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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Paso Robles, California
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    155

    Default How long is sugar-water "good" for?

    I am wondering how long I should keep the sugar water in my spray bottle. Im getting my "swarm kit" ready and would like to have the spray bottle filled just in case. Will it go bad after a certain time?

    Thanks much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
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    1,664

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    Quote Originally Posted by kaisfate View Post
    I am wondering how long I should keep the sugar water in my spray bottle. Im getting my "swarm kit" ready and would like to have the spray bottle filled just in case. Will it go bad after a certain time?

    Thanks much!
    If it dosen't smell fermented it will be alright. Jack

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
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    1,313

    Default

    I mix my sugar water solution up at 1:1 mixture with some honey B healthy in it. I use it for both feed and spraying swarms.

    The Honey B Healthy seems to greatly extend the shelf life of the sugar water. It is good for at least a month and probably longer with the Honey B Healthy in it.
    Troy

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

    Default

    About any kind of mint EO will do the same for it.
    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, USA
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    248

    Default

    Store the bottle in the fridge if you have room. I would think that by the time you get a call and then get to the swarm it would have warmed up a bit and if you're not really hosin' 'em down the cool liquid shouldn't hurt the bees anyway.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Paso Robles, California
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    155

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl F View Post
    Store the bottle in the fridge if you have room. I would think that by the time you get a call and then get to the swarm it would have warmed up a bit and if you're not really hosin' 'em down the cool liquid shouldn't hurt the bees anyway.
    I was wanting to store it in my car with my "swarm kit" I live quite a ways from town and where I work, I would rather not waste an hour going all the way to my house to get my gear...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Default

    You can add a small amount of vinegar as well.

    Many beekeepers add bleach to larger feed batches.
    It can be mixed at 500:1 for feed. (500 syrup, 1 bleach)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
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    1,313

    Default

    I'm telling ya' Mint is the way to go. No Bleach, no cold liquid, No going an hour home ot gather gear. Just leave it in the back of the truck and it is fine. (I do try to keep it out of the sun though. A cooler is great, keeps it out of the sun and doesn't let it get too hot.)

    Honey B Healthy is great, but as pointed out you could use any Mint Essential Oil with some Lecithin to help emulsify it.
    Troy

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bowling Green, Kentucky
    Posts
    419

    Default

    the thicker you mix the syrup the more it will retard the growth of bacteria or yeast adding some essential oils or vinegar may help also.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kaisfate View Post
    I am wondering how long I should keep the sugar water in my spray bottle.
    When you see mold (usually black stuff) in it I'd recommend changing it. Make up more than you need. Put some in a jar with a lid and put that in the frig. That way its pretty easy and quick to change. I know folks who dissolve ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in their syrup. Then there are those who use bleach, those who use HBH and mints and all sorts of stuff. Experiment if you want....but I'm a firm believer that simpler is better.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Durango, CO, USA
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Troy View Post
    I'm telling ya' Mint is the way to go. No Bleach, no cold liquid, No going an hour home ot gather gear. Just leave it in the back of the truck and it is fine. (I do try to keep it out of the sun though. A cooler is great, keeps it out of the sun and doesn't let it get too hot.)

    Honey B Healthy is great, but as pointed out you could use any Mint Essential Oil with some Lecithin to help emulsify it.
    General Purpose Essential Oil Mixture (Honey B Healthy)
    A commercial, general purpose essential oil product for bees that is similar to the following recipe claims many benefits, but many of those claims have yet to be proven. The following recipe should work about as well as that product, but is cheaper. It can be added in small quantities to feed to encourage feeding, however it has been known to occasionally cause Robbing behavior due to its great appeal to bees.
    5 cups water
    2 1/2 pounds of sugar
    1/8 teaspoon lecithin granules (used as an emulsifier)
    15 drops spearmint oil
    15 drops lemongrass oil
    Bring the water to a boil and integrate the sugar until dissolved. Once the sugar is dissolved remove the mixture from the heat and quickly add the lecithin and the essential oils. Stir until everything is evenly distributed. This solution should have a strong scent and not be left open around bees. Cool before using

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Reno, NV USA
    Posts
    2,310

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    Another option might be to use a canner to sterilize sugar water in pint or quart jars and keep those in your car with a clean spray bottle.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
    Posts
    4,398

    Default

    Bleach works nicely as well.
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Jefferson Co,WV, USA
    Posts
    88

    Default

    or save your self the worry and put bar sugar in the spray bottle and carry some bottled water
    I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself. - Oscar Wilde

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