Feeding Syrup Question... confused
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  1. #1
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    Default Feeding Syrup Question... confused

    When one feeds a hive 1:1 or 2:1 sugar syrup, do the bees have to process it before they consume it? If I feed syrup today, would bees be able to consume it today or do they have to store it, reduce moisture, and cap it first? I always thought they could consume it straight from the bottle if they needed to but someone said no.

    I'm not positive I'm asking this in a clear way.

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  3. #2
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Feeding Syrup Question... confused

    Bees have a type of valve (preventriculus) at the bottom of their honey gut. If they want to eat the syrup, they open the valve. Otherwise the syrup is available to be removed from their crop, and stored in a comb cell. Here is the technical details:
    http://articles.extension.org/pages/...-the-honey-bee

    I haven't seen anything reliable that suggests that syrup needs to be 'processed' outside of a bee before it can be consumed.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  4. #3
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    KC, MO, USA
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    Default Re: Feeding Syrup Question... confused

    in lab tests the control bees are given syrup and kept alive for 30+ days, there is no bee processing needed.

    It's a general consensus that 2:1 is for storage because there is less evaporation needed, 1:1 for wax making.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Feeding Syrup Question... confused

    the common thought is 1:1 spring, 2:1 by weight sugar to water fall. it may not mater as much as you would think. 1 1/2 to one keeps much better than 1:1, 1 1/2:1 mixes easier with less heat than 2:1. just be sure and use white sugar. see what is best for you. the bees will not argue as much as beekeepers will on this subject.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Feeding Syrup Question... confused

    Thanks, my original question was more about do bees drink syrup directly from bottle our do they store it first? I assumed they would consume it directly from the bottle if they need it, but someone told me that they always store it first... That doesn't make much sense to me.

  7. #6
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    Fort Wayne, IN, USA
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    Default Re: Feeding Syrup Question... confused

    When you buy a package, there's a syrup can in there with them, but no comb, so I'd say they're feeding from syrup directly.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Feeding Syrup Question... confused

    Quote Originally Posted by mathesonequip View Post
    the common thought is 1:1 spring, 2:1 by weight sugar to water fall. it may not mater as much as you would think. 1 1/2 to one keeps much better than 1:1, 1 1/2:1 mixes easier with less heat than 2:1. just be sure and use white sugar. see what is best for you. the bees will not argue as much as beekeepers will on this subject.
    For small scale feeding (making up a few quarts for nucs or cell builder) I just dump about 2/3 of a quart jar with sugar. Fill with hot tap water. Shake it.

    I think new beekeepers (myself included at the time) are so fixated on syrup ratio, in part, because it's something they CAN control.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Feeding Syrup Question... confused

    NiceTom- That's a great example, thanks. I'll use that example to explain to another beek that bees are taking syrup directly. Thanks

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