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Thread: Honey vs. sugar

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Rupert, Idaho
    Posts
    130

    Default Honey vs. sugar

    I was wondering if it is okay to use honey in my syrup mixture and if so, what is the ration of honey to water. I have made the sugar syrup before and I have about 6 gallons of honey that has turned a little dark and I was thinking of using it and mixing it with some essential oils to feed here in the spring. Also if I understand it correctly from what I have read, the honey will act as an emulsifier to mix the essential oils with instead of using lecithin granules. I am new to this and any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Saint Louis, Missouri
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: Honey vs. sugar

    Quote Originally Posted by Luv2beekeep View Post
    I was wondering if it is okay to use honey in my syrup mixture and if so, what is the ration of honey to water. I have made the sugar syrup before and I have about 6 gallons of honey that has turned a little dark and I was thinking of using it and mixing it with some essential oils to feed here in the spring. Also if I understand it correctly from what I have read, the honey will act as an emulsifier to mix the essential oils with instead of using lecithin granules. I am new to this and any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all in advance.
    A little honey (1-2 Tbl to 1 Gal): As I understand, bees take feed placed on top of the hive if they can 'smell?' it. I've been told they don't have a dance to describe locations less than 10' away from the hive.

    More honey (1/4 - 1 cup to 1 Gal): Honey will change the pH of sugar and start inversion (corrections welcomed).

    A lot of honey (More than 1 Cup to 1 Gal): If you add too much honey it could encourage robbing, especially of a weak hive.

    Why use honey AND oils? I've heard some do to retard spoiling.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Rupert, Idaho
    Posts
    130

    Default Re: Honey vs. sugar

    I just have the extra honey and thought I could save a little money sugar. The oils from what I have been reading can help with mites and nosema. Trying to be as chemical free as I can be. I have also read that spearmint, wintergreen, tea tree, thyme and lemon grass are all good for early spring kickoff and late fall feeding for mites and disease. Like I said before still learning a lot about the bees.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Portland, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: Honey vs. sugar

    Quote Originally Posted by Luv2beekeep View Post
    I was wondering if it is okay to use honey in my syrup mixture and if so, what is the ration of honey to water. I have made the sugar syrup before and I have about 6 gallons of honey that has turned a little dark and I was thinking of using it and mixing it with some essential oils to feed here in the spring. Also if I understand it correctly from what I have read, the honey will act as an emulsifier to mix the essential oils with instead of using lecithin granules. I am new to this and any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all in advance.
    Luv2beekeep,

    Dark honey is just fine, in fact it's great to eat. But if you want to feed it to the bees why mix? Put a feeder lid on your quart jars of honey, enlarge a few holes in the lid and feed. Best food they ever produced. As to EO"S you don't need anything as an emulsifer. Put your oils in 1 cup of water, blend on low in a blender ( glass is best ) for 5-6 minutes. Put this mixture in a 1/2 gallon of water, shake well, add 1 cup per gallon to syrup. Mixture will stay mixed for a surprising long time. NOTE: Always check mixture carefully before mixing to ensure it has not separated.
    Beeman
    All things may be lawful; but not all things are advantagous.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,821

    Default Re: Honey vs. sugar

    For E0's to work on mites they have to be at the appropriate strength. Too much is toxic. Fatbeeman had recipes for using them on a podcast with Craig at somdbeeper.com I believe.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Portland, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: Honey vs. sugar

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    For E0's to work on mites they have to be at the appropriate strength. Too much is toxic. Fatbeeman had recipes for using them on a podcast with Craig at somdbeeper.com I believe.

    Vance is right! EO's are very powerful and can easily do much more harm than good. FatBeeMan has lots of experience with them. Check his site dixiebeesupply.com, email him with questions, he'll answer. Also wolfcreekbees.com. John has info, including recipes on his site too.
    Beeman
    All things may be lawful; but not all things are advantagous.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,313

    Default Re: Honey vs. sugar

    I would do one or the other, feed honey or feed syrup. Adding honey to syrup will make it more attractive which makes them more likely to be robbed. I like to LEAVE honey. I don't like to feed honey because of robbing issues.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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