Mountain camp ingredients...
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
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    Canandaigua, New York, USA
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    Default Mountain camp ingredients...

    I'm curious as to what is every one's opinions on adding citric acid and Honey Bee Healthy to the suger. This came up at our club meeting last night. My hives were at 140#s this fall and I'm just curious. Is this necessary? I think I'm gonna pass...

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Lumpkin County, GA
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    893

    Default Re: Mountain camp ingredients...

    Quote Originally Posted by crab414 View Post
    I'm curious as to what is every one's opinions on adding citric acid and Honey Bee Healthy to the suger. This came up at our club meeting last night. My hives were at 140#s this fall and I'm just curious. Is this necessary? I think I'm gonna pass...
    It really depends when you are going to add the HBH to the sugar. HBH will cause robbing, so if you are adding it to your sugar bricks to add to your wintering hives, it shouldn't be a problem. Spring, summer or fall is a different answer and I would say no.
    I personally add nothing other than a bit of vinegar to my sugar brick recipe. Adding essential oils to something the bees eat doesn't make sense to me since natural nectar has none.
    FWIW

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Seattle WA
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    1,241

    Default Re: Mountain camp ingredients...

    I also agree it is not needed. HBH has its uses but not for mountain camp or sugar block feeding. Laurie's sugar block recipe has citric acid added but I never have and plain sugar and water or sugar and vinegar works just fine. I find it is best to keep it simple. If you make sure your hives have plenty of stores going into winter, you wont need mountain camp or sugar blocks.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
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    1,358

    Default Re: Mountain camp ingredients...

    I always figured mountain camp was putting a piece of newspaper over the frames and pouring dry sugar on it. Some hit the newspaper with a spray bottle to get it damp.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    England, UK
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    1,825

    Default Re: Mountain camp ingredients...

    You could always ask mountain camp what he does, but I suspect it's not necessary.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
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    5,604

    Default Re: Mountain camp ingredients...

    I tried using HBH and essential oils years ago but discontinued using it shortly after. I found no real benefit, and it actually has a downside of inducing increased robbing pressure during a dearth. If it's necessary to add all this stuff to sugar water or blocks to entice them to take it then there is probably another problem that needs to be addressed. Other than feeding syrup in cold weather, the bees always seem to take the sugar readily if they need it.

    Citric acid and vinegar can be added when making sugar blocks but sometimes I'll make mine with just water and it works just as well. As mentioned, I agree to keep it simple.
    To everything there is a season....

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Lumpkin County, GA
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    Default Re: Mountain camp ingredients...

    I add the vinegar to the sugar and water solution and heat it to make my sugar bricks. My bricks are indeed, "bricks" when the solution cools. It is hard as a rock.
    The vinegar and heat invert the sugar so it is readily available to the bees. Just adding water to granulated sugar and letting it harden does not invert the sugar so one bee must ingest it to invert the sugar and then the bee can feed it to another bee. When the sugar is already inverted, bees can skip the "middle bee" and use the sugar directly.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
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    2,381

    Default Re: Mountain camp ingredients...

    Using HBH has fallen into disfavor and you should look into the concerns before you consider using it. I have forgotten the issue (gut health?) but was convinced not to use it. J

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Canandaigua, New York, USA
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    Default

    Excellent insights here. I'm not opposed to feeding sugar. It just seems like adding more ingredients would add to a higher gut load between cleansing flights. On a separate note when I'm feeding the pigs and it's warm the bees are all over the feed. If Mega Bee and the other makers of pollen sub use roasted soybean to achieve such a high level of protein maybe I can just feed my bees pig food...not! Only kidding 😉

  11. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
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    5,259

    Default Re: Mountain camp ingredients...

    I have reservations about the high temperature cooking. The idea about inverting the sugars to make them more available to the bee ( and decrease recrystallization of syrup) seems to chance the production of hydroxymethyfurfural (SP?) which is harmful to bees.

    When there are possible danger flags and certainly more work, I will stick with just dampening the sugar and it will cake solid enough for me.

    The honey bee healthy I bought quite a few years ago is gathering dust. Not much proven benefit.
    Frank

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Canandaigua, New York, USA
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    40

    Default

    Proof, ah who needs it when we have concepts like small cell and gadgets like varroa gates and laser mite removal. What will we need next?

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