Herbal Honeybee Feed

Yield 2 quarts

Years ago I heard of herbal bee tea through the mountain rose herbs blog. The recipe came from the wonderful honeybee sanctuary, Spikenard Farm. I adapted their recipe to make a herbal feed syrup for our bees because they have little to forage from outside right now, and they need to stay in the hive for a while to get it established.



  1. prepare an infusion of the dried herbs in 2 cups of boiling water. let herbs steep in water in a covered vessel for 10 minutes.
  2. in a 1/2 gallon sized mason jar, dissolve sugar, honey and salt in 2 cups of warm water - not boiling
  3. strain herbal tea through a strainer or cloth and add tea to the sugar mix. add essential oils.
  4. stir everything together and let cool to room temp before feeding to bees.


Other herbs to add: yarrow, hyssop, fresh dandelion flowers (2), echinacea, rue

You can replace the sugar with all honey, which is better for the bees, but because honey is more pricey I used a mixture of the two. Make sure to add at least some honey to add complex sugars to the simple ones.

Organic white sugar is suggested as succanat and rapadura contain too many organic compounds for the bees to digest easily.

A pinch of good salt is added to aid in digestion of the sugar


Recipe by Fare Isle at