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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Alexandria,Kentucky,USA
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    11

    Default Cane sugar vs beet sugar

    I'm hearing conflicting information about feeding. Is there a difference between the two?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    College Station, Texas
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    I would suspect sucrose is sucrose. Now if you wished to compare sucrose with hfcs that would be another conversation.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Willmar, MN, USA
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    25

    Default

    Okay then, lets start that conversation... Those commercials on TV have peaked my interest in feeding HFCS instead of sugar syrup. They claim it is "nutrionally the same" as sugar, but does it work as well for the bees? Sure seems attactive to be able to pour HFCS directly into the feeder instead of mixing sugar water.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Loganville, GA
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    2,172

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    I can only offer this. In all of my yards, set the two side by side any day and the bees will take the cane sugar over HFCS every time.

    I tend not to try to second guess the bees myself. But to each his own......
    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    28,067

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HJ7 View Post
    I'm hearing conflicting information about feeding. Is there a difference between the two?
    Not to the bees. Now unrefined or brown sugar is another matter. And don't try the artificial sweeteners. They don't do any good.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
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    Sugar is sugar....... I feed beet sugar because I can
    get it fairly cheap. If cane sugar were cheaper, I'd
    feed that. If HFCS were cheaper, I'd likely go that
    route.

    Dry sugar certainly has some downsides regarding mixing.
    But that is also an upside in that in a dry state it stores
    almost indefinitely. HFCS has to be mixed as well to prevent
    crytalization.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,593

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    I've fed beet sugar for years and see no difference. There have been some recent allegations that the sugar beets are now being treated with neonicitinoids. I don't have any idea if that's true or not, but it would worry me some if it is.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Casper, Wy, USA
    Posts
    806

    Default

    Hi Guys,

    I haven't noticed any difference, concerning feeding the bees beet versus cane sugar. I can detect a different smell between the two when mixing a large batch of syrup up.

    Now, I have found a significant different when using sugar versus HFCS when rearing queens. The bees definitely do better with the sugar. I tried various dilutions of both, working on the economics, acceptance, shelf life, etc. And HFCS comes in second no matter how you dice it.

    I will not use HFCS for queen rearing.

    Have feed tankers full of both HFCS and sugar syrup for field colonies. Was running too fast and working too hard, trying to keep bees alive, to make any comparisons.

    Regards
    BWrangler
    I once wrangled bees. But now, I know better, so I do better.
    http://talkingstick.me/category/bees/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,598

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    Michael's comment about neonicitinoids if interesting
    I simply don't know the answer to the question
    could pesticides, topical or systemic, be transferred into something like sugar?
    if so I would think it would raise questions about our food supply

    Dave

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,858

    Default

    I wish I could find the source, but my memory tells me the beet sugar has a higher "ash content."

    Does more ash really matter? Does it hurt? I dunno. I can only find "Pure Cane Sugar" at my sugar source.

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
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    I think without a doubt if you make a comparison by how well bees THRIVE that suger is preferred over hfcs. it has been a long time since I have fed hfcs and at the time we were absolutely unaware that it could be formulated improperly and be quite harmful to the bees. the going strategy (at that time) was to feed (we were employing pot feeding at that time in 55 gallon drums) a couple of rounds of hfcs and then a round of sucrose. I never saw it happen myself, but my mentor said after a couple of rounds the bees would tend to begin to ignore the hfcs (and as hungry as those girls were that said something).

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    I wish I could find the source, but my memory tells me the beet sugar has a higher "ash content."

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Ash not what your country can do for you,....

    What is ash content? Is there any ash content in cane sugar? Is ash used as an extender?
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
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    Default

    Soluble ash us used to adjust the Ph in the
    syrup. Both cane and beet have identical ash
    content.

    Cane Sugar Specs

    Icumsa : 45 RBU
    Polarization : 99.80% Min
    Ash content : 0.04% Max
    Moisture : 0.04% Max
    Solubility : 100% Free Flowing
    Radiation : Normal Certified
    Colour : Sparkling White
    Granulation : Fine


    Beet Sugar Specs

    Icumsa: 45 - 100 RBU
    Polarization: 99.80% Min
    Ash content : 0.04% Max
    Moisture: 0.04% Max
    Solubility: 100% Dry & Free Flowing
    Radiation: Normal without presence of cesium or iodine
    Color: Sparkling White Crysta

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Arundel, Maine USA
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    1,207

    Default

    the only difference I know of is that almost all the beets in this country are from GMO seed now. Monsanto got monopoly on that market. So if you care about GMO's... If you don't, I think there's no difference.
    Let's BEE friends

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    tulsa, ok usa
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    I have one book that mentions a study of caged bees that were feed different types of sugar. I forget which book it was but I do remember the general results.

    Bees live the longest on sucrose.
    HFCS and Honey were the same.

    HFCS is quick and easy and cheaper for me, so I use HFCS.
    Home of the ventilated and sting resistant Ultra Breeze bee suits and jackets
    http://www.honeymoonapiaries.com

  16. #16
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    Jul 2004
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    tulsa, ok usa
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    I am trying to find the study and will post it when I do.
    Home of the ventilated and sting resistant Ultra Breeze bee suits and jackets
    http://www.honeymoonapiaries.com

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    hamburg, new york, usa
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    440

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    Quote Originally Posted by magnet-man View Post
    HFCS and Honey were the same.

    Research must have been done by HFCS manufacturers.

  18. #18
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    Jul 2004
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    tulsa, ok usa
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcelar View Post

    Research must have been done by HFCS manufacturers.
    I don't remember who did the research but it wasn't from someone that I would be suspect of the results. There was a small variation between honey and HFCS but it was statistically insignificant. The interesting thing is they lived longer on sucrose.
    Home of the ventilated and sting resistant Ultra Breeze bee suits and jackets
    http://www.honeymoonapiaries.com

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Scotland, Connecticut USA
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    4

    Default

    A lot of sugar beet seed is indeed treated with neonicotinoids now. Neonicotinoids are systemics that work on the central nervous systems of insects; here's a definition of "systemic" from Wikipedia:

    An insecticide or fungicide whose mode of action is via uptake into a plant, entering the pest when the plant is consumed.

    So when an insect eats part of a plant grown from treated seed, it gets a dose of whatever neonicotinoid was used. It would certainly seem to me that it will still be in the sugar beets themselves when they're turned into sugar.

    Or does the processing of beets into sugar destroy it? I've no idea; I just have a bad feeling it probably doesn't.

  20. #20
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    Apr 2005
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    College Station, Texas
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    michael bush writes:
    There have been some recent allegations that the sugar beets are now being treated with neonicitinoids.

    tecumseh:
    mizz tecumseh informed me recently that one of the more recent phd dissertation she set in on, a similar thingee was being done on sugar cane. curious little experiement that it was... they were trying to determine if neonicitinoids added to sugar cane effected the ability of a parasitic wasp to locate a pest that preyed on sugar cane. evidently (based on the conclusion of the student's research) the sound emitted by the pest was lowered enough that the parasitic wasp had greater difficulty in locating the pest. this suggested that there was a negative impact in adding this kind of product in terms of an existing pest/predator relationship and would in fact (over some short time interval) actually be counter productive.

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