How To Make Sugar Water For Bees (With Ratio)

Do you have honey bees but don’t own a garden? So what are you gonna feed your bees? Well, don’t panic. Sugar water got your back. Suger water is an excellent course of food for bees. What is super water?

How to make it? Is it safe for bees? Can I feed honey to my bees? If not, then why can’t I? Woah, slow down a little here and sit down. We are gonna answer those questions. So, let’s dig into the core of bees’ sugar water-

What is sugar water?

In the food industry, sugar water refers to any artificially sweetened beverage. It can be made from sucrose or high fructose corn syrup. It may contain other ingredients such as artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, emulsifiers, stabilizers, thickeners, etc.

The term “sugar water” was made from sugar, which is man’s version of nectar. Beekeepers often use a lot of sugar on a large and medium scale.

The responsibility of keeping bees healthy fell to us when mother nature was having a fit, and there wasn’t enough natural food.

Besides providing food, nectar provides honeybees with the energy they need to build comb. Since mother nature struggles with natural nectar, we take that business into our hands with sugar water.

How to Make Sugar Water for Bees (With Ratio)

Follow those simple stages to make the perfect sugar water for your bees which will help to fill the gap of natural nectar.

What You’ll Need

You’ll need the following:

  • A clean mason jar (or other containers) with a lid.
  • Sugar. The ratio is one part sugar to two parts water, so you’ll want to start with a ratio of 1/2 cup of sugar per 1 cup of water.
  • Water. You can use any type—tap, bottled, filtered—but not distilled or mineral water because they have too much salt for bees to use as food or drink water.*
  • Please note that this is an estimate; it may take time for your bees to adjust and change their diet as needed for the weather changes throughout the year.

Here is how to make sugar water

If this was for fall or winter, then we’d use a two-to-one ratio, which is two parts white sugardry sugar to one part water. Do not use brown sugar; We are gonna tell a 1:1 ratio recipe.

To-one ratio, you’re going to need a gallon jug; you need a pot to eat your water in. For this, we’re going to use two and a half quarts of water and five pounds of sugar; you’re also to need something to stir your sugar-water mixture with; now, depending on the mouth of your jug, you may need a funnel in order to pour your mixture into the jar for storage after it’s cooled down we’re going to begin by pouring our two and a half quarts of water into our pan we’re going to turn this on and wait for it to come to a boil once it comes to a boil.

We’ll go ahead and turn it down on low. And add in our sugar to come to a boil. Then go ahead and turn it down to low; now that’s going to keep the water hot as we add the sugar now for your sugar; you do want to make sure that you’re using 100% pure cane sugar.

I’m going to pour in about half of it, we’re going to stir it, and we’re watching for it to dissolve, and as you can see it. Dissolves the water and goes back to being clear, as well as a little more sugar.

See, it doesn’t take long at all for the sugar to dissolve enough boiling water .let’s go ahead and have the rest of the sugar at this point; we have a one-to-one.

The ratio in here was five pounds of sugar to two and a half quarts of water at this point; all the sugars dissolveI’ve got my burner turned off, and I’m going to let this cooldown.

Before pouring it into the gallon jug, I’m going to store it in the gallon jug. Then from there, we’ll pour it into the spray bottle that we use to spray the bees and into our bee feeder; if some of the sugar water is cold, then go ahead and get it poured into your measuring cup.

So all of your sugar water is poured into your storage container; you can sort it at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

The ratio of Water for Bees

Honeybees are essential pollinators to our food supply, but there is one thing that makes honeybees different from us humans: they don’t drink water. However, they need liquid, especially during the colder months of winter.

The amount of sugar water required depends on the temperature, humidity, and type of hive. As temperatures rise, the ratio of sugar and water needs to increase.

The ratio of sugar solution required by honeybees increases by about 5% every 10 degrees Fahrenheit above 30°F. This means that you’ll need to provide more sugar water in the summer than you’d normally think.

In the spring and fall, the opposite is true; as temperatures drop, the ratio of sugar solutions decreases. For example, the ratio of sugar syrup needed in the Spring is 2 parts water to 3 parts sugar syrup. By contrast, in the Fall, the ratio drops to 1 part water to 4 parts sugar syrup.

To determine how much sugar solution you need, you must know the exact number of frames in your hives. You can find out the frame count by looking up the hive manufacturer’s specifications online.

Then, contact the manufacturer directly if you’re unsure of the exact number of frames.

Why Bees Love Sugar Water?

You may be wondering why bees are so attracted to sugar water. Bees love sugar water because it is sweet and has a high sucrose concentration. When a bee lands on your hive and smells the sweetness coming from the hive, he will want more.

The color of your sugar water also draws bees in; they are naturally drawn to bright colors like yellow or orange (which represent nectar). They also love texture: bees like things that “stick” together well—if you give them something to hold onto while they sip their nectar, they are more likely to stick around.

Finally, the temperature is essential too—bees don’t like cold things, so keep your container somewhere warm enough for them but not too hot (or they could melt.).

Why Shouldn’t You Use Honey for Feeding Bees?

You may have heard that honey is an excellent food for bees, but it’s not. Honey is too thick and sweet for adult bees to eat, making it difficult for the larvae to feed on. Also, if you are using any kind of honey that has pollen in it, this can cause problems with bee allergies.

It’s also important to remember that honey isn’t sterile—it could be contaminated by bacteria or mold spores from the environment where it was harvested or stored.

And finally, depending on how much money you spend on your local organic honey (which can cost a lot.) versus what you pay for sugar water at home (which costs close to nothing), feeding your bees with sugar water could actually save you money over time.

Storing the Sugar Water for Bees

  • You’ll need to store the gallon of syrup water for bees in a container that is closed tightly. This will keep out pests and other animals, ants, children, pets, and other people.
  • Place your container of a mixture of sugar for bees in a shady area away from direct sunlight so it doesn’t spoil too quickly. The sun can affect its quality and speed up fermentation, which could turn into wine or beer if not correctly cared for.

When Should You Stop Giving Sugar Water to Bees?

There are a few reasons you might stop giving your bees sugar water.

  • If the bees have finished their honey stores or are on their last bit of the season’s honey, they’ll likely be able to survive without any help from you. You can tell if they’ve stopped drawing out comb by checking to see if there’s any space in the hive.
  • It doesn’t matter how much sugar water you give your colony as long as there’s enough pollen for them to feed on; however, once they start producing honey, you must stop giving them sugar water so that they don’t waste energy storing excess honey instead of raising brood (baby bees)).

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

1. How Can I Help Honey Bees?

Feeding sugar water to hungry bees is the most common way to help them.

2. Do beekeepers feed bees sugar water?

Yes, most beekeepers do use supplemental feeding at times. However, the beekeeping industry varies in opinions about whether or not feeding bees sugar water is wise.

3. What is the best sugar for honey bees?

Additionally, honeybees collect liquid food naturally. Therefore, you should only use white sugar when making sugar water for your bees.

4. How do I measure 1:1 sugar water?

You can measure with cups or use weight as the unit of measure.

5. what is the correct ratio for a hummingbird feeder?

Try a 5:1 water-to-sugar ratio.


This article covered the basics of sugar water and how to make it for bees. In summary, you want to use a ratio of 1 part sugar to 2 parts water.

You can also add honey or syrup to your sugar water. You will need to adjust the amount of honey/syrup based on the size of your hive. I would recommend starting with about 10% (1:2) and then increasing as needed until you get the correct consistency. I hope the above recipe will help you out there.