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  1. #21
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    Sep 2006
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    Northern Virginia
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    180

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    "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?" (beemandan)

    This is a good question. What is it that causes the low PH of honey? Is it caused by the enzymes from the bees' honey stomachs? Or is some nectar naturally in the lower PH range? Also, will the PH of sugar syrup become lower after the bees make honey from it?

    As for the PH of sugar syrup, I made a 2:1 and found the PH to be this:
    PH of sugar syrup (2:1 sugar water): 6.10
    Distilled water was used.


    you can use an electronic PH meter such as the one on here:
    http://envcoglobal.com/catalog/produ...-ph-meter.html
    http://www.ambientweather.com/exphwareexph.html

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,368

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    >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.

    I am simply pointing out that one of the differences between sugar syrup and honey is the pH. There are many more. If you made the pH of syrup closer to that of honey that would be one less difference.

    >Why would it be important to make syrup such a low pH when nectar (natural syrup equivalent) probably isn't low?

    What do you think it "probably" is? My guess is that it IS that low, but I only have available data on honey.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I am simply pointing out that one of the differences between sugar syrup and honey is the pH. There are many more. If you made the pH of syrup closer to that of honey that would be one less difference.
    Michael Bush....I'm not arguing with you here. We may not see eye to eye on a number of things but that isn't necessarily the case here. I expect that nectar is much closer to pH neutral than honey. I, too, am only guessing based on what I know of plant physiology. My concern is that I wonder how many potentially problematic solutions beekeepers might find to try to make syrup unnaturally acidic and therefore similar to honey…when it may not be a honey substitute but really a nectar substitute.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >Why would it be important to make syrup such a low pH when nectar (natural syrup equivalent) probably isn't low?

    What do you think it "probably" is? My guess is that it IS that low, but I only have available data on honey.
    I studied horticulture. I don’t think for a moment that I know everything there is to know about plants, but what I do know doesn’t suggest that they make such a radical change in the pH of the fluids that pass through them.
    What makes you think it is?

    Again, I’m just wondering if we aren’t making the wrong comparison here. Shouldn’t it be syrup to nectar?
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,617

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    if we can not compare the Ph of syrup to nectar, at least we could easily compare the Ph of "syrup" after it is in the comb, to honey. I propose someone take a package, install them on foundation or starter strips(which ever rocks your boat), and feed them a syrup(sucrose) of a known Ph. After a brief period, the "syrup" could be removed and sampled for Ph. Obviously, there could not be any flowers blooming during this time period(or a screened entrance would work). The other variable is sugar concentration. A concentration representative of the "best' local source would be a starting point.

    Sounds like a job for Randy Oliver, (all respect intended).

    Roland

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,181

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    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
    Loosing them from improper pH levels? Is that what you are trying to address w/ this thread?

    Any better ideas? About what? If you mean the control of pH levels in bee hives I don't worry about it. Maybe that is my ignorant bliss, but I have other things that I can "control" more easily and I never heard that pH was something that had to be controled.

    How do unmanaged colonies control their pH levels?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,181

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    Quote Originally Posted by BEES4U View Post
    If I gave you the proven data, would you be interested.
    Ernie
    Proven data about what?

    In my opinion, as beekeepers, there are lots and lots of things that we can worry about. And every so often there is something new that we never had to worry about before, such as tacheal mites, varroa mites, nosema cerana, etc. But somehow we survive these crisees. If you survive enough of them you get to a point in your life that when another one comes along you just say to yourself, "Yup, been there done that. What else is new?", and go on doing what you can.

    Keep your bees!!

    I have enough to do keeping my colonies alive w/out checking each and every one of them for pH levels. What can you do about it anyway, economically speaking?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
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    3,161

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    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    How do unmanaged colonies control their pH levels?
    Unmanaged colonies aren't feed pollen sub, as to lowering the ph pretty simple lemon juice or citric acid to the mix.

    The point being where is the sweet spot?

    When I sent out samples to the lab of all thoses pollen sub they came back all over the board, who has the right receipe, I HAVE NO IDEA.

    Protein & fat levels are over the board, all I know is that my loss rates have been low and the bees look good in January, so is my sub on target? I wish I knew.

    So much more to know.

    Larry, thanks for bringing up this topic.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,541

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    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Does anybody really do that, measure pH levels in their hives? Talk about micro managing. Who has the time?
    when you put sugar syrup, hfcs, organic acids, pollen subs, etc that have different ph levels than nectar, honey, pollen, and water, than micromanaging the ph levels in the hive is EXACTLY what you are doing...even if you choose not to measure the results.

    deknow

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,778

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    >>I have enough to do keeping my colonies alive w/out checking each and every one of them for pH levels. What can you do about it anyway, economically speaking?


    If one beekeeper figures the these kind of measures is a waste of time, then pass it by,
    otherwise whats the harm in discussing it?

    >>How do unmanaged colonies control their pH levels?

    I think what is being implyed is perhaps the treatments and or feed we supply to the hives is creating a ph problem, and perhaps its aiding in the growth and development of some diseases,
    Last edited by Ian; 03-11-2009 at 04:25 PM.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >How do unmanaged colonies control their pH levels?

    Their levels are what the nectar and pollen plus the fermentation of the pollen make it. Which is not at all what our syrup and pollen substitutes are.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >How do unmanaged colonies control their pH levels?

    Their levels are what the nectar and pollen plus the fermentation of the pollen make it. Which is not at all what our syrup and pollen substitutes are.
    I would word this a little differently.
    Their levels are what nectar, pollen and the effects of the bees enzymes on those. Which may not result in the same pH levels as what are created when processing our syrup and pollen subs.


    We're not on opposite poles on this.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    2,617

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    I agree with your wording. As worded, it would be another "possibly" useful test to perform.

    Roland

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camarillo, CA, USA
    Posts
    308

    Default Ph levels

    All these answers are good and heading in a good direction,thank you.

    The basis for this question is to find better managemnt methods, to profit from my business.

    If my understanding is correct, some pathogens thrive in different environments, ie Ph levels in the hive. Finding the sweet spot that works would be huge to control the hive and give the bees the best chance for survival.

    Larry
    Larry Pender,Jubilee HoneyBee Company,Camarillo, CA

  14. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Jarrett View Post
    as to lowering the ph pretty simple lemon juice or citric acid to the mix.
    Ok Michael Bush...do you see my point now? We've got beekeepers contemplating various sorts of 'home remedies' to lower the pH of their supplemental feeds. We have no idea how lemon juice or citric acid (or any other pH lowering additive), used in a beekeeper's concoction will impact their bees...short or long term. And worse yet we haven't even determined if those feeds need their pH lowered...at least not in my opinion.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
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    3,161

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    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    Ok Michael Bush...do you see my point now? We've got beekeepers contemplating various sorts of 'home remedies' to lower the pH of their supplemental feeds. We have no idea how lemon juice or citric acid (or any other pH lowering additive), used in a beekeeper's concoction will impact their bees...short or long term. And worse yet we haven't even determined if those feeds need their pH lowered...at least not in my opinion.
    NO, I don't see your point.

    Been doing this for twenty years with NO side effects! Oh, yeah I do have some of that CCD problem, my winter loss rates won't get above 5% and I don't know what to do about it.

    What I do know is bee pollen come in at XYZ from the lab , then I try to match that profile with my pollen sub formula.


    Many good post here,

  16. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Jarrett View Post
    NO, I don't see your point.
    Don't take it personally. Its not about your specific ingredients. They may or may not be benign. I have no way of knowing.
    My point is that beekeepers may come up with any number of 'mixes' to solve...what may not even be a problem. And in the course of that unnecessary solution they may create new and different problems.
    Does that make sense?
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camarillo, CA, USA
    Posts
    308

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    The law of unintended consiquenses. (Just like stuff coming out of congress for many years)
    Larry Pender,Jubilee HoneyBee Company,Camarillo, CA

  18. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by LSPender View Post
    The law of unintended consiquenses.
    It seems to me that we are all too often our own worst enemies.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,161

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    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    Does that make sense?
    Well sure it does.

    But, when I have a track record of over a decade with no problems it seems to me that we/I are on to something.

  20. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Jarrett View Post
    But, when I have a track record of over a decade with no problems it seems to me that we/I are on to something.
    Now I'm curious, Keith. Having read a number of your posts it appears that pollen subs are your specialty. You've been at it over 10 years. Do you add lemon juice or citric acid to those subs? If so, why? What piece of information convinced you, over 10 years ago, that you needed these additives?
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

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