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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Cameron Wisconsin USA
    Posts
    68

    Default length of time between feedings

    I have tried many different feeding methods in an attempt to lenghten the time between feedings. I have found that the best I can do is put on a jar of syrup and it is ok for 2 days before it ferments. This is a 2 quart size glass jar. When they are really feeding fast they can drink up the jar in one day. I work full time and this is a hobby for me. Can anyone suggest a way to feed so the syrup lasts 4-5 days? I have heard of using bleach but no thanks, I have tried corn syrup also but it fermented just as fast as the sugar.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Palermo, Maine, USA
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: length of time between feedings

    I have never had syrup ferment that quickly. What is the sugar/water ratio that you are using? It should be at least 1:1.
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    Ralph

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    brooklyn, ny
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: length of time between feedings

    If they are not taking it, then they don't need it that bad. If you feed them pollen patties then the queen will start producing brood and they take more.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,865

    Default Re: length of time between feedings

    beeeeeeeeee Have you ever drank chlorinated water out of your house faucets? Used a public pool or hot tub? Ever heard what a problem it is with bees seeking out chlorinated pools to gather water from? Perspective in everything.

    Make syrup using a quart jar full of dry white sugar and a quart jar full of hot tap water. Cooking is not even neccessary. I use an old blender and emulsify a drop of lemongrass oil into that size batch. I use five drops per gallon. It acts as a feeding attractant and the bees take it rapidly. I like to feed three quarts in a gallon zip lock baggie laying on its side on the top bars.

    I make a 3" feeder rim to provide the room. Make two small cuts in the top of the air bubble only on the baggie. The bees walk up and drink it down without a drowning casualty of any kind. THe heat of the cluster keeps it warm. A flat pollen pattie can be placed underneath it. The syrup lasts five days usually, I replace them weekly. Just easier to use a new jip lock every time. If you cannot reliably close a zip lock bag, don't use this method~! You can drown your bees.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Vermontville, Michigan
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: length of time between feedings

    I use chicken waterers full of syrup. I place them on the top bars with an empty super over it. It keeps it out of the sun, which aids in keeping it from fermenting. When the bees are really hitting the feed hard, I fill them every 3-5 days. This also helps prevent robbing, as the feed is inside the hive. You didn't mention if you're using your jar inside the hive or out, but if it's fermenting very quickly, I'm guessing it's a boardman type feeder sitting outside the hive. Getting the feed in should help.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,882

    Default Re: length of time between feedings

    Quote Originally Posted by beeeee View Post
    I have heard of using bleach but no thanks, I have tried corn syrup also but it fermented just as fast as the sugar.
    If you don't want to use bleach, distilled vinegar is a reasonable alternative. Also be aware that "corn syrup" is NOT the same thing as HFCS -high fructose corn syrup. If you are buying Karo Corn Syrup thinking it is useful for feeding bees, it is not a good choice. For liquid feeds, either make sugar syrup, or buy prepared HFCS, but plain HFCS is generally not available in grocery stores.
    ultracrepidarian >> noting or pertaining to a person who criticizes, judges, or gives advice outside of his expertise

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,318

    Default Re: length of time between feedings

    That is quite curious, I've never had sugar syrup ferment or spoil in any way. I mix mine using individual gallon jugs. I put two quarts of hot tap water into each jug, then 1/2 teaspoon of citric acid, and finally top them off with granulated table sugar. I put on their lids, then shake until all the sugar dissolves. I try to make up only the quantity I can place on the hives in one day, but sometimes I've held the syrup for a week or more before I get around to placing it on hives. I've never had any go bad, or ferment. Perhaps it's the citric acid that helps increase its shelf life, but I've only been using the citric acid for about three years now, and syrup has never gone bad, even before I used the citric acid.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Litchfield, CT, USA
    Posts
    430

    Default Re: length of time between feedings

    I use new 1 gal paint cans purchased at HD. Punch some small holes in top, upside down with a hive body and have at it. Usually lasts three to four days sometimes longer depending. I've never had them ferment. Very odd in your case. I do use honey bee healthy or vinegar mixed in the syrup which extends the shelf life greatly. I don't like to use bleach. I don't know... bleach just seems a little harsh to me. JMHO.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Grayson, KY
    Posts
    274

    Default Re: length of time between feedings

    I have kept it for multiple weeks with no spoilage. The added honey bee healthy is what did it I think.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,308

    Default Re: length of time between feedings

    Quote Originally Posted by beeeee View Post
    I have tried many different feeding methods in an attempt to lenghten the time between feedings. I have found that the best I can do is put on a jar of syrup and it is ok for 2 days before it ferments. This is a 2 quart size glass jar. When they are really feeding fast they can drink up the jar in one day. I work full time and this is a hobby for me. Can anyone suggest a way to feed so the syrup lasts 4-5 days? I have heard of using bleach but no thanks, I have tried corn syrup also but it fermented just as fast as the sugar.
    You have to understand that they arent "drinking" the feed but instead storing it in the combs and they dont store it until it is in a state in which it will keep. You determine whether they need fed by the amount of feed in the hive and not whats left in the jar.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    1,986

    Default Re: length of time between feedings

    Here's a good thread from 2010 with plenty of info on making sugar syrup "stay good"... http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...29-Sugar-syrup

    What concentration are you making?...higher concentrations of sugar aid in preserving the syrup. Boiling the water kills most critters that may be in the water that could cause fermentation issues (wild yeast are everywhere so you might want not want to leave your stir pot, jars, etc., open any more than necessary. Also, adding some crushed vitamin C helps it stay good along with moving the pH closer to the range of honey.

    Ed

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,797

    Default Re: length of time between feedings

    I never make 1:1 because it doesn't keep. I would make 2:1 if it would not crystallize so quickly and be so hard to get it to dissolve (I know this works for a lot of you and I can only say it could be our hard water here...) so I make 5:3. All the time. For all purposes. It keeps better if I put in about 7 grams of ascorbic acid to five gallons of syrup. I dissolve the vitamin C tablets in the water before adding the sugar.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfeeding.htm#ratios
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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