There’s Corn Syrup in My Bee Fondant. Is that OK?

There’s Corn Syrup in My Bee Fondant. Is that OK?

Mary writes:
Hi. I am trying to get ready for winter and always order my fondant from Mann Lakes. This time it says “90/10 sugar, CORN SYRUP, water.” I don’t think it’s ever had corn syrup in it before. This isn’t good for bees, is it?


Josh replies:
I should start by saying I’ve never used fondant myself. I tend to leave my bees with a good 20-30% more honey than most beekeepers in my area. However, I know several beekeepers who make candy board for their winter colonies and I think its a wonderful practice.

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Corn syrup, in and of itself, isn’t so good for bees. There’s some research suggesting it fails to activate certain genes in the bees like honey does and may have compounds in it that, in large amounts, over time, could be a bit toxic to honeybees. That said, it appears the fondant from Mann Lake has white sugar as the top ingredient, with corn syrup coming second. It may be OK for your bees — Mann Lake is pretty reputable, after all. Of course, I totally understand if you do not want to risk it. If you’d like an alternative for the winter, I’d recommend making your own candy board. Here’s a nice article on how to bake your own candy board/fondant for your bees.

Keep in mind, though, that overcooking sugar creates compounds that are toxic to the bees so be careful with the temperature. If you’d like a no-cook alternative, here’s on one way to do so: https://www.honeybeesuite.com/no-cook-candy-board-recipe-for-feeding-winter-bees/. Rusty is a master beekeeper and regularly contributes to our site. I hope that helps!

Josh

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