It’s often necessary to feed your honeybees, and it’s essential when starting your spring packages. This can be done easily and inexpensively with sugar syrup. The typical recipe for spring feeding is a 1:1 ratio (by weight) of granulated sugar and water. That is, if you have a pound of sugar, mix it with a pound of water. If you only have one or two colonies, making small quantities is sufficient. If you have several colonies, it’s easier to make large batches. I find it convenient to make my syrup in food-grade five-gallon pails. Five gallons can be made up in just a few minutes. Fifty gallons takes less than half an hour. To make 5 gallons of syrup, simply pour in a 25-lb. bag of granulated sugar and add about 15 lbs. of hot water (this fills the pail to approximately two-thirds of its capacity). Using a large ladle or even your hand, mix the sugar until it dissolves into the water. Once it is dissolved, add the rest of the water. It’s that easy!
If the pail sits for a long time, be sure to mix it thoroughly before use, since some of the sugar may settle to the bottom.