This recipe is great as a winter bee food or emergency food source in case your bees run out of honey.

In a lot of the country, sugar syrup will freeze in winter and though bees will still eat it, it's easier for you to manage and for the bees to get to it if you make candy and place it directly on top of the frames, or better yet into a candy board. This way if the cluster moves, the bees can still access food directly over their heads. This prevents bees from having to break cluster to get to their food source. Sugar syrup should be replaced by hard candy as soon as the average ambient temperature drops below 50 degrees. Hard candy is the preferred method of feeding over-wintering bees.

Need a candy board feeder for your bees? Candy Board Feeder For Bees

This is an easy to follow recipe that any beekeeper can use to make hard candy winter bee food. It is a great winter bee food and will prevent starvation of your bee colonies.


10lbs Granulated white sugar

1qt Water

1 Tblsp lemon juice

1 Tbspn White vinegar (anti-fungal and anti-microbial)

1 tsp Honey-B-Healthy (optional)


  • Prepare your molds. You can use paper plates as it creates a nice thin candy that also covers a large surface area, so the bees can reach it easier. No matter where the bees are clustered, they won't have to go far to find it. The best option is to use a candy board feeder. If you don't have one click here!
  • Add water, lemon juice, and vinegar to a pot and bring it to a simmer.
  • Add the sugar to the pot. Make sure to keep stirring it until the sugar dissolves into solution (you can see no more sugar crystals). If all the sugar won't go into solution add 1/4 cup water and stir. Keep doing this until all the sugar is dissolved.
  • Add a candy thermometer to the pot and turn the heat up to medium-high. You can stop stirring at this point.
  • Let the mixture boil until the temperature on your candy thermometer reads 250f.
  • Remove the pot from the stove.
  • Spray your molds with canola oil, or if you do not have a sprayer, use a paper towel soaked in canola oil to rub them down, coating all surfaces.
  • CAREFULLY pour the mixture into the molds. I say CAREFULLY because what you have now in your pot is candy napalm which upon contact with anything cool, like your fingers or arms, will instantly become part of your skin and then harden before you have a chance to wipe it off, continuing to burn you for several more minutes!
  • Allow the candy to cool completely, then pop it out of the molds. You can store the cakes with layers of wax paper between them for several months away from bugs, mice, etc.