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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    lockwood, ca
    Posts
    4

    Question

    Hello to all, this is my first year keeping bees,just one hive at this time. If all goes well hope to add two more next year. This is my first post, so here goes. Would freshly squeezed grape juice be ok to use as a food source in my hive top feeder? Sugar content is 23-25 degrees brix. I work for a vineyard company here on the central coast and have acess to to a couple gallons a day during our harvest season this time of year. Thanks



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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,827

    Post

    There are studies on grape sugar and it gives the bees the runs and shortens their life. In a dearth they will take anything. Mine are chowing down on rotting pears right now.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,827

    Post

    http://www.beesource.com/pov/usda/apidologie1978.htm http://www.beesource.com/pov/usda/abjfeb1977.htm

    My guess is that grape juice has even more things that bees can't handle well. Of course all things in moderation. I can hardly keep my bees off the pears when there is no other sugar source. Maybe small amounts of grape juice would not be AS harmful. Especially mixed wih syrup. You could experiment a bit, but my guess is it won't make very good bee feed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    lockwood, ca
    Posts
    4

    Post

    Thanks Michael, I read the two usda reports and have decided against using the grape juice. Also got to thinking that if the grape juice sat in the hive top feeder for any length of time it would begin to ferment. That couldn't be any good for my girls.

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,827

    Post

    Actually fermented doesn't bother bees at all. Quite a few studies support that alcohol has little effect on them.

    The bees will clean up fermented stuff. I had a bunch of strawberry juice that was fermented that I fed to the chickens, and the bees cleaned up about as much as the chickens. I don't know if the juice would be good for them in the long run, but a few gallons out in the open now and then doesn't seem to hurt.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Elizabeth, CO,
    Posts
    20

    Post

    My dad grows grapes for a local winery and he is thinking about getting some bees to help pollination. The winery guy told him they hate harvesting grapes when bees are around. He said they swarm over everything trying to get to the juice. I am sure they don't get enough juice to be harmful to themselves but they sure seem to like it.

    [This message has been edited by Steve Hamilton (edited September 19, 2003).]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Leonardtown, Md, USA
    Posts
    235

    Post

    Mike B:

    What do you mean about the pears? Pear juice? Or whole pairs? This is very interesting....How do you feed the pairs to them..

    Mike Z

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,827

    Post

    I don't FEED the pears to them. The pears fall on the ground and rot. Sometimes they split open. The bees feed on the juice coming out of the pears. I couldn't stop them if I wanted to.

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