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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    West Harrison, NY, USA
    Posts
    261

    Post

    I?d like to add my 2 cents in this interesting discussion about winter feeding. Richard says that sucrose is the best because it is clean, pure, produces little defecation, etc., and that countless scientific studies show that it to be so. Michael points out that sucrose induces stress and that, in stressful conditions, honey is better. After all, after millions (not one but very many) of years of evolution bees would probably have hit upon sucrose as storage material if it was better. My point here is that there are many more factors to consider when evaluating honey vs sucrose than nutrition. Even regarding nutrition, sucrose is deficient in a number of other nutrients than honey (minerals, vitamins, certain other cofactors, etc) that bees require. Besides, sucrose simply can?t be stored over an entire winter (a very important concern during evolution I?m suspect) . It is only a good food because we, humans, give it to them and clean up the mess it makes (i.e. fungi, etc) or replace the feeder often enough. There is the additional pH element that I would venture (not knowing what a bee?s stomach ache feels like) is not necessarily a big deal. After all we too can eat lots of oranges or yoghourt (at a pH close to 1) without much problem ... but then again would not just feed on oranges all winter long!
    Then Richard argues that natural is not necessarily better and points modern medicine as the evidence. Here again, at first glance it look like an unbeatable argument, but I would argue that the benefit we reap (in terms of quality of life and longevity) is very short lived (in evolutionary terms). By saving the life of many people now who would not have othewise survived in the past, we AS A SPECIES are becoming very weak: many undesirable traits (or genes) are being passed along to future generations, that we simply can?t foresee the effects of in the long run. Plus, thanks to the increased longevity, we are amassing enormously large populations that are destabilizing the whole planet we live in. So, benefit for the individual (which I obviously appreciate) does not necessarily carry benefit for the species and has therefore unpredictable evolutionary value. Also, lots of investigations indicate that bugs are winning the war over humans: they are almost infinitely variable and will always find a way to outsmart scientists and modern medicine (consider for instance the many new strains of drug-resistant bacteria, viruses and weeds). We may beat cancer but something else will show up to haunt us. Also, the way of life that these advances allow and promote generate more stress and consequently new conditions for bugs to strive (much like stress-induced bee diseases).
    So, sucrose may appear better for a beekeeper, but I think scientists are not necessarily considering all the factors, and it may be a very short lived benefit. Over long evolutionarily important scales (which may be only a few decades for bees), I would predict that feeding sucrose will generate potentially week strains of bees and strong ones of mites and other bee predators.

    Jorge


  2. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    Sequim / Wa / USA
    Posts
    175

    Post

    Hi Billy Bob

    We buy sugar at roughly $ 9.oo for 25 pounds at Cost-co
    I have not seen molasses at that price and Syrup is a heck of alot more . I am always puzzled about the economics of it all.
    Bees make Honey and beebread for their consumption and well being since their creation .
    I avoid like pest to use anything but honey. Either sugar fondant or syrup in isolated cases.
    I leave enough food (honey ) for them to overwinter taking just the Surplus , which is within "Supers" and that proved to be not always correct . Some of my colonies died from starvation in spring in spite of the "Untouchables" Brood box area , 2 Deeps , I therefore go with 3 deeps this year and see what gives come spring.
    But I must point out that I am NOT a commercial manager / user of bees and approach bee "keeping" as a hobby in several locations . As you probably have seen by all those bee forumes there are umpteen ways to Roma and the corresponding opinions and Know it all individuals .
    I have no idea whther or not Molasses have any value in bee feeding.
    Sorry but wishing you well
    JDF


  3. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Berkshire, UK
    Posts
    15

    Post

    There seems to be significant misunderstanding of how bees store sugar for winter use. If you feed your bees sucrose syrup in autumn, the bees will NOT be consuming sucrose during the Winter, they will be consuming 'honey' produced from the sugar in almost, but not exactly the same, way as using nectar as the source for honey. Feeding candy or fondant during the winter is not the same, as the bees are then using the sugar directly as a food.

    During the winter, other than for the limited brood rearing, bees ONLY need an energy source and the complex vitamins, proteins, minerals etc in nectar honey are of no value and, in fact, lead to the need of more regular defecation. Undesirable in winter.

    The outcome of the research suggesting that feeding molasses is sub-optimal for winter is probably due to the complex ‘contaminants’ leading to excessive defecation. IMO.

    I will not be responding to the thread on 'scientific research' as there are too many references to God/supernatural things for my liking.

    Have a successful winter and a happy new year.

    Richard, wishing sugar was cheaper in Europe!

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Berkshire, UK
    Posts
    15

    Post

    On 12 December Michael Bush wrote

    “I still stand by my observation that what is natural almost always proves out, in the end, to be best.”

    Then on 13 December wrote
    “>How long did it take to type that and was it worth it?
    I type 120 words a minute and the essentials are mostly from memory, so it didn't take long.
    If anyone gets a better grasp of how to interpret scientific research means to all of us, then yes, it was worth it.”

    Reply:
    I hope this is not interpreted as a ‘personal’ attack because it is certainly not intended as such but … I do not think your stated personal bias is particularly helpful in stimulating a greater understanding of scientific research. A good research scientist is unbiased by definition and good research, performed well, can provide greater understanding about a particular question. I do not believe that an attitude disregarding all research that does not back up a ‘natural’ /’organic’ conclusion/approach is helpful to the debate.

    Richard,
    hoping that excellent beekeepers with good/new ideas continue making suggestions and coming up with theories/hypotheses so these can be tested by others with a more scientific (open minded) approach.


    [This message has been edited by richard (edited December 16, 2002).]

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,454

    Post

    >There seems to be significant misunderstanding of how bees store sugar for winter use. If you feed your bees sucrose syrup in autumn, the bees will NOT be consuming sucrose during the Winter, they will be consuming 'honey' produced from the sugar in almost, but not exactly the same, way as using nectar as the source for honey.

    This is true in that the sucrose will be converted by the bees in te process of storing it. I agree with you.

    >Feeding candy or fondant during the winter is not the same, as the bees are then using the sugar directly as a food.

    True.

    >During the winter, other than for the limited brood rearing, bees ONLY need an energy source and the complex vitamins, proteins, minerals etc in nectar honey are of no value

    There is plenty of evidence to support that they need much less of all of these things during the winter, since they are not raising brood. I have seen some studies on the subject of the need for the vitamins and minerals in the worker bees, but I will have to look for them.

    >and, in fact, lead to the need of more regular defecation. Undesirable in winter.

    Probably true. But I don't think this is the only criteria for food.

    >The outcome of the research suggesting that feeding molasses is sub-optimal for winter is probably due to the complex ‘contaminants’ leading to excessive defecation. IMO.

    True, but there also seem to be some toxins.

    >I will not be responding to the thread on 'scientific research' as there are too many references to God/supernatural things for my liking.

    I tried to leave out refernces to a deity, because I don't think it has much to do with the scientific method. I only responded to other's references. Beyond the fact that everyone has their own prejudices and uses to come up with theories, it should have nothing to do with any kind of proof.

    >I hope this is not interpreted as a ‘personal’ attack because it is certainly not intended as such but … I do not think your stated personal bias is particularly helpful in stimulating a greater understanding of scientific research.

    And you are certainly entitled to your opinion.

    >A good research scientist is unbiased by definition

    IMHO no one can be unbiased. But we have to come at any experiment with the attitude that it may or may not be true and we only wish to find out. I have seen many a dissapointed person when our theory doesn't pan out and I try to explain that the experiment is a success. We now know that this isn't it and have narrowed the possiblilties.

    >and good research, performed well, can provide greater understanding about a particular question.

    Without a doubt and it can be invaluable in understanding a particular aspect of a complex thing.

    >I do not believe that an attitude disregarding all research that does not back up a ‘natural’ /’organic’ conclusion/approach is helpful to the debate.

    I disregard a lot of reasearch regardless of whether it backs up 'natural'/'organic' or not. But based on whether or not it is a large enough sample to be significant and whether it is taking into account all of what appear to be the significant factors.

    >hoping that excellent beekeepers with good/new ideas continue making suggestions and coming up with theories/hypotheses so these can be tested by others with a more scientific (open minded) approach.

    I hope we can come up with ways of proving or disproving these theories so we can spend our time and resources wisely on things that actually work.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,454

    Post

    I have not been able to track down all of these studies. If you do track them down, I would be interested in reading them. If anyone is interested in more detail on honey feed studies here are several:

    Forster I. W. 1972. Feeding sugar to honey bee coloniee. N.Z. Bkpr. Feb. 15-18.
    Maurizio, A. 1965: Investigations on the sugar spectrum of the haemolymph of the honey bee. I The sugar spectrum of the blood of adult bees. J. Ins. Physiol. 11 (6): 745-763.

    Ribbards, C. R. 1953: The behaviour and social life of honey bees. Bee Research Association Ltd London E.C. 2.

    Simpson, J. 1964. Dilution by honey bees of solid and liquid food containing sugar. J. Apic. Res. 3 (1): 37-40.

    Simpson, J.; Riedel, I. B. M; Wilding, N. l968. Invertase in the hypopharyngeal glands of the honey bee. J. Apic. Res. 7 (1): 29-36.

    Wang Der-I.; Moeller, F. E. 1971. Ultrastructural changes in the hypopharyngeal glands of work honey bees infected by Nosema apis. J. Invert. Path. 17 (3): 308- 320.

    Wedmore, E. B. 1947. The ventilation of bee-hives. Lewis Press, Sussex. 115 pages.

    Zherebkin, M. V. 11971. Inverting capacity of hypopharyngeal glands and honey productivity of bee colonies. Proc. XXIIIrd Internat. Apic. Congress (Moscow) pp . 347-350.

    Reid, G. M. 1972. The relationship of diet and age to the physiology of longevity in caged honey bees (apis mellifera L.) M.Sc. Thesis Guelph University, Canada. 92 pp.


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