This blog explains how I keep bees. It works for me, it might not work for you. Use my methods at your own risk. Always wear protective clothing and use a smoker when working bees.

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Monday, August 6, 2012

Corn and Sugar Commodity Prices

The drought that is gripping a large part of the nation will be seen by beekeepers starting late this year. The corn crop has taken a major hit. Even E-85 fuel will rise or possibly be curtailed in the short term so corn can be used as food. The smaller corn harvest will more than likely lead to higher sugar prices. Feeding bees will become more expensive. As corn prices go up so will the price of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Many beekeepers feed their bees HFCS and will incur higher costs.
The price of sugar will also rise. Even though the sugar beet harvest to my knowledge hasn't been impacted by the drought, the higher HFCS prices will drag the price of sugar with it.
Many bee suppliers of HFCS buy contracts of thousands of lbs of HFCS for a set price. Once the contract is satisfied a new one is negotiated. This new contract will undoubtedly be a higher price.
As a hobby beekeeper buying some extra sugar is not a bad idea. Long term storage of sugar can make the sugar get hard and difficult to liquify. ProSweet does have an advantage that it will not granulate for at least a year and will store nicely.
 The silver lining in this all is that the price of honey will also rise. Hopefully the higher honey prices will more than offset the sugar shock that beekeepers may see down the road.