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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    4,141

    Default How do YOU mix 50 gallons of syrup?

    Realizing the obvious this fall as I am feeding about 30 hives with the intention of splitting them early - I need to go about it differently than when it was 8 or 10. I'm using 2 gallon bucket feeders which is fine, but I would like to fill them in one or two batches. I'm thinking about putting a honey gate or some other valve on either a plastic barrel or a heavy duty trash can. I have a heavy duty drill and mud mixer already. Is this the way to go? I'm sure others have this all figured out. How much 2-1 can you mix in something like this, and how hot does the water need to be to get it to mix? Will hot water make a trash can too soft to hold up to the weight and stress of mixing, or do I just need to use a steel barrel? Any recommendations for a sturdy, economical, easy to install valve? Or is some kind of pump better?
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    705

    Default Re: How do YOU mix 50 gallons of syrup?

    We used to use a 200 gallon "tote" with a small pump attached to feed in the spring. We ran scalding hot water directly from our honey house boiler to make up the syrup. If you buy one you'll find other uses for it occasionally. They are all over the internet.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Peace River, AB Canada
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: How do YOU mix 50 gallons of syrup?

    I use a honey drum with a gate valve and a home made drill attachment similar to the mud mixer. I fill the drum about half way with cold water then mix in 3 40kg bags and top up the barrel with more water as needed. With hot water I can easily mix 4 bags if I want a thicker feed. One drum fills about 60 frame feeders.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Hässleholm, Sweden
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: How do YOU mix 50 gallons of syrup?

    I mix in a plastic barrel with a heavy duty submersible pump running for an hour or two. About 150 kg sugar in each batch. I'm using the pump to pump it out into pails. It is about 10-20 minutes work for each batch. Cold tap water works well with this method.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    742

    Default Re: How do YOU mix 50 gallons of syrup?

    OlofL - that is so simple and apparently effective. Great idea.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,070

    Default Re: How do YOU mix 50 gallons of syrup?

    Quote Originally Posted by Riskybizz View Post
    We used to use a 200 gallon "tote" with a small pump attached to feed in the spring. We ran scalding hot water directly from our honey house boiler to make up the syrup. If you buy one you'll find other uses for it occasionally. They are all over the internet.
    How did u mix the water and sugar?

    I bought 2800 lbs of dry sugar today and am considering using our Maytag washing machine to mix syrup. Another thought I had was to use a small boat motor like you see on the sides of bass boats, but they are kinda expensive new.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,960

    Default Re: How do YOU mix 50 gallons of syrup?

    I am at the stage of making 12 gallons or so of syrup at a time and researching systems that will do more. My current method is to weigh water, pour it into a heavy duty rubber trash can; heat the water with a 100 watt immersion heater; pour in sugar and mix with a canoe paddle. I pour some sugar then mix, then add more sugar until the mix is where I want it. In the past I have used a bilge pump to get the syrup into 5 gallon totes. I now find it easier to fill my 1 gallon paint can feeders right at the trash can. I use a quart measuring cup to get the syrup from the trash can to the paint can. (50lbs water + 100lbs sugar = 12 gallons of syrup, more or less)
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,570

    Default Re: How do YOU mix 50 gallons of syrup?

    For years we mixed syrup in 55 gallon drums with a valve in the bottom using just hot water (if we had it), a 6' 2x4 to stir and 300 pounds of sugar. Then we went "modern" and began using a boat propeller welded onto a steel rod with a heavy duty variable speed drill to turn it. Worked awesome once we got the pitch of the prop flattened out enough to get agitation without pushing the syrup right out of the barrel.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,545

    Default Re: How do YOU mix 50 gallons of syrup?

    I use an old Kelley paddle tank that makes half a drum at once. The hot water comes from my water heater that I turn up to 144.

    For a small batch I would use hot water, a bucket or barrel, and your drill and mud mixer. As far as measuring or weighing...

    Draw a line on the inside of your mixing container. Fill to line with granulated sugar. Fill to line with hot water...sugar has air in it so level goes down at first. Mix until dissolved. Re-fill to line with hot water and stir. Makes 65% syrup every time. No matter the size of the container

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    742

    Default Re: How do YOU mix 50 gallons of syrup?

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    Then we went "modern" and began using a boat propeller welded onto a steel rod with a heavy duty variable speed drill to turn it. Worked awesome once we got the pitch of the prop flattened out enough to get agitation without pushing the syrup right out of the barrel.
    Hehehee - Can see that blowning syrup up and out the can, did that in a square tub working on outboard motors. But syrup would be a mess.
    Last edited by marshmasterpat; 10-08-2013 at 07:59 PM. Reason: Spelling

  11. #11

    Default Re: How do YOU mix 50 gallons of syrup?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    considering using our Maytag washing machine to mix syrup
    Awesome! LOL, leave it up to a beekeeper! I'm just using my 5 gallon honey bucket now to service 15 hives with either top feeder (4 gal) or quart jars on boardman feeders. Already I am debating how to accelerate the mixing jobs.

    Maybe not the whole washing machine, but if you can find one that is broken you may be able to salvage the pump to make up a recirculating system for a 55 gallon drum.
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fVrmUsyYlRuASdX6UQk1g

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,070

    Default Re: How do YOU mix 50 gallons of syrup?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Brueggen View Post
    Awesome! LOL, leave it up to a beekeeper! I'm just using my 5 gallon honey bucket now to service 15 hives with either top feeder (4 gal) or quart jars on boardman feeders. Already I am debating how to accelerate the mixing jobs.

    Maybe not the whole washing machine, but if you can find one that is broken you may be able to salvage the pump to make up a recirculating system for a 55 gallon drum.
    My washing machine is a Maytag w/ a Briggs and Stratton engine mounted on a plate underneath and a hose to let the water out the bottom.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,783

    Default Re: How do YOU mix 50 gallons of syrup?

    200 gallon SS tank, fill to the line with HOT water, 1 1/2 hp pump hooked to outlet valve with 1 1/2 inch hose to return to tank. Add 16 2/3 bags of sucrose(50lb bags), pouring into the return stream. Add HBH, or other essential oil. Once the tank has water to line, it takes a half hour to add sugar and mix. Pump into tote or other tank to fill pails. Makes 150 gallons.

    Crazy Roland

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    115

    Default Re: How do YOU mix 50 gallons of syrup?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    My washing machine is a Maytag w/ a Briggs and Stratton engine mounted on a plate underneath and a hose to let the water out the bottom.
    Wow, I remember those...does it have a kick starter?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Iona, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: How do YOU mix 50 gallons of syrup?

    I haven't done it. On a video from the Fatbeeman, he says that he just puts the cold water from the hose and the sugar straight into the barrel and mixes it with a trolling motor.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: How do YOU mix 50 gallons of syrup?

    Tractor Supply 65 gallon tank. Already threaded for valve. You can hook up a 12volt battery pump and fill feeders directly in the yard. $300 total investment in setup. Or if you want gravity flow and save the cost of a pump.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    767

    Default Re: How do YOU mix 50 gallons of syrup?

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    I'm thinking about putting a honey gate or some other valve on either a plastic barrel or a heavy duty trash can.
    While my more mechanically inclined husband away getting schooled up at another beekeeper we all know and love - I had the bright idea to try the honey gate idea. Well sugar water is NOT honey- what a mess. Thankfully it was all done outside. The others have all offered you great ideas. We are mixing in pails with the paint mixer, and filling up 2 gallon buckets. Fed 20 colonies and 20 nucs this way all Sept. without too much fuss. If you are going to use a valve- try another type.
    karla

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Indian River, Florida
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: How do YOU mix 50 gallons of syrup?

    Looks like many of us are doing the same type of mixing. I use a 55 gallon stainless steel drum and tig welded a bung fitting on the lower part of the tank and installed a Maxant no drip valve.
    My mixture consist of mainly 1/1 solution based on weight starting out with about 30 gallon of water and add 240lbs of sugar while mixing with a long paint paddle mixer that I extended and placed on a heavy duty drill. I place a heating strap around the drum and heat overnight. The next day the syrup is hot and I remove the heating strap and let cool. After tis is done I add my secret formula of bee PED.
    I top feed through 5lb jars, my feeding requirements are a bit different than some because of my warm location. The Maxant valve eliminates messy fills and is quiet speedy in filling. I try not to store a lot of mixture, just keeping about 100 gallons is good for me, then I mix again.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Polk County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: How do YOU mix 50 gallons of syrup?

    Ya'll are still talking about syrup right? All this talk about barrels, hoses, sugar, and propane burners and its beginning to sound like one of my families former endeavors.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cambridge, MD, USA
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: How do YOU mix 50 gallons of syrup?

    VolunteerK9:

    Lots of similarities isn't it! Seems like a LOT of fun things involve, sugar, burners, large kettles, tubing and hoses, LOL!!

    Speaking of which, those that are handy could rig up a HARMS or RIMS type system for heating water. They are used in beer brewing, basically a 1½"-2" copper tube with a water heating element installed in it with water recirculated until the desired temp is achieved. One could also use a portable instant on / on demand type water heater. I have a small one, but it only puts out about 1.6gal/min of ~120°F water. Some models will do 5+ gal/minute of 120°F water. You could also invest in a pump used in beer brewing as well, they are magnetic drive and can run continuously even with boiling temps, but should work great on cooler syrup to transfer to buckets, etc.

    I only make small batches, so I use my Blickmann 15gal SS kettle and burner to heat up enough water for the batch I'm doing, then dissolve in the sugar and mix with a large SS spoon. This winter I'm thinking of converting one of my SS kettles to one with an integrated immersion chilling coil to chill it's contents quickly, use it for making syrup AND beer....hehehe, gotta love multipurpose tools.

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