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  1. #1
    John ssss Guest

    Default Watered down honey instead of sugar water

    Has anyone ever tried watering down honey to spray bees when installing instead of sugar syrup? Just wondering if that's a totally ridiculous idea.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Oregon City, Oregon
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    991

    Default Re: Watered down honey instead of sugar water

    welcome, It would be a bad idea if you don't know the exact source of the honey, because of the possibility of disease spores and chemicals and such that honey could contain. Even if it comes from a store it is not guaranteed not to have American Foul brood (AFB) spores in it... just stick with sugar water, beet or cane and the bees will be fine...
    Honeydew

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    5,113

    Default Re: Watered down honey instead of sugar water

    Honey contains natural yeasts which are inhibited from reproducing by the high sugar concentration and low water content. If you mix water in, you're looking at mead in short order. Stick with honey if at all possible, high sugar content syrup otherwise.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
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    1,440

    Default Re: Watered down honey instead of sugar water

    As a person that sells just short of a 1000 packages a year I have always dreaded the "spray them with sugar" statement.

    The reason is that its something that can get screwed up right quickly.

    To much volume the bees get soggy. To much sugar in the solution the bees get gummed up. Doing this trick involves the right mixture and patience. You need to give them what they will consume and then wait. Its a spray, wait, watch and repeat game. Sometimes the bees need the feed. at other times they just need the water.

    Generally a 5 -10% solution will give the bees water and the energy they need to avoid a crisis if starving.

    Feeding honey is not a wise idea for reasons listed previously. I doubt that honey mixed with water and applied to the bees immediately will be fermented. If it the only option you have to feed bees it is definitely preferable to letting them boil or starve to death.

    Go slow and go lite.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,553

    Default Re: Watered down honey instead of sugar water

    I wouldn't spray them. I've seen too many sticky dead bees in my time...

    As far as FEEDING honey, I wouldn't water it down because, as mentioned it will spoil quickly.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    5,113

    Default Re: Watered down honey instead of sugar water

    My mistake, I misinterpreted. I thought it said feeding. As for spraying, I'd stick with water if I were you.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  7. #7
    John ssss Guest

    Default Re: Watered down honey instead of sugar water

    Not for nothing, but I've never actually tried spraying my bees. But, I also have only installed one pkg - being new to this and all. I didn't read about spraying them until after I already installed it.

    I was just curious if it wold work. I thought maybe I was onto something

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Chesterfield, NH
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: Watered down honey instead of sugar water

    Can you say American Foul brood (ABF)


    BEE HAPPY Jim 134

  9. #9
    John ssss Guest

    Default Re: Watered down honey instead of sugar water

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim 134 View Post
    Can you say American Foul brood (ABF)


    BEE HAPPY Jim 134
    Yes, but that doesn't mean I know what it American Foulbrood means. lol

    Since we are on the subject AFB: Wouldn't feeding honey contaminated with AFB, to bees, be as bad as spraying them with it?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    havana fl
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    1,358

    Default Re: Watered down honey instead of sugar water

    Yes..
    Im really not that serious

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
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    190

    Default Re: Watered down honey instead of sugar water

    Quote Originally Posted by John ssss View Post
    Since we are on the subject AFB: Wouldn't feeding honey contaminated with AFB, to bees, be as bad as spraying them with it?
    It would, and it is. That's why you don't see recommendations to feed honey of unknown origin.

    And by 'unknown origin' beeks generally mean anything they haven't produced themselves from colonies they have thoroughly inspected and know to be healthy.

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