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Sugar Cake Recipes

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Early Winter Sugar Cake Recipes

These first two recipes should be used while the queen is not laying many eggs, which is generally from mid-October through mid-February. At a minimum, feed the 100% recipe if your bees need it. The 90% Sucrose + Pollen Substitute is a richer and more complete feed, and makes a sugar cake with 5% protein to help bees maintain healthy cellular function.

100% Sucrose (table sugar)

5 lb. Sugar

90% Sucrose (plus a pollen substitute)

4.5 lb. Sugar

½ lb. Pollen Substitute

Late Winter Sugar Cake Recipe

This recipe has more protein and is meant to be used after mid-February, when the queen starts laying and the bees can fly to cleanse. Makes a sugar cake with about 15% protein to support the workers while they are feeding the queen during increasing egg laying.

70% Sucrose (plus pollen)

3.5 lb. Sugar

1.5 lb. Pollen Substitute


How to Mix and Use:

  1. Combine dry ingredients with 7- 8 oz. warm water, slowly adding water until the mixture is sticky, but not wet.

  2. Allow mixture to dry overnight.

  3. Place mixture into a ziplock bag with two wooden spacers

  4. Cut a hole in the bottom of the bag so the bees can feed.

  5. Place directly onto the top bars of the colony (a shim may be required to accommodate the thickness of the bag).

You can make the cake even more nutritious by substituting pure oils like olive oil, diluted honey, or even HRCS for some of the water.

Protein Recommendation

The protein I recommend is AP23 by Dadant (or equivalent). If you choose to make your own, the protein you use must be in “isolate” form to avoid the indigestible sugars. For this reason, it is best to purchase a pollen substitute from a known bee supplier.