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Author Topic: Feeding bees is EXPENSIVE! Any ideas on purchasing sugar cheaper than at the loc  (Read 3752 times)

Offline challenger

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I have several nucs I purchased recently and the flow here is all but over. I planned on feeding them light syrup anyway but I've gone through 80 lbs of sugar in 10 days and I can see I will need to feed them for quite a while. Anyone have any "thrifty" ideas on purchasing sugar?
Thanks-Howard
Beekeeping for Chordoma. All proceeds donated to cancer research

Offline RickeyENC

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Have you checked out Sam's club? I know they sell it in something like 50lb bags.

Offline kathyp

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also see if there is a damaged goods place around.  i have been getting a good deal on broken bags that came from costco.  you just have to be careful that you are getting the weight that they say you are.
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Offline Brian D. Bray

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Don't feed so much.  Feed with interruptions so the bees will make use of the syrup instead of trying to store in in the brood chamber.
Life is a school.  What have you learned?   :brian:      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!

Offline Bee Happy

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...I tried to grow my own sugar cane, but I think I'm on the only real estate in Florida that won't support it. It wasn't for bees, I didn't even have any then.
be happy and make others happy.

Offline TwT

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Have you checked out Sam's club? I know they sell it in something like 50lb bags.

don't buy the large bags, the next time you go into Sams Club and price sugar, you pay more per pound for larger bags than you do small bags, check the price sticker and you will see the smaller bags are cheaperper pounds (in some cases I have seen it .12 a pound cheaper), look for sales ads in you local paper because there is alway a grocery store that will have something like 4# bags for $1.32 or 5# for $1.69, when I find sales I jump on them and fill a buggy or two, good luck!!
THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

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Offline JP

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Ted, no offense buddy but I think you're off on that one. I buy the 25lb bags from Sam's because they are much cheaper than the smaller bags by far.

Bulk products demand a better price always from my experience unless there is some weird sale going on.


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Offline charmd2

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I second Ted's opinion.  here the smaller bags at Walmart are more cost effective than the large bags.  I think $.12 a lb also. 

Charla Hinkle

Offline JP

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I second Ted's opinion.  here the smaller bags at Walmart are more cost effective than the large bags.  I think $.12 a lb also. 



Ok, now you two have me second guessing myself, will have to do a recheck!


...JP
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Offline Rich V

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I buy 50# bags from a small neighborhood bakery. Think it was about .37 cents a pound.

Offline Tucker1

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The idea of buying sugar thru a bakery or bakery supply outlet is a great concept. They must be getting a real price break based on their volumes.
He who would gather honey must bear the sting of the bees.

Offline BeeHopper

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I have several nucs I purchased recently and the flow here is all but over. I planned on feeding them light syrup anyway but I've gone through 80 lbs of sugar in 10 days and I can see I will need to feed them for quite a while. Anyone have any "thrifty" ideas on purchasing sugar?
Thanks-Howard


Losing bees is expensive  :(

Offline Michael Bush

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Many times I find the four pound bags cheaper per pound than the ten pound bags and at Sam's many times I've found the ten pound bags cheaper than the 25 pound bags.  You just have to do the math and figure out which one is cheaper on a given day.  OCCASIONALLY I've seen the 25 pound bags cheaper, but usually not.
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Offline MustbeeNuts

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Last time I did sam's club it cost me 14.50 for a 25lber. 58 cents a lb. I have never seen it for much less however sav-alot chain has a crappy sugar and its 4 lbs for 1.98 48.5 cents a lb. has white stuff that gathers on the top ??? but so far bees don't seeeem to mind it.
Each new day brings decisions,  these are  new branches on the tree of life.

Offline Miss Bee Haven Bee Farm

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Aldi's has sugar for $2.11 for 5 lbs bags
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Offline challenger

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Sam's is more $ than the cheapest store here-Food Lion. The prices are usually .42 per pound and the 5lb is almost always cheaper than the 10lb. I will price Walmart but it will have to be a lot cheaper for me to go there. I cannot stand that store. I know this sounds contradictory to my goal of getting sugar cheap but Walmart is in my top 5 places I do not deal with if I can help it.
Does sugar cane supply the bees with much food? I can buy this at a local vegetable stand.
Thanks-Howard
Beekeeping for Chordoma. All proceeds donated to cancer research

Offline Natalie

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In our area Walmart sells the 5lb bags for $2.44.
Its cheaper than the local grocery stores but I haven't checked out the places like Sam's. Costco or Bj's yet to see what they charge for the bulk bags.
I may do that this week just to see.

Offline heaflaw

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I want my small swarms to draw comb during the summer.  I never thought of feding with interuptions.  I'll try that. 

I've heard of buying bulk fructose or Karo Syrup leftovers or something like that.  Does anyone have experience with it?  Brushy Mtn advertises you-pick-up High Fructose Corn Syrup at 5 gallons for $22.95.  I live 1 1/2 hour away.  It might be worth it to take my truck and a bunch of 5 gallon buckets up there once a year.  Somebody who knows how to compare that to 1/1 sugar water: please do the math.  Does it replace sugar water nutritionally?

Offline sc-bee

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>Ted, no offense buddy but I think you're off on that one. I buy the 25lb bags from Sam's because they are much cheaper than the smaller bags by far.

Got to go with the HOME-BOY on this one JP :shock: Maybe it's a location thing but the smaller bags are often cheaper. At least in wally world or Bi-lo. Aldi 2.19 a little high for here last time I checked.

I hit the last Bi-LO big sale 2/$3. Can't keep the Misses out of it ;)

I have tried to find a wholesale floor sweepings source. Bi-Lo gets their sugar from two main sources. I believe one in MN and a fire took the other one out in Savannah.
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Offline danno

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Cheapest price per pound I've found has bees walmart.  My wife is ElCheapo and counts every penny.    I buy a bag when ever I go there all year long.  It doesn't hurt so bad when you spread it out over the year.  When they have it on sale I buy a bunch even if it will be months before I need it

Offline rast

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 I think its different area's also. I've tried em all around here including Sam's, and Dollar General is the best. 4lb. for $1.75. When someone here was getting a great a Wal Mart last year, I made a beeline for it and it was over a dollar higher than what they were paying.
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Offline qa33010

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    I guess the main thing is to keep your eyes open and COMPARE.  I've seen where the larger amounts are less expensive than the smaller and two days later it was reversed.  I've seen the same thing in grocery stores with other items.  This was after my wife educated me in the ways of shopping.
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Offline patook

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50lbs bags at Costco are $19.99. That is 40 cents a pound

Offline danno

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I mix small batches an like the 10 & 5# bags for doing this.  I have scales for bulk but its just one more step and alittle more mess

Offline jdpro5010

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I have read that the smaller bags are cheaper on here before, but I never seem to find that.  My best buy for a couple of years now has been the 50lb. bag at Sam's and it is usually cheaper by a couple cents per lb..

Offline Brian D. Bray

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Here, a 25 lb bag of sugar sells for $15.95 on sale, I can get 2 5 lb bags for $5.  That equates to 30 lbs for $15.  The reason that the smaller bags are cheaper boils down to numbers.  A lot more 5 lb bags are mnufactured than 10 or 25 lb ones.  Look at the grocery store shells, the biggest amount of sugar is in 4 or 5 lb bags and only 1 or 2 25 lb bags on the shelf. 
Manufactures will package and sell the size that sells best, it is that size that will cost the least per pound.  The truth of supply and demand.
Life is a school.  What have you learned?   :brian:      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!

Offline oldenglish

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I buy the 25lb bag locally at haggens or top foods for $13.95, the 10lb are almost $6. I have found that many stores dont carry the larger 25lb. Figure so far this year I am at around 200lbs for 4 hives, but I was not keeping count so that may be a little low.

Offline steveb

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Here in the Mountain West we have Associated Food Stores which go by a various names such as Macey's, Dan's, etc.  Because of the culture of food storage here Associated Food Stores have yearly food storage case lot sales which has food deeply discounted for about two weeks when one buys in bulk.  Each year I, and many of our other beekeepers, make sure to buy our sugar during the sale.  This year I was able to pick up white sugar in 50 pound bags at a cost of about 37 cents per pound.  Needless to say I buy hundreds of pounds at a time.  It is also a great time to buy bulk containers such as food grade buckets and 5, 10, 35, and 55 gallon food grade liquid containers at a steep discount.
Steve