2:1 Crystallizing
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  1. #1
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    Jun 2018
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    Pennsylvania USA
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    Question 2:1 Crystallizing

    I have been doing a bit of feeding on top of the 2nd deep. The 2:1 sugar water crystallizes and then the remaining won’t flow out the bottom of the chicken watering containers that I have been using.

    Any thoughts?...

    Thanks

    1/33rd

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  3. #2
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    Aug 2013
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    Default Re: 2:1 Crystallizing

    How hot is the water you are using to mix it? I usually only run into this problem if the water isn't hot enough when I mix it up. I bring mine to a boil and then dump it into the container with the sugar and stir until dissolved. I'm only making a 1/2 gallon at a time.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: 2:1 Crystallizing

    I have had and am having the same problem. I boil my water, shut off the heat, add sugar, stir. I then warm up again if it hasn't totally dissolved until it is clear. Despite this, I am still getting some that crystallize. I am stumped. I made 4 gallons at the same time and the same way. Two crystallized two didn't. J

  5. #4
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    Portland, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: 2:1 Crystallizing

    Used to have the same problem. Started using 5:3, problem solved.
    Beeman
    All things may be lawful; but not all things are advantagous.

  6. #5
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    Covington County, Alabama, USA
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    Default Re: 2:1 Crystallizing

    Quote Originally Posted by beeman2009 View Post
    Used to have the same problem. Started using 5:3, problem solved.
    Same here. I was never able to keep 2:1 in solution in large quantities. Started 5:3 and never had the problem again.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: 2:1 Crystallizing

    1/33rd. Wash the feeders out in hot tap water until there are no crystals left. Then put in the fresh syrup. 2:1 will crystalize if seed crystals are already present. Storage jugs should be rinsed in hot water also before adding syrup.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  8. #7
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    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: 2:1 Crystallizing

    Full 2 pounds sugar to every pound of water is not a stable solution especially when temperature starts dropping in the fall. Compared to 5:3 the gain just ain't worth the pain.
    Frank

  9. #8
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    Default Re: 2:1 Crystallizing

    Hmmm, seed crystals. Never thought of that. My batches were fresh, but I put them in paint cans that were used last year that I had rinsed out. That I rinsed them out well is something I would not bet on. Maybe 5:3 is a safer bet for me. J

  10. #9
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    Default Re: 2:1 Crystallizing

    Rock candy is made using 2:1 or even 3:1 and a stick covered in granulated sugar. You can check out this recipe for a cool thing to do with the kids or grandkids.

    https://www.thespruceeats.com/rock-candy-521016

    I am considering switching to 5:3 myself and using it year round instead of 1:1 and 2:1.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: 2:1 Crystallizing

    Rather than making it more dilute, you could try partially inverting the syrup: a level teaspoonful of citric acid or a splash of bleach or acetic acid per gallon will prevent the formation of crystals at that concentration. My own preference is bleach as it also helps to stop the growth of black mould in feeders. I add the bleach when the syrup has cooled down to around blood heat.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  12. #11
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    Default Re: 2:1 Crystallizing

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Rock candy is made using 2:1 or even 3:1 and a stick covered in granulated sugar. You can check out this recipe for a cool thing to do with the kids or grandkids.

    https://www.thespruceeats.com/rock-candy-521016

    I am considering switching to 5:3 myself and using it year round instead of 1:1 and 2:1.
    When I opened one of the cans I said "I made rock candy." It was cool looking.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: 2:1 Crystallizing

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    Rather than making it more dilute, you could try partially inverting the syrup: a level teaspoonful of citric acid or a splash of bleach or acetic acid per gallon will prevent the formation of crystals at that concentration. My own preference is bleach as it also helps to stop the growth of black mould in feeders. I add the bleach when the syrup has cooled down to around blood heat.
    LJ
    Didn't know this. Thanks.

  14. #13
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    Louisville, KY
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    Default

    Keep in mind during the heat up and boil water is leaving to the atmosphere. Usually I add 5-10% extra water.

    Cold temps will cause syrup/honey to crystallize faster. If I was still feeding this time of year ide likely have crystallizing problems too, nights are 45f. Really too cold to feed. If your days are warm like 65-7O it may go ok. Just dpends.

    I also add 10grams of crushed up vitamin c tablets at the beginning of the boil to 15gal 2:1.
    Last edited by burns375; 10-18-2018 at 08:07 AM.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: 2:1 Crystallizing

    Well, the bees seem to have worked their way through the crystallization and have emptied the feeders, for the most part.

    I do have sugar cakes I made. It seems it might be more work for them to use this form of sugar rather than the liquid type.

    Would it be o.k. to put a sugar cake in just to see if they can consume it?

    Thanks

    1/33rd

  16. #15
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    Default Re: 2:1 Crystallizing

    I'm sure they will work the sugar brick. Especially while the temps are still in the 40-50's. For my topbar hives in VA, they work them all winter long, as those are our winter temps. If I put one in the hive in Nov, it is gone by Dec. They seem to use it before they touch the honey stores so I like them in there in the fall vs. waiting until needing them as an emergency measure.

    In a Lang, when placed above the inner cover, it can help absorb some of the moisture in the hive and some edges of the brick turn to liquid, which makes it something the bees can consume.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: 2:1 Crystallizing

    I mixed a small batch, <quart, of 5:3 just to give it a try. So, we'll see if that concentration crystallizes.

    I put a sugar cake on top of the top deep (I have a spacer in place) and then put the inner cover and top back in place.

    Went out an hour later and the cake was covered with bees. Guess that might be the way to feed them if I can't keep the solutions from crystallizing.

    Thanks

    1/33rd

  18. #17
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    St. Charles, MO, USA
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    Default Re: 2:1 Crystallizing

    I am able to feed 2.5:1 without crystallization by doing the following. I put a big pot inside a really big pot to make a double boiler to keep from burning the syrup. I heated it to about 180 F to completely dissolve the sugar then let it cool to about 140 F before adding a small amount of invertase (an enzyme) to invert the sugar to keep it from recrystallizing (i.e. break the sucrose into fructose and glucose). Once it was cooled to room temperature, I added apple cider vinegar. Do not add the vinegar before it cools or you will form large amounts of 5-HYDROXYMETHYLFURFURAL which is toxic to bees at high doses.

  19. #18
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    Default Re: 2:1 Crystallizing

    where do I buy citric or acetic acid besides online? Is this something a local store would carry? J

  20. #19
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    Default Re: 2:1 Crystallizing

    Quote Originally Posted by Fivej View Post
    where do I buy citric or acetic acid besides online? Is this something a local store would carry? J
    On-line would certainly be cheaper, but citric acid could possibly be sourced from a home-brewing shop. For acetic acid, vinegar's readily available - but is fairly dilute. The really strong stuff - glacial acetic acid - can also be used to kill wax moths in stored combs - but can only be sourced from a chemical supplier, afaik.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  21. #20
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    Default Re: 2:1 Crystallizing

    I used to buy glacial acetic acid from Fisher Scientific. Lab Safety may also carry it. Vinegar is easier to source.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

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