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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Knox Co, Ohio, USA
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    Default Feeding cell building colonies.

    I have read numerous times that cell building colonies, if thay are going to be fed, should be fed a light syrup. It is also recommended when want bees to draw out fondation to use light syrup. Is there research data to support this? In my mind we are trying to get carbohydrates/sugar into the hive/colony.

    Heavy syrup has more sugar per volume than light syrup.

    Tom

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    unionville,mi, USA
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    59

    Default Re: Feeding cell building colonies.

    the light syrup prompts them to build comb better. the higher volume requires them to put it somewhere so they build comb to store it. the one to one mixture is closer to real nectar.
    Your inferiority complex is better than mine.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
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    1,099

    Default Re: Feeding cell building colonies.

    Quote Originally Posted by joshk View Post
    the light syrup prompts them to build comb better. the higher volume requires them to put it somewhere so they build comb to store it. the one to one mixture is closer to real nectar.
    Light feed is readily consumed. For example when splitting or building cells it is recomenede to use open wet nectar as it is more readily consumed.

    IN early spring (february/march) I know when brooding has begun by number bees on fountain. ON sunny days (40-50's) the few flyers out are on a constantly gathering water to dilute honey.

    Water is very important, if not more important than sugar.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Sacramento,California,USA
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    3,273

    Default Re: Feeding cell building colonies.

    I feed light syrup as it's easier to feed the larva with light syrup than with heavy syrup. The light syrup is more like incoming nectar, which is thinner than syrup.

    Do not forget the pollen patty. Too many times people think feeding is all about the syrup. That is sometimes a mistake as pollen supplies the minerals and proteins and fats, and the syrup is just carbohydrate. The pollen gives you healthy bees, and you'll want good healthy queens from the cell builder.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Campbell, Wyoming USA
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    418

    Default Re: Feeding cell building colonies.

    What would be a good mixture of honey to water if you were to thin it out and use it as a light syrup. I've gotten away from feeding HFCS and sugar this last year with great success, I've been feeding honey back to the bees in instances where they need it (thankfully a rare occurrence).
    We the willing have done so much with so little for so long we can now do anything with nothing

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
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    774

    Default Re: Feeding cell building colonies.

    I believe that Honey should be 18% water to keep from fermenting. You should be able to dilute it back to the 50% sugar/water.

    You just need to be careful and know where your honey is coming from so you don't spread problems. I'm not 100% sure it makes sense from a time/effort standpoint, to extract then feed back.

    You also need to keep in mind, that unless your on a tropical island, your bees could just be raiding the trashcans down at the corner gas station looking for thrown away drinks... I see those little dumpster divers all the time... *grins*
    Solo for the last 4 Years, ~60 Hives, TF + Oils.
    http://tradingwebsites4bees.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Knox Co, Ohio, USA
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    684

    Default Re: Feeding cell building colonies.

    So, I did a little research on my own and came across this: http://www.bb.iastate.edu/~thorn/www...try(Proof).pdf

    It goes into a lot about the chemistry of nectar. I was hoping to find a list of average sugar content of nectar for a number of plant species. It is not there. There is discussion about sudar content ranging from 10% to 66%. From another source I saw a wide range of sucrose contents listed, most being in the 20-30% range.

    So, 1:1 syrup is closer to many nectars than 2:1. But, some nectars may be closer to 2:1 syrup.

    I will probably go with 2:1 since it provides more sugar per unit volume than 1:1.

    Tom

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    43,492

    Default Re: Feeding cell building colonies.

    I have trouble dissolving 2:1. 1:1 does not keep well. So I use 5:3 whenever I feed syrup. I only feed a cell builder if there isn't a good flow going. I'd rather they were working with nectar/honey but if there is no flow they don't tend to feed the larvae as well as they do if you feed.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,044

    Default Re: Feeding cell building colonies.

    The recommendation for a regular "light syrup" is a good one if there is little or no honey flow in progress, we supplement an average of 1 to 2 pounds of syrup per day. Bees build the best cells during a light build up flow, a heavier flow (or too much heavy syrup) may just end up burying your cells in comb honey. It's also a good idea to keep a frame of foundation in each builder to keep the new comb building focused somewhere away from the cells.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    New Albany, Ohio, USA
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    323

    Default Re: Feeding cell building colonies.

    Tom,

    When raising cells, I like to start with a strong healthy colony in good condition. Feeding them light syrup and supplement just keeps them moving in the right direction and ensures there are plenty of resources.

    Most nectar is on the lower end of the scale as far as concentration goes. A lighter syrup, say 20% sucrose is more readily used for feeding and wax building.

    Joe
    Breeder Queens & Honey Bee Nutritional Supplements
    www.latshawapiaries.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Crown Point, NY, USA
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Feeding cell building colonies.

    Hi all,

    When feeding honey to cell builder I use as Br. Adam suggested and use 2/3 honey to 1/3 water. I cant remember why he advocated feeding honey vs sugar syrup I'd have to pull out my copy of Beekeeping At Buckfast Abbey.

    Clay

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Campbell, Wyoming USA
    Posts
    418

    Default Re: Feeding cell building colonies.

    Thank you for this reply Clayton, I too will have to pull it out and re read it.
    We the willing have done so much with so little for so long we can now do anything with nothing

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    5,030

    Default Re: Feeding cell building colonies.

    I'll just have to endure having to use sugar syrup, especially since the primary reason I need to feed, is that presently there is no natural nectar flow, and the colonies have already exhausted or nearly exhausted their reserves. Since I use all the honey my bees accumulate, to produce more bees and queens, and do not extract it, just to turn around and feed it back to them -- I save labor by letting the bees remove it from the combs as they need it. When there is a dearth, which happens quite regularly, I remain prepared to feed. I am especially ready to feed cell builder colonies, as they need it.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

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