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Thread: What to feed

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Charlotte, NC
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    Default What to feed

    Trying to zero in on what to feed my girls when they arrive. Old school sugar water seems to get a thumbs down from the organic folks. So, if true.. what then do you feed package bees when you install ? What helps them become the healthiest they can be... ? no pun...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
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    Default Re: What to feed

    The healthiest is the most natural - nectar and pollen foraged naturally.
    I have never heard objections to feeding sugar syrup.
    High Fructose Corn Syrup HFCS is criticized frequently because of the source GM corn, or the production process and by-products, or the stigma associated with HFCS that would make them change the name to "corn sugar" to avoid the criticism.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Charlotte, NC
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    Default Re: What to feed

    1 to 1 for the mix?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What to feed

    Thick syrup is stored, thin syrup is used for brood and wax production. 1:1 is in the middle, 1:2 stimulates production.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  5. #5

    Default Re: What to feed

    If I may quote Michael Bush:

    I use Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) and add it to the water when boiling before the sugar. I use 5 grams to five gallons of 5:3 syrup. I get the same pH as honey, less spoilage than plain syrup, less mold and no robbing frenzy like the vinegar.

    The bees may not care what the pH is but AFB, EFB, Nosema and Chalkbrood all do. They reproduce much better at the pH of syrup than the pH of honey.
    Jim Andersen
    Desert Viking Ranch

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Seattle, WA, USA
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    52

    Default Re: What to feed

    Quote Originally Posted by AmericasBeekeeper View Post
    ...I have never heard objections to feeding sugar syrup. ... High Fructose Corn Syrup HFCS is criticized frequently because of the source GM corn, or the production process and by-products, or the stigma associated with HFCS that would make them change the name to "corn sugar" to avoid the criticism.
    If no good nectar flow is on, 1:1 pure-as-the-driven-snow cane (not beet) sugar and unfluoridated water (boil it first) is fine for establishment of packages. Captured swarms are probably best left unfed -- they might know more about local forage conditions than the average joe.

    HFCS is a synthetic sweetener that is often contaminated with indigestible sugars and vat by-products. Also it can be loaded with HMF, a bee-toxic breakdown product of fructose in solution, especially if old or overheated.

    You don't have to be a greenie or organically-minded to recognize HFCS (aka "corn sugar") as an industrial artifact with no place in the food chain, honeybee or human. Shun it!

    /A

    NB when I heard of the latest deceit of the Corn Refiners' Association in redubbing HFCS to "corn sugar", I was at first confused, because that latter term had long been used in brewing to refer to maize-sourced dextrose, which if produced properly should contain zero fructose. Go figure.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,925

    Default Re: What to feed

    I've been feeding beet sugar for decades with no ill effects. But times change and beets seem to have changed as they are now Monsanto's Roundup Ready GMO beets and Neonics seem to be used now on beets. So I don't know the effects of those. 1:1 sugar is not as good as honey, but it's pure (no extraneous solids) and that is important. It's also readily available.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
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    Default Re: What to feed

    Thanks all for the advise. Will likely take the "Bush" approach. Ideas on where to get the Vitamin C to use? Certainly not Tang... I mean.. it's not a moon shot!

    Side note, I purchased Mr. Bush's book, the hard copy, on Amazon.com. Aside from the wealth of information, it looks good in my library! Snazzy!

    Oh yeah, in NC. Getting back into the bees after 30 years. Man has it changed. Wow.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,925

    Default Re: What to feed

    >Ideas on where to get the Vitamin C to use?

    I bought the 1000 mg tablets from Sam's Club.

    >I purchased Mr. Bush's book, the hard copy, on Amazon.com. Aside from the wealth of information, it looks good in my library! Snazzy!

    Thanks.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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