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  1. #1
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    Default Claims made concerning acid-inverted syrup

    I'm starting a new thread so some light may be shed on this topic...

    In another thread the following statements were made:

    add some citric acid to your mix to help invert it. They will store more of it. By just feeding sucrose you are just stimulating them. do a search on beesource there was a thread on how to invert sucrose.
    "They will store more of it."
    Is this true?



    "By just feeding sucrose you are just stimulating them."

    Is this true?
    I would think that with shortened days, and cooler temps, the bees would be "stimulated" to pack in stores.



    And in support of acid-inverted syrup, a proponent wrote:

    That is the key to proper feeding.
    "
    proper feeding"?
    If feeding acid-inverted syrup was "the key to proper feeding" wouldn't its use be more universal?


    Anyone searching for a study, supporting their belief that acid-inverted syrup is better for honey bees than non-inverted syrup, might look here:

    http://www.apidologie.org/index.php?...id=271&lang=en

    or here:

    http://community.lsoft.com/scripts/w...=BEE-L&L=BEE-L


    A study conducted in 1925 by L.E. Dills compared uninverted, acid-inverted, and invertase-inverted syrups.

    Dills' study concluded that colonies fed uninverted syrup lost the fewest bees during the winter.

    Colonies fed acid-inverted syrup lost the most bees.

    Colonies fed invertase-inverted syrup lost more bees than those fed uninverted syrup or honey.

    It was concluded that inverted feed is unsatisfactory for wintering.


    If someone knows of a more recent study I'd like to read it...


    Last edited by BeeCurious; 10-09-2010 at 08:54 PM. Reason: Format
    BeeCurious
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Claims made concerning acid-inverted syrup

    My own observation was that the bees took all day to consume a jar of straight syrup and when I feed them inverted fructose they empty it in aprox 2hrs.
    The flowers produce mostly fructose and as we know fructose is sweeter then sucrose.
    The GOOD honey is the one with a high % of fructose and a low % of sucrose.
    They will process sucrose but they will have to use their enzimes to transform it into the fructose combination they like it as honey.
    We know too that if you winter on cristalized honey like canola or mustard or sunflower the potential for losses is much grater.
    Besides price and convenience corn syrup is a high fructose sweetner that bees will consume and store easy.
    As the energy readyly available I have used grape fructose for my racing pigeons with great success.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Claims made concerning acid-inverted syrup

    Quote Originally Posted by AndreiRN View Post
    My own observation was that the bees took all day to consume a jar of straight syrup and when I feed them inverted fructose they empty it in aprox 2hrs.
    snip

    The fact that something is consumed quickly doesn't mean it's the most beneficial.


    I was hoping that there was a study proving that acid-inverted syrup was in fact, "the key to proper feeding", as you had stated.


    There seems to be at least one study suggesting that acid-inverted syrup is harmful.
    Last edited by BeeCurious; 10-10-2010 at 07:25 AM. Reason: added
    BeeCurious
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Claims made concerning acid-inverted syrup

    it's probably just me, but, Ifor one do not trust these published studies anymore, regardless of the source.

    There are too many fingers in the mix, too many corporations trying to influence the outcome of these studies with money and pressure to really be sure of the studies integrity in my opinion.

    Corroboration in first hand observation speaks more to me than the funded scientific studies.

    if a majority of active beekeepers can all report based on their own first hand observation that something is working, is detrimental, whatever, I'll take that before anything else

    Big Bear
    No, I am NOT a bee "Keeper". Anything I post is just my opinion. Take it easy and think for yourself.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Claims made concerning acid-inverted syrup

    I don't think lemon growers or the ascorbic acid manufacturers are conspiring to push us to invert syrup.

    A "majority" of experiences has value. One person stating that something is "key to proper feeding" is another.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  6. #6

    Default Re: Claims made concerning acid-inverted syrup

    that one person may be the only one posting at the time, but that doesn't mean they are the only one who thinks that way.

    You don't think they are and to be honest, I don't think lemon growers etc are either, but do you know that for a fact or just surmising like I am?

    I have personally talked to many beekeepers who have seen beneficial responses from using inverted syrup in their own hives. if it works for them and they are getting no bad results in the long run, I say yay for them.

    if it isn't working or showing beneficial results then likely they will stop using it or not start after hearing so many peers say so.

    just my opinion though. not like I'm trying to force anything on anyone else.

    Big Bear
    No, I am NOT a bee "Keeper". Anything I post is just my opinion. Take it easy and think for yourself.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Claims made concerning acid-inverted syrup

    Since candy boards are all inverted sugar and have saved thousands of hives over the years from starvation, I wouldn't be afraid of it.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Claims made concerning acid-inverted syrup

    Saving bees from starvation is another topic.

    Cheeseburgers, fries, Little Debbies and chocolate shakes can prevent you from starving, but is it a healthy diet?

    My point was that someone should be able to support their statement.

    I started to use invertase two years ago but stopped because I couldn't find good data on its use.

    I would think that enzymatic hydrolysis of sugar is better; but Dills study showed that it still wasn't as good an uninverted syrup.
    Last edited by Barry; 10-11-2010 at 07:36 AM. Reason: quotes
    BeeCurious
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Claims made concerning acid-inverted syrup

    I have made today a gallon of sage tea.
    Sage I picked by my hives and I wse in the smoker too.
    When was boiling I added some powder thime to help with fungus and warroa and viruses defense.
    After 2 hr cool off I strained in a 3 gallon pot and add sugar while the fire was on. Mixed until it melted and goat hot and made some foam.
    I poured 1/2 cup of lemon juice from my tree and the syrup all of a sudden became thiner. It will feed and treat at the same time with no medication.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Claims made concerning acid-inverted syrup

    You've got too much time on your hands!

  11. #11

    Default Re: Claims made concerning acid-inverted syrup

    The use of citric acid to help invert sucrose is old beekeeping. There are many things that have gotten lost over the years or are only talked about in hallways at meetings that work great. You could avoid the expense and time but I do what works for my managment style. I have great looking bees and it is quick to do. Bees are light in most areas of the midwest and need every little bit of help they can get to put on weight.
    If my suggestion helps save some hives then that is all I intended to do. No hidden agendas or misinformation just good beekeeping.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Claims made concerning acid-inverted syrup

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post

    Cheeseburgers, fries, Little Debbies and chocolate shakes can prevent you from starving, but is it a healthy diet?
    And what does that have to do with bees? Since invert sugar is a mixture of sucrose, fructose and glucose [in that order] and when inverted the mixture changes and the majority is glucose and since honey is glucose and fructose [mainly] the properties of invert sugar are similar to honey. Can't see that would be bad. And, I repeat, invert sugar has saved thousands of hives. We used to use it back in the '70's. But beekeeping was different back then.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Claims made concerning acid-inverted syrup

    So, do we all agree that there doesn't seem to be any research showing that acid-inverted syrup is healthier for honey bees.

    I even provided links where you could look for evidence to support your claims.

    By the way, do you know the pH of your inverted syrup?

    If feeding acid-inverted syrup was "the key to proper feeding" wouldn't its use be more universal?

    If it was clearly better, its use would be a topic at bee club meetings, and it wouldn't be "only talked about in hallways at meetings".
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Claims made concerning acid-inverted syrup

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    I would think that enzymatic hydrolysis of sugar is better; but Dills study showed that it still wasn't as good an uninverted syrup.
    Ok, I am not saying that Dills study is wrong or that the concerns stated here are unfounded only that:

    Dills study is almost 90 years old. If you are going to base anything on it, you have to ask (and answer) a few questions in order to determine its validity and application to the present, namely (and only as a start):

    1. What methods and/or equipments were used to measure sugars in syrup back then? This directly affects Dills ability compare syrups (as an example: he may not have mixed them properly). Has technology advanced in the last 90 years to a point that Dills data and conclusions can be placed in doubt due to measurement accuracy differences?

    2. What was Dills experimental design? Was it valid? The way Dill structured his experiment(s) will affect data interpretation.

    3. Has there been any follow up research supporting Dills conclusions? Typically, if a scientist makes conclusions based on research and those conclusions do not generate any further investigative interest - it can mean (but does not necessarily mean) that the scientific community of the time simply dismissed the work. Perhaps Dills work was generally accepted to be poor science. Perhaps Dill was a known crackpot - who knows? But if there wasn't any follow up research, that typically isn't a sign or support for the validity of the original research.

    If Dills work and conclusions were generally accepted by the people of the day as poor and invalid (and a LOT of bad science gets published even today, so it certainly could have happened in '25) - one wouldn't necessarily expect for there to be any papers in opposition.

    Here again, not saying that Dills work is wrong, invalid or anything else. Just pointing out some of the trends and hazards that can be inherent to work that is almost 90 years old, and the problems with drawing conclusions from it in the present. Certainly, some very old (and very good) research forms much of the basis of what we know today - but do we know if Dills work is in that company?

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Claims made concerning acid-inverted syrup

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    If feeding acid-inverted syrup was "the key to proper feeding" wouldn't its use be more universal?

    If it was clearly better, its use would be a topic at bee club meetings, and it wouldn't be "only talked about in hallways at meetings".
    I don't know, washing your hands was the key to preventing and spreading infection/disease, but didn't become 'universal' until the 1900's. No doubt a few doctors talked about it in the 'hallways' prior to that knowledge becoming universal.

    It is difficult sometimes to know what you don't know.

    Perhaps this question offers an opportunity for someone to conduct some new research comparing the two sugar strategies?

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Claims made concerning acid-inverted syrup

    I'm asking, where is it shown that acid inverted syrup is better for bees?

    In the last 90 years, isn't there proof that the key to proper feeding is inverted syrup?
    Last edited by BeeCurious; 10-11-2010 at 06:02 AM. Reason: Typo
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Claims made concerning acid-inverted syrup

    There are more forms of knowledge than just scientific knowledge. You seem to be asking for some sort of scientific proof that inverted syrup is better. There may not be any.

    This does not necessarily mean that it isn't so (just as conclusions based upon a 80+ year old research paper do not necessarily refute inverted syrups benefits).

    Knowledge exists (outside of science) both culturally and generationally (just to name two other forms). The Foxfire books are filled with these types of knowledge. Generational and cultural knowledge isn't necessarily any less valid than scientific knowledge.

    Perhaps the benefits of inverted syrup have simply been known commonly to an older generation of beekeepers (this would be BOTH cultural and generational knowledge).

    Perhaps the benefits were so accepted in the past that verification by science was not required (scientific inquiry is EXPENSIVE - we don't spend money on researching things that we already know to be true). Over time, that common knowledge may have been lost as the older generation of beekeepers passed on without leaving it to apprentices.

    That might explain why you only hear about it in the 'hallways' of meetings between old beekeepers.

    Maybe the thing to do is write Kim Flottum and see if BeeCulture can get one of the writers to investigate the question or gather the information for an article.
    Last edited by Barry; 10-11-2010 at 07:39 AM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Claims made concerning acid-inverted syrup

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    I'm asking, where is it shown that acid inverted syrup is better for bees?

    In the last 90 years, isn't there proof that the key to proper feeding is inverted syrup?


    Maybe your supporting evidence is here!!!!!

    Bailey, L. (1966) The effect of acid-hydrolyzed sucrose on honeybees. Journal of Apicultural Research 5(3): 127-136

    .... but no, Bailey seemed to find that the acid-inverted syrup was toxic

    "Sugars which have poisoned bees are acceptable in rations if they are sufficiently diluted with sucrose. Bailey demonstrated that his samples of acid-inverted sugars had no deleteriotis effect when diluted 8 to 1 with sucrose. "


    I'm trying to help with your research, but this isn't supporting your claims either:

    Why invert syrup is suggested for honey bee feeding—
    Honey, which is mostly fructose and glucose, did not sustain caged worker bees as long as did sucrose syrup (Barker and Lehner, 1973). Nevertheless, many beekeepers consider honey to be an ideal food for bees in spite of the risks of spreading disease with it. Consequently, table sugar that has been hydrolyzed to invert syrup containing glucose and fructose is often fed to bees. Justification for this practice is not based upon nutritional data but on an assumption that hydrolysis aids digestion. Syrups are convenient to feed, and hydrolysis reduces granulations in syrup. Also, robbing may be less of a problem with inverted sugar because glucose and fructose become less attractive than sucrose when bees reach foraging age (Barker and Lebner, 1974c). But all this applies to invert syrup made from sucrose (table sugar). Although the inverted sugar tastes sweeter to man, it is no more attractive than sucrose to bees.

    I'll let you find your own studies....
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  19. #19

    Default Re: Claims made concerning acid-inverted syrup

    it seems you are awful fired up about disproving it. is there some vested interest you have in trying to stop others from using it?

    I don't see what's the need to start a witch hunt over something that isn't being forced on you.

    but, maybe that's just me.

    Big Bear
    No, I am NOT a bee "Keeper". Anything I post is just my opinion. Take it easy and think for yourself.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Claims made concerning acid-inverted syrup

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    Maybe your supporting evidence is here!!!!!
    I'm trying to help with your research, but this isn't supporting your claims either:
    Umm - I haven't made any claims. I have not advocated for or against the use of inverted syrup. I have only used it once or twice and didn't see any difference in my bees one way or the other. In truth, I have little interest in the outcome, short of simple curiosity. I am merely pointing out the hazards of drawing conclusions based on old science and the nature of human knowledge.

    However, all that I have posted previously applies to 40+ year old science as well. Do we know the research design? The dilution procedure? The authors process for making the inverted syrup? Have any of these things changed in the past 40 years that might affect the outcome of the author's experiment? These are all pertinent questions when evaluating the accuracy of the author's claims. The answers can either strengthen or weaken the author's conclusions.

    Further, Bailey tested inverted sugar on 'caged' worker bees. Could this have altered the effect? As beekeepers, we don't typically feed sugar in any form to caged bees (unless we are shipping packages). Perhaps if bees have access to certain wild forages while feeding, they are able to dilute the sugar sufficiently. Perhaps simply being able to fly (ie. exercise efficiently) is enough to produce the enzymes required to make inverted sugar more valuable than straight syrup. I don't know, but these are all pertinent questions that, at a minimum, limit the practicality of Bailey's conclusions.

    But at this point, I am with BigBear, "it seems you are awful fired up about disproving it. is there some vested interest you have in trying to stop others from using it? "

    Why not write Larry Connor, Kim Flottum, James Tew or any of the other writers for the mags- I am sure they would add it to their list of column ideas and then we might get a complete overview of the info.
    Last edited by NDnewbeek; 10-11-2010 at 07:26 AM. Reason: got a name wrong

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