar water must be made by correct procedures.
Otherwise, it can become harmful for the bees. Also, sugar water made in the wrong methods will get wasted very fast. Comparing bee-pro and ultra bees, sugar water is also very useful for bees. So you need to prepare it properly.
Below we will show you the most proper way of making long-lasting sugar water.
Step 1: Boil the Water
Making sugar water is not a complex task. But be careful about the measurements and temperature. Wrong measurements can completely ruin the sugar water mixture.
That’s why to keep the ratio and temperature accurate I got some measuring cups and a thermometer. You should also get the best ones to continue the process precisely-
The two most popular sugar water for bees ratio is 1:1 and 2:1 of sugar and water. Both work well, but the 1:1 ratio is extremely prone to fermentation. So we will use the 2:1 ratio system to make our sugar-water solution.
But to feed the bees in spring you should go with the 1:1 ratio.
You see, the ratio is based on the weight, not the volume of sugar and water. The 2:1 ratio means dissolving 2 parts of sugar with 1 part of water.
Another thing might bother you. Do you have to boil sugar water for bees? Yes, boiling the water is better.
The boiled water is sterilized and free of microorganisms. For the decomposition of foods, these organisms are responsible.
So by boiling it you will prevent the solution from getting fermented. But you don’t have to boil the water and sugar together.
Boil the water at first. Then add sugar to it. Or else the solution can turn into caramel.
Step 2: Mix the Sugar
In this step, you have to add the sugar. If you have 1 gallon of water, mix 2 gallons of sugar. You need to stir the solution well.
Make sure all of the sugar is dissolved in the water. Be aware that any sugar chunk is not left.
After the sugar is well mixed, add Honey-B-Healthy to it. This will make the sugar water more stimulating for the bees.
There’s another essential oil that I add sometimes is, the Be e Jubilee. It will improve the brood expansion and overall health of your bees. Just mix 1-2 tablespoons of it and your sugar water is good to go.
Step 3: Preserving the Sugar
Cool the solution and then preserve it in a clean container. You can use a sterilized funnel to pour the mixture.
Here are some durable and sturdy funnel and container suggestions for you-
Make sure you preserve the water in a cool and shaded place.
You must’ve wondered how long sugar water lasts in the fridge?
Well, sugar water can be preserved for a very long period in the refrigerator. By maintaining a low temperature the mixture can be kept fresh for a year or more. After making the solution, provide it in a sugar-water feeder for bees.
If you’re into beekeeping for a long time you might have these bee feeders already. If you’re a newbie then no worries. You can get everything in one place. Just have a look at the list below-
If you don’t know how to feed the bees sugar water then watch the following video-
Now, let’s learn some more tips to keep the sugar water intake for a long time.
Tips to Increase the Longevity of Sugar Water for Bees
Though there are alternatives to sugar water for bees, we want to preserve it for emergencies. By giving importance to certain factors, you can preserve the sugar water easily. Let’s have a look at these factors.
Using Sterilized Materials
You might be making sugar water because your bees are dying and some of them are very weak. The sugar water can improve the situation but only if you use sterilized materials. As mentioned before, boiling the water is essential to get rid of microbes.
You must use fresh sugar cane sugar for the task. Don’t use any superficial sugar mixture for making the solution.
I always use the following organic sugar for making the sugar water. This also helps me to preserve my sugar water for longer-
Keeping the Solution in a Dry & Cool Place
The problem with sugar water is that it can get fermented. The hot and moist environment works as positive catalysts for fermentation. So you have to avoid such weather for the longevity of the solution.
Any shaded place will be fine for storing the water. Make sure that you seal the mouth of the bottle properly. This way the solution will not get fermented. However, molds can form on the water bottle. Clean it using a clean and dry cloth.
Refrigerating the Solution
You can refrigerate the solution without any after-effects. The solution will stay safe in the fridge. Both sugar and water practically don’t have any expiration time. By keeping it in the fridge you can keep the mixture fresh for eternity.
Just joking, don’t keep the solution for that long. Use it whenever you need it and then make a new batch of sugar water.
Increasing the pH of Sugar Water
Now let’s look at a hack. Bacterias can not live in solutions with low pH. Decreasing the pH of the sugar water can be preserved longer. For that vinegar or lemon can be added to the water.
Squirt some lemon juice or vinegar in the water. Adding 1 or 2 tablespoons will be enough. But don’t make the solution sour by adding too much of them.
These are the factors that you need to check for the longevity of the sugar water. Be aware while feeding the bees. You should know when to stop feeding bees sugar water in the fall. Follow our tips to get the most desired result.
How often do you change sugar water for bees?
You need to change sugar water for bees every 1 to 2 days. The sugar water can ferment easily. The sunlight and warm temperature will ferment the water. So check and change the water frequently.
How can you tell if sugar water is bad?
You can tell if sugar water is bad by observing the color and smell of the water. The deteriorated water will become cloudy. Its color will also turn milky and have black-white structures.
Why is brown sugar bad for bees?
Brown sugar is bad for bees because of its ash content. The brown sugar is made by adding molasses back in the refined sugar. During this addition, the molasses part of the brown sugar brings harmful solid contents for the bees.
We hope that you have understood how long does sugar water for bees lasts. We have tried our best to serve you with the appropriate answer and tips.
Don’t feed too much sugar water to the bees. The bees will overproduce brood if they are given too much sugar water. So, maintain the appropriate amount.