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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Middle TN
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    84

    Default pH of Nectar & Vitamin C Tablets

    Good Morning,

    I saw a post about syrup and the use of 1000mg Vitamin C tablets, and have a few questions.

    The use of Vitamin C tablets to lower the pH. It has been found to prevent fermentation and mold, but does lowering the syrup pH cause any problems in the bees consuming it?

    What is the pH of Nectar in the wild?

    It is often said to provide 1:1 during the summer and 2:1 syrup in the winter, but I notice some feed feed 5:3 all year. Any problems or advantages to this?

    Thanks

    Bryn
    Last edited by bjoynes; 07-09-2010 at 07:02 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,786

    Default Re: pH of Nectar & Vitamin C Tablets

    Sugar syrup is pH 6.0 Honey is 3.2 to 4.5 Five gallons of syrup with 7grams of Ascorbic acid is 4.5 pH. I've not had problems with bees consuming it or their health when they do. The advantages of thicker syrup are that it keeps longer, you have less gallons of syrup to haul to feed the bees enough to winter, and they have less humidity issues. People who believe 1:1 is better in the spring believe it is a better stimulant for brood rearing. I see no difference.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Wilmington, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    875

    Default Re: pH of Nectar & Vitamin C Tablets

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey

    Under nutrition would suggest vitamin C may not add anything much to the honey, however may change the taste a bit.

    Adjusting the pH to more acidic or alkaline definitely changes the microbial activity with fermentation. I'd more believe that the bees control these issues according to their needs.
    Honey is the best thing ever discovered ! www.greenanything.net/honey-bees.php

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,590

    Default Re: pH of Nectar & Vitamin C Tablets

    I wasn't going to do it but I broke down...

    I ordered some Hydrion pH Test Papers; pH Range: 3.0 to 7.5 and some ascorbic acid crystals through Amazon.

    I wanted to avoid all of the fillers and other stuff used in vitamin C tablets so I ordered the crystals.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Palm Harbor, Fl USA
    Posts
    463

    Default Re: pH of Nectar & Vitamin C Tablets

    We've a few local vitamin supply stores that sell ascorbic acid in bulk (as in you fill up a zip loc and they charge you by weight. It's pretty cheap, and they list if there are fillers. I keep shopping until I find one that has pure C, as often as I buy it the brands seem to change, and load up. I keep it in the freezer, but use it as a carbon source and to regulate pH in my reef tank. Never added it to syrup.
    My wife says I have ADD, but, hey look- a chicken!

  6. #6

    Default Re: pH of Nectar & Vitamin C Tablets

    What is the pH of Nectar in the wild?
    This really is a good question. Sugar syrups are fed as a nectar substitute. The bees then add enzymes to create a honey.
    In my opinion reducing the pH of sugar syrup serves one purpose and that is to keep it from spoiling. I add vitamin C (ascorbic acid) to my syrups for that reason and am under no illusion that the bees benefit from it in any other way.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Columbus, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: pH of Nectar & Vitamin C Tablets

    Quote Originally Posted by bjoynes View Post
    Good Morning,

    I saw a post about syrup and the use of 1000mg Vitamin C
    tablets, and have a few questions.

    The use of Vitamin C tablets to lower the pH. It has been found to prevent fermentation and mold, but does lowering the syrup pH cause any problems in the bees consuming it?

    What is the pH of Nectar in the wild?

    It is often said to provide 1:1 during the summer and 2:1 syrup in the winter, but I notice some feed feed 5:3 all year. Any problems or advantages to this?

    Thanks

    Bryn
    Hello bjoynes looking for some information. I need to calculate ph of tablets and water. Can you tell some DIY method to calculate it?
    Last edited by AlejandroHenderson; 04-12-2013 at 10:43 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,590

    Default Re: pH of Nectar & Vitamin C Tablets

    Quote Originally Posted by AlejandroHenderson View Post
    Hello bjoynes looking for some information. I need to calculate ph of tablets and water. Can you tell some DIY method to calculate it?
    Test papers are the simplest means of checking the ph. I use short range papers that are mentioned in one of the posts above. Crystals are easy to use...
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,368

    Default Re: pH of Nectar & Vitamin C Tablets

    dan's point about the ph of nectar in the wild is a good one.

    if the ph of nectar is more acidic, then matching the ph of syrup to that makes sense.

    it makes sense that if processing nectar involves the bees bringing the ph down to honey, that it would require more effort on their part than if syrup is measurably more basic than nectar.

    it makes sense that if the bees keep the ph acidic to maintain a healthy microbial balance, then adding syrup with a more basic ph could disrupt that microbial balance.

    if asorbic acid prevents mold and fermentation, well that's good too.

    here is a link to a study that found acidifying syrup did not make a difference with regard to nosema apis:

    http://www.apimondiafoundation.org/f.../files/219.pdf

    it's probably an older study, as the citations are at least 17 years old.

    mb, do you have any links to other papers that discuss ph and microbial balance?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

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