Beet versus Cane Sugar - Difference?
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  1. #1
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    Default Beet versus Cane Sugar - Difference?

    Is there any difference between sugar obtained from Beets versus sugar cane? And if there is, how does it impact the bees if it is fed to them?

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Beet versus Cane Sugar - Difference?

    Once it is processed, and in the bag it cannot be told apart. There is not any DNA left in the sugar after processing. Chemically they are identical.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Beet versus Cane Sugar - Difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by orthoman View Post
    Is there any difference between sugar obtained from Beets versus sugar cane? And if there is, how does it impact the bees if it is fed to them?
    The bees don't care. Chemically it is the same sugar, sucrose. If you are opposed to GMO for other reasons, then buy cane sugar. I buy what is the cheapest, usually the beet sugar.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Beet versus Cane Sugar - Difference?

    That's what I thought. Sucrose is sucrose -- however, I had someone tell me that it had to be Cane Sugar and not beet sugar.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Beet versus Cane Sugar - Difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by orthoman View Post
    I had someone tell me that it had to be Cane Sugar and not beet sugar.
    That's what I was told, also. I've been buying whatever is on sale. Mostly, it just says "sugar", but since it's produced by MN companies, that pretty much says it's beet sugar. C&H says "Cane" on the bag, but it seldom goes on sale.

    My bees don't care. They've been sucking down the beet syrup and storing it away. I've nearly doubled my hive weights in the last month. My third deep on both hives now has 8 frames full of green syrup.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Beet versus Cane Sugar - Difference?

    That beet sugar will have a damaging effect on honey bees is a common misconception in beekeeping. I can't understand how it persists.
    42 + years - 24 colonies - IPM disciple - Naturally Skeptic

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Beet versus Cane Sugar - Difference?

    --
    Last edited by JWChesnut; 10-01-2016 at 03:42 PM.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Beet versus Cane Sugar - Difference?

    JW, I tend to agree with you on this. I can't find any literature post 1910 that talks about dangers of beet suger, and then they are talking about partially refined beet sugar. Best I can tell this is the 'basis' for the warnings against beet sugar.

    I did not confirm that this quote is accurate, it comes from a post on my local FB beekeeping group.
    For those who may be interested in more information, I reached out to Dennis Van Engelsdorp regarding the sugar cane vs. beet sugar question. "The difference is not in the sugar types but that beet sugar often has contamination with starch, which is indigestible to bees and so they can get dysentery. This is a problem in the cold or when its wet and rainy for long periods of time."
    ....I don't see any evidence anywhere of starch in beet sugar.
    Sometimes the lights all shining on me
    Other times I can barely see. -The Grateful Dead

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Beet versus Cane Sugar - Difference?

    ? Why delete your post?
    Sometimes the lights all shining on me
    Other times I can barely see. -The Grateful Dead

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Beet versus Cane Sugar - Difference?

    Regarding starch in sugar -- perhaps they are thinking about "powdered sugar" that can have starch or other anti-caking ingredients.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Beet versus Cane Sugar - Difference?

    If the question is between HFCS and sucrose, I'd say yes there is a long term use issue with HFCS. But I find the bees sit on sucrose quite contently.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Beet versus Cane Sugar - Difference?

    The whole argument of beet sugar vs cane sugar stems from UK superstitions. Over there in the UK they were adamant about not using cane sugar in anything, only beet sugar was to be used. They abhorred anything with the word cane sugar listed, and went any length to buy beet sugar, and would only use cane as a last resort.
    It's deeply embedded in the old UK beek circles, something passed on as a a superstition as R.O.B. Manley writes about it in his book Honey Farming pg 15.
    I bet it still rages on over there, and the argument has been passed on to modern beeks, proof is...just look at the questions that constantly arise today.

    note: in UK pre WWI and after
    Last edited by DavidZ; 10-02-2016 at 09:33 AM. Reason: note

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Beet versus Cane Sugar - Difference?

    Allow me to fan the flames for a moment.

    Beet sugar is bad because sugar beets are a GMO crop. Everyone knows that GMOs are bad for bees.
    Honey Badger Don't Care ಠ_ಠ ~=[,,_,,]:3

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Beet versus Cane Sugar - Difference?

    Are neonicotinoids used on Beets in US farming? Isn't it a "systemic" agent? Not trying to stir anything up, just curious.

    Back to the question, I have been using beet sugar syrup for years, and the bees seem to do just fine.
    To everything there is a season....

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Beet versus Cane Sugar - Difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nabber86 View Post
    Allow me to fan the flames for a moment.

    Beet sugar is bad because sugar beets are a GMO crop. Everyone knows that GMOs are bad for bees.
    Of course it is impossible to define the term GMO and distinguish GMO from what nature has been doing over and over for about 4 billion years not. However, if by GMO you mean horizontal DNA transfer - which means DNA transfer from one species to another by means other than breeding - you yourself are a unique, never before tried, GMO product as is every adult human. If you think your body has not acquired brand new DNA from another species during your life and incorporated that DNA in your chromosomes permanently it simply illustrates you know nothing about modern genetics. Just as an illustration, 30% of the DNA in cattle is the result of horizontal DNA transfer from snakes in the last few million years. So, next time you eat a steak remember you are also eating snake.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Beet versus Cane Sugar - Difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by orthoman View Post
    Regarding starch in sugar -- perhaps they are thinking about "powdered sugar" that can have starch or other anti-caking ingredients.
    I agree...but it is hard to imagine Dennis making that mistake.
    Sometimes the lights all shining on me
    Other times I can barely see. -The Grateful Dead

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Beet versus Cane Sugar - Difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cryberg View Post
    Of course it is impossible to define the term GMO and distinguish GMO from what nature has been doing over and over for about 4 billion years not. However, if by GMO you mean horizontal DNA transfer - which means DNA transfer from one species to another by means other than breeding - you yourself are a unique, never before tried, GMO product as is every adult human. If you think your body has not acquired brand new DNA from another species during your life and incorporated that DNA in your chromosomes permanently it simply illustrates you know nothing about modern genetics. Just as an illustration, 30% of the DNA in cattle is the result of horizontal DNA transfer from snakes in the last few million years. So, next time you eat a steak remember you are also eating snake.
    You missed the sarcasm in my post.
    Honey Badger Don't Care ಠ_ಠ ~=[,,_,,]:3

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Beet versus Cane Sugar - Difference?

    That is what smileys are for!



    You could have included a couple in your earlier post ....

    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Beet versus Cane Sugar - Difference?

    The only real difference is that beet sugar stinks when you open up the sugar canister!
    It is a tall, right handed, world! I am neither!!!!

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Beet versus Cane Sugar - Difference?

    I used beet sugar for decades with no ill effects.

    >Are neonicotinoids used on Beets in US farming? Isn't it a "systemic" agent?

    That's what worries me now... I'd be curious to know how much of the neonics make it to the supermarket shelf. I don't see how you could easily remove it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

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