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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camarillo, CA, USA
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    312

    Question PH levels in hive?

    I was just reading Randy Olivers web site about pollen subs, and was reminded of a question that still persists for me.

    PH levels in the hive, or better in different areas of the hive, ie honey, pollen, bee bread brood etc

    How to measure, what ranges are good/bad and why.

    How or does feeding pollen sub or syrup with diffrent ph levels change or control the ph levels in the hive?

    The larger question is how important is this as a management tool for our current industry.

    Has anyone tested pollen sub with low or high ph levels on large samples of hives and have any correlation or observations been made?

    Thanks for the insights in advance
    Larry Pender,Jubilee HoneyBee Company,Camarillo, CA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    27,629

    Default

    Does anybody really do that, measure pH levels in their hives? Talk about micro managing. Who has the time?
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    Camarillo, CA, USA
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    Default

    Do you have any better ideas?

    Our industry is rapidly changing and those who learn & adapt will porosper

    I have found that we are consistantly lossing 30 to 40 % of hives each year and I do not like it.

    Larry
    Larry Pender,Jubilee HoneyBee Company,Camarillo, CA

  4. #4
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    Oct 2007
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    VENTURA, California, USA
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    Default Who has the time?

    If I gave you the proven data, would you be interested.
    Ernie
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  5. #5
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    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
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    Default

    If there is something to this idea, then its worth looking at. Who knows.

    Honestly I never hear of this before,
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
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    3,192

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LSPender View Post
    Do you have any better ideas?

    Our industry is rapidly changing and those who learn & adapt will porosper

    I have found that we are consistantly lossing 30 to 40 % of hives each year and I do not like it.

    Larry
    Larry, I am the person who's been doing the test"s for a while now. We have been losing 5-7% loss rate over the winter for the past ten years or so.

    Your post "topic" is a good one.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,341

    Default

    Sugar syrup has a much higher pH (6.0) than Honey (3.2 to 4.5) (Sugar is more alkali)

    This affects the reproductive capability of virtually every brood disease in bees plus Nosema. They all reproduce better at pH 6.0 than at 4.5.

    Try a search on any brood disease or Nosema apis or cerana and "culture" you'll find what pH they use to culture these. e.g. "AFB pH culture" as search terms in google and see what you can find. Here's an example:

    "Lower pH values (equivalent to those found in honey, pollen, and brood food) drastically reduced enlargement and germ-tube production. Ascosphaera apis appears to be a pathogen highly specialized for life in honeybee larvae."--Author. Dept. Biological Sci., Plymouth Polytechnic, Drake Circus, Plymouth PL4 8AA, Devon, UK. Library code: Bb. Language: En. Apicultural Abstracts from IBRA: 4101024

    The other 8,000 microorganisms that live in the are also affect by changes in pH. Using sugar syrup disrupts the ecological balance of they hive by disrupting the pH of the food in the hive and the food in the bees’ gut.

    "It is well known that improper diet makes one susceptible to disease. Now is it not reasonable to believe that extensive feeding of sugar to bees makes them more susceptible to American Foul Brood and other bee disease? It is known that American Foul Brood is more prevalent in the north than in the south. Why? Is it not because more sugar is fed to bees in the north while here in the south the bees can gather nectar most of the year which makes feeding sugar syrup unnecessary?"--Better Queens, Jay Smith

    This was just an observation on his part, but we know that AFB reproduces better at 6.0 than 4.5.

    All of this, of course, is ignoring the nutrition of honey and it's also ignoring the opposite roller coaster of putting formic acid or oxalic acid in the hive and shifting it dramatically the other direction and killing even more beneficial microorganisms.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
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    3,192

    Default

    MB, very good post

    We are right now trying to find what is the best path to take in regards to PH, it's easy to lower but where is the sweet spot?

    In pollen, it come in at 7% to the hive, but lactates in the comb at 3.5-4%.

    Anyhow nice to see some good thoughts on this SUBject.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camarillo, CA, USA
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    Default

    [QUOTE=Keith Jarrett;403060]MB, very good post

    In pollen, it come in at 7% to the hive, but lactates in the comb at 3.5-4%.

    Keith, what function changes the Ph of the pollen?
    Larry Pender,Jubilee HoneyBee Company,Camarillo, CA

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    Camarillo, CA, USA
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    312

    Default how to test

    Keith what or how do you test the ph levels?
    Larry Pender,Jubilee HoneyBee Company,Camarillo, CA

  11. #11

    Default

    Regarding pH levels, the comparison between sugar syrup and honey doesn’t seem proper. Shouldn’t it be sugar syrup to nectar? I assumed…maybe incorrectly…that most nectars were close to neutral since many, if not most plants thrive in nearly neutral soils. The lowering of pH was a product of the enzymes and other additions made in the bees’ honey stomachs. Was I wrong in my assumption?
    If I’m correct, then the pH of sugar syrup is only a factor if the bees are consuming it directly rather than converting it to ‘honey’. Does anyone know what the pH of sugar ‘honey’ might be?
    The hazard, to my way of thinking, of using sugar syrup in a hive is if it remains sugar syrup long enough for the various bacteria to colonize it before it’s consumed.
    I suppose one answer would be to feed them syrup early enough in the season (Fall) for them to store it as reduced pH honey.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    VENTURA, California, USA
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    Default most plants thrive in nearly neutral soils

    Generally speaking:
    Eastern soils are acidic and western soils are alkaline because of the major difference in precipitation.
    Ernie
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BEES4U View Post
    Generally speaking:
    Eastern soils are acidic and western soils are alkaline because of the major difference in precipitation.
    Ernie
    I think that those sterotypical alkaline/acid differences on either side of PH neutral (pH 7) is generally relatively small. Soils with pH as low as that of honey would support only the most acid tolerant plants. My main point is that I believe that the pH of nectar (or syrup) is reduced by its processing by the bees. Am I wrong?
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  14. #14
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    Oct 2007
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    Default pH explained

    Ph expained:
    http://www.rhtubs.com/pH.htm
    Ernie
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  15. #15
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    Default My main point is

    I can do a pH test on sugar syrup to just check it out.
    Ernie
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  16. #16
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    Oct 2007
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    VENTURA, California, USA
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    pH posting on Beesource.com

    Interesting:
    I ran a web search on the pH of sugar syrup.
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/arch.../t-206381.html
    Ernie
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  17. #17
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    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
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    Default

    >>Using sugar syrup disrupts the ecological balance of they hive by disrupting the pH of the food in the hive and the food in the bees’ gut.

    >>All of this, of course, is ignoring the nutrition of honey and it's also ignoring the opposite roller coaster of putting formic acid or oxalic acid in the hive and shifting it dramatically the other direction and killing even more beneficial microorganisms.


    Wow, there is way more than meets the eye here,
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  18. #18

    Default

    Once again...just so I'm clear on what's being suggested here. Its the consensus of the posters that it is important that the pH of syrup be close to that of honey.
    Why would it be important to make syrup such a low pH when nectar (natural syrup equivalent) probably isn't low?
    Am I confused here? Or am I confusing others? Or....does anyone understand my point?
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
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    3,192

    Default

    [QUOTE=Ian;403329
    Wow, there is way more than meets the eye here,[/QUOTE]

    STOP !! we have a winner.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LSPender View Post
    Keith what or how do you test the ph levels?
    Larry, your first question, Lactic Acid fermentation process.

    Second question,I send my sample to the lab to get such things as ,fat ,protein,PH, ash, ect...

    lots to know here,I feel we as a group know very little.

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