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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    New London WI, USA
    Posts
    67

    Default Package bees: Feeding maple sap?

    Our package bees are coming soon. I am wondering if I can feed them my left over maple sap. If I can without issues I would get a specific gravity reading of sugar water 1:1, 2:1 and adjust my maple sap to that. I also have about a gallon of syrup left over from last year. That too would be use to feed them. I'm not looking to be cheap if it wont work or have zero benefit then I'll just dump the sap and turn last years syrup into candy.

    Any drawbacks?
    Any benefits?


    Thanks Steve

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Andover, Ohio
    Posts
    165

    Default Re: Package bees: Feeding maple sap?

    I have a maple operation and have been told its the wrong kind of sugar and will hurt their digestive system.
    USDA Zone 5B

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,644

    Default Re: Package bees: Feeding maple sap?

    Its going to be hard to find a real reference about this as maple syrup/sap is generally a higher value item than granulated sugar, and there is likely few occasions that make economic sense to feed it to bees.

    The problem with organic and brown sugars is a relatively high solids content. That is why they have a brown color, and those solids pose problems for bees. More here:
    http://www.honeybeesuite.com/is-orga...tter-for-bees/

    Of course, maple sap is not brown sugar, but I would guess that it may have similar issues.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
    Posts
    481

    Default Re: Package bees: Feeding maple sap?

    When the trees were running here, any tree with a crack, had a HORDE of bees working the sap running out of the crack on days it was warm enough for them to fly. The nuc I wintered beside the house, put on a few pounds during the maple sap flow, go figger.

    Now the maples are in full bloom, and on the warm days when its not raining (like today), the stream of bees going to / from the maples is like a freight train leaving the hive. I've got another full size hive half a mile from the house that has filled a honey super during the maple bloom, i'm kind of hoping they get it capped before the maples are done.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,243

    Default Re: Package bees: Feeding maple sap?

    I assume you could feed fresh maple sap with no harm. Since it's only about 2%, would you add sugar? Maple syrup can't be fed to bees as the sugars have been caramelized by heating.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,582

    Default Re: Package bees: Feeding maple sap?

    I saw here on a post with pic of a maple syrup tree oozing the sap. His honey bees all over this
    tree to take in the syrup. So I would say it is safe for the bees to use maple syrup.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ple+syrup+tree

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,736

    Default Re: Package bees: Feeding maple sap?

    My bees were all over my sitting sap while I was boiling down this year. But, I'd guess that while it would be fine the benefit would LOOK a lot better than it was. In other words, the bees recognize that it's a source of "nectar" but if you could give them syrup there's more bang for the buck. If you had sap or nothing, I'd say sap. If you had a choice, I'd say make syrup.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    New London WI, USA
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Package bees: Feeding maple sap?

    Thanks everyone,

    It was a thought for the "not quite done syrup" and left over last years. The thought was to not let the sap go to waste. Ill keep the idea of feeding just the sap idea for next year.

    Being a newbee the questions have just started!

    thanks Steve
    Last edited by Steve zone 5 WI; 04-11-2013 at 09:05 PM. Reason: edit for reading

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,074

    Default Re: Package bees: Feeding maple sap?

    You could use the left over syrup in mead.

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