Sugar Cake Recipe for Honeybees

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This winter feeding sugar cake recipe is an alternative to making fondant to feed your bees. From what I read in beekeeping magazines and online forums, it seems many people are moving to simple cakes of sugar, an alternative to sugar candy, which is a pain to make. We use these cakes in our winter insulated inner covers, here’s a how-to video and plans for our insulated inner covers.

I use shallow foil cake pans to make these sugar cakes, you can use whatever you want, or you could just hand form them into patties or rounds.

Phillip of the beekeeping blog has a great photo of 4 candy cakes placed in the top of a hive, click here to see it. My point here being you don’t need to use foil pans for molds, you can free form the things, I just like how the foil holds the sugar cakes together, and are easy to transport in my truck.

To make what i call sugar cake is pretty simple, take a 5 lb bag of white sugar, mix it in a bowl with 7.5 ounces of water and a few drops of an essential oil mix. Mix the water in well, and then spread into the foil pans, or drop onto wax paper or paper plates and make round sugar mounds. click here for our essential oil recipe for honeybees.

It is key to measure the water precisely, i use scale; it makes a big difference. if you add too much water it doesn’t dry right, i think.

let the cakes dry overnight, and you are ready to place them on the top of the hive. take care not to crush any bees when you do this. you should use a spacer shim, or an insulated inner cover with a built in space for feeding when adding sugar or fondant to the top of your hive.


  1. says

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  2. Phyllis says

    Thanks for the videos :)
    making sugar cakes today and the only oils I have are pepermint and eucalyptus can I use them or should it be spearment?

    Phyllis from WV :)


  1. [...] Insulated Inner Cover Beekeeping 101 GF video All the hives we have lost have been in the late winter – early spring due to condensation. This year I am determined to eliminate condensation from our hives. Here is a beginning beekeeping how-to video on how we made and use an insulated inner cover for winter on top of our beehives and why you should consider using an insulated inner cover for your beehives. We put sugar cakes inside the inner cover, here is the honeybee sugar cake recipe. [...]

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