What do you feed your bees?
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  1. #1
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    Default What do you feed your bees?

    New beekeeper just wondering if any of you add anything extra to your sugar syrup. Do you just use granulated sugar and water or do you add anything extra?

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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malone View Post
    New beekeeper just wondering if any of you add anything extra to your sugar syrup. Do you just use granulated sugar and water or do you add anything extra?
    Good ole granulated sugar and water for me. 1:1 in spring and 2:1 in winter. Congrats on getting bees! Best of luck!

  4. #3
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    Default Re: What do you feed your bees?

    I have started adding green food coloring to the syrup It makes it much easier to tell where the honey is and where the sugar syrup is at in a hive.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: What do you feed your bees?

    2:1 syrup, spring or fall. I have tried adding some Pro-Health (essential oil blend) in the past, and didn't find there to be any advantage that I could notice.
    So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: What do you feed your bees?

    I make up thick syrup (approx. 2:1) from granulated sugar in batches, then add a splash of bleach - around an egg-cup full to a gallon - to prevent any black mould from developing in storage. I then use this for all feeding, including nucs.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  7. #6
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    Crown Point, NY, USA
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    Use 2:1 all year. Sometimes add vitamin & electrolytes that Laurie Miller uses.
    Last edited by Clayton Huestis; 05-09-2020 at 05:55 AM. Reason: spelling

  8. #7
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    Thanks for the info. Anyone using honey bee healthy or something similar?

  9. #8
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    Default Re: What do you feed your bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by Malone View Post
    Thanks for the info. Anyone using honey bee healthy or something similar?
    Not any more. As a feeding stimulant, HBH works pretty well. As a robbing stimulant, it works even better. There is truly no need to use it.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  10. #9
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    Southern, New Hampshire, USA
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    Default Re: What do you feed your bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Not any more. As a feeding stimulant, HBH works pretty well. As a robbing stimulant, it works even better. There is truly no need to use it.
    Does it do anything to make the sugar syrup last longer? I usually make up a couple gallons but it takes a few weeks to use it all up and I was worries about it fermenting or something going off with it. I'll probably use up the HBH I have left and try without after that.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: What do you feed your bees?

    Randy Oliver did a study and found that there was virtually no difference between 2:1 and 1:1 in drawing comb. They don't take 2:1 as fast, but it equals out in calories. Since 2:1 takes a long time to get moldy, that's what I will feed. If you prefer 1:1, a splash of bleach or vinegar will deter mold for a while. J

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by elmer_fud View Post
    I have started adding green food coloring to the syrup It makes it much easier to tell where the honey is and where the sugar syrup is at in a hive.
    Just looked at some food coloring I had on hand and it has an anti mold ingredient in it. Anyone know of bad side effects with using it?

  13. #12
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    Northern Colorado, USA
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    Default Re: What do you feed your bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by Malone View Post
    Just looked at some food coloring I had on hand and it has an anti mold ingredient in it. Anyone know of bad side effects with using it?
    hmmm, I have not looked at the ingredients of the food coloring that I have. I don't think the food coloring has had any adverse effects in my hive. I suspect less than 1 ml of food coloring to a few gallons of syrup will dilute down any anti mold ingredient enough to not matter.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: What do you feed your bees?

    I have not used food coloring because I add bleach to the 1:1 syrup.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: What do you feed your bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by Titus142 View Post
    Does it do anything to make the sugar syrup last longer? I usually make up a couple gallons but it takes a few weeks to use it all up and I was worries about it fermenting or something going off with it. I'll probably use up the HBH I have left and try without after that.
    I have never seen 2:1 ferment, and I have kept it for months. I still have 2 gallons of it leftover from last fall, and expect to be using it this fall without spoilage.
    Last edited by bushpilot; 05-09-2020 at 09:16 PM. Reason: spelling error
    So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: What do you feed your bees?

    I drive to Mann Lake and fill five gallon buckets with Prosweet. Less time driving than mixing syrup. And it does not ferment.
    All of my opinions and suggestions are based on my five decades of actual beekeeping,
    not so much on book learning, watching YouTube videos nor reading internet sites.

  17. #16
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    Southern, New Hampshire, USA
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    Default Re: What do you feed your bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by bushpilot View Post
    I have never seen 2:1 ferment, and I have kept it for months. I still have 2 gallons of it leftover from last fall, and expect to be using it this fall without spoilage.
    2:1 as in 2 sugar to 1 water?

  18. #17
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    Default Re: What do you feed your bees?

    Yes, 2# of sugar to 1 pint of water, or therebouts. A 10# bag of sugar makes 1-1/3 gallon of syrup.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  19. #18

    Default Re: What do you feed your bees?

    I just take the opportunity to point all the good beekeepers to a book, that is a bible when it comes to feeding bees:

    https://www.evacranetrust.org/page/h...on-and-feeding or
    https://www.northernbeebooks.co.uk/p...ing-liplinski/

    Honey Bee Nutrition and Feeding. In Temperate/Continental Climate of the Northern Hemisphere by Zbigniew Lipinski
    ISBN: 9788393927906 (it is in English)

    It features 1.350 references to scientific literature on bee feeding and is an outstanding example of good science. It certainly changed my beekeeping, because of the deep understanding I derived from that very book.

  20. #19
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    Crown Point, NY, USA
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    Default Re: What do you feed your bees?

    I'd totally get a copy of that book but with covid 19 here not sure what year it would arrive here in the states. Mind giving us a brief over view of how it changed your beekeeping?

  21. #20
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: What do you feed your bees?

    I never add anything that has smell as it exacerbates robbing. I do add ascorbic acid to lower the pH and to make it keep better and because it's good for the bees. I feed 5:3 in the spring if they need it. I feed 5:3 in the summer if they need it. I feed 5:3 in the fall if they need it.

    http://bushfarms.com/beesfeeding.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

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