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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am wondering which mix ratio of sugar water feed is more conducive to having the bees draw out wax comb as opposed to storing the source? I have attempted to have them draw out more comb with some of the 1:1 mix and it has not been very beneficial in 'wax production' at all.

IF you specify, are you saying 2:1 is 2 parts sugar to one part water or vice versa?

Thanks for your help
 

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2:1 is 2 parts sugar to 1 part water by weight not volume. 1:1 mimics nectar, it encourages wax production and comb building. 2:1 is more like honey it encourages bees to fill comb to quickly stock up for winter. with 2:1 the bees do not have to spend time and energy lowering the stores into the honey moisture range. 2:1 like honey will not ferment, 1:1 will ferment. 1:1 will also encourage the hive to raise brood... so feed with 2:1 in the fall. feed with 1:1 in the spring and summer. since bees will not feed at temperature lower than something like 50 to 60 deg. f. for winter feeding use dry white sugar, either cake or granules. use only pure white refined sugar. do not use brown, natural, organic or anything with molasses in it, this will make the bees sick or kill them. syrup can contain corn syrup, so called high fructose sweetener, this is frequently used by commercial operators because it is cheap... when making 2:1 you will need to heat the water some, do not scald the syrup this will injure the bees or worse. keep the syrup bellow boiling, do not scald it.. I hope this helps..
 

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I find that my bees build comb the best when given 1:1, however i also give them HBH mixed into it. They take it down like a funnel and can't store it so they make comb instead. I have hives that have drawn out over 20 frames each already this spring, and still counting. All deep frames too at that. I feed my nuc's the same syrup and they draw comb like champs. I can put in an empty frame, feed for two days, and go in and find a beautiful frame on the 3rd day that the queen has gone to town with already. I've tried just plain sugar syrup without the HBH in it and i don't get the same results at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I find that my bees build comb the best when given 1:1, however i also give them HBH mixed into it. They take it down like a funnel and can't store it so they make comb instead. I have hives that have drawn out over 20 frames each already this spring, and still counting. All deep frames too at that. I feed my nuc's the same syrup and they draw comb like champs. I can put in an empty frame, feed for two days, and go in and find a beautiful frame on the 3rd day that the queen has gone to town with already. I've tried just plain sugar syrup without the HBH in it and i don't get the same results at all.
Oh cool, yes I use the Honey Bee Healthy as well. Its just that this year my 1:1 feeding is simply not been of much value in regards to comb building. But then again, the last couple of times that I have fed I did not mix any HBH into the solution. How much Honey Bee Healthy do you mix into, say a gallon? Are you following the instructions on the bottle to the 't' or have you discovered something slightly more beneficial, by chance?

I lost some bees of a critical age group back during swarming season and these hives simply have not done well since. Missing the critical link, those younger comb builders, has left them struggling.

Going to make up some feed tomorrow with a little bit of the honey bee healthy in it and let them 'draw away', hopefully.

I need drawn out combs bad.....

thanks for all your help...both of you:thumbsup:
 

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The HBH that i use is actually a modified form. I read through the actual grant paperwork that the professors at WVU helpd to create the HBH with. In it, they actually listed the exact measurements of the essential oils used. To that mix going with their measurements I add equal amounts of both Tea Tree oil, and Wintergreen oil. Tea Tree oil helps the digestive system of the bees to help keep them cleaned out so to speak, and the Wintergreen oil helps to keep the varroa at bay. I and others referr to this modified mix as a type of "brood builder formula". Basically it's 1 teaspoon of each Tea Tree oil, Wintergreen oil, Spearmint oil, and about 10 healthy drops of Lemongrass oil, put into a blender with a cup of water for 5 to 7 min on high. It will create enough brood builder to use in a 40 gallon batch of syrup. Or you can divide it out by teaspoonfull and I use about 1 teaspoon full per gallon of syrup. The bees take it and do rather good things with it from what i see. One MAJOR thing to remember is that if you feed 1 colony this syrup, make sure you feed equal amounts to your other colonies too. It will encite robbing if you don't..
 

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Late last summer during the dearthI had a 2-deep hive where the bottom box was completely drawn out, completely empty comb. I fed the girls 2:1 (by volume) which they stored; in about 3 weeks the bottom box frames were filled up with the 2:1 and the hive was set for the winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
There are people who think it matters. I don't think it matters...
Michael, you say you do not. Would you mind expounding why? Please don't perceive this as the creation of an 'argument', not the intent. I am just picking your brain as to why you say this? Although, I have not spoken with you before over the forum, I most certainly recognize your name and business presence online in other arenas. With that having been said, I appreciate and honor your experience. You have much more in this realm than I do.

So just wanted to hear your thoughts. That is all.

There are language triggers on many forums, unfortunately that lead to 'throwing stones back and forth.' That certainly is not my intent. I am just wanting to hear knowledge speak....lol

chris
 

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I am in Michael's camp on this one. I don't know of any study that sources data on syrup. If someone can provide the science behind 1:1 syrup "mimicking nectar" I'll bite.
Here is a study I found that shows sugar content to be in a huge range-up to 80% sugar concentration in the nectar! I would suggest from this information that if one wishes to feed their bees then feed them 2:1 and get the most bang for the buck.
Mathesonequip - where do you get the information you provided in your reply? I've heard it stated 100 times about 1:1 for raising brood, making wax etc but I've never seen the data that supports this claim. I am not saying you are correct or incorrect. I'm simply looking for the proof. Same with the HBH claims. I've read the data supporting the use of the essential oils in HBH and I am convinced this data supports the use of HBH. Then people add other EO to this and claim, as one poster here does, that these EOs do thus and such but where is the data. Science is science and data is data. Oh, and I'm a sceptic.
Why is it so many here, especially newer beeks, make these claims about their bee management as if what they are doing is 100% proven fact????? I don't get it.

http://wasba.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Honey-Louis-Matej.pdf
 

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>Michael, you say you do not. Would you mind expounding why?

40 years of experimentation... and as Challenger points out, nectar varies greatly and bees are quite willing to work anything from 1:2 to 2:1 as a source and in my experience will draw comb the same in that wide range of concentrations. Some people, however, are convinced, based on their experience, that bees draw comb better at 1:1 than 2:1. Everyone is entitled to their own experience and conclusions.

My conclusion is that comb production varies greatly depending on a number of factors including ambient temperatures, nectar availability, amount of empty comb, age of bees, and momentum of comb drawing. Heat helps them work wax. As bees produce wax they get more efficient at producing wax. As they construct comb they get more efficient at constructing comb. I think any difference in comb drawing is due to one of these as opposed to the concentration of the nectar/syrup. If anything, it's less work for the bees if the sugar source is more concentrated. But mostly I make it more concentrated because it keeps better. Syrup spoils quickly when you get down near 1:1. It lasts much better at 2:1 but is difficult to dissolve, so I end up with 5:3.
 

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If they don't draw twice as much comb from 2:1 of a given volume of syrup why make it 2:1?
 

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The following is not something I necessarily believe is true, but simply a point to discus. :lookout:

1:1 syrup clearly has twice as much water than 2:1 for a given volume of syrup. And looking at that slightly differently, using 1:1 it takes twice as many cells to store a given amount of sugar compared to 2:1.

So one could reasonably suggest that feeding 1:1 will induce bees to build more cells (comb) simply to have a place to store (as least temporarily) the 1:1 until they can dehydrate it down to the moisture content of honey. They will need more cells to store 1:1 than if they were storing [pre-concentrated] 2:1 syrup.

The above assumes that bees are hoarders (they always want more) and that water is cheaper than sugar (sugar is not free). :rolleyes:



As noted initially, this is simply a point of discussion! :)
 

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The following is not something I necessarily believe is true, but simply a point to discus. :lookout:

1:1 syrup clearly has twice as much water than 2:1 for a given volume of syrup. And looking at that slightly differently, using 1:1 it takes twice as many cells to store a given amount of sugar compared to 2:1.

So one could reasonably suggest that feeding 1:1 will induce bees to build more cells (comb) simply to have a place to store (as least temporarily) the 1:1 until they can dehydrate it down to the moisture content of honey. They will need more cells to store 1:1 than if they were storing [pre-concentrated] 2:1 syrup.

The above assumes that bees are hoarders (they always want more) and that water is cheaper than sugar (sugar is not free). :rolleyes:



As noted initially, this is simply a point of discussion! :)
I'm glad you stated that you don't necessarily believe this because IMO it makes almost no sense. I can't prove or disprove the "twice as much room" theory so I'll just stay away from it and say I don't subscribe to this claim. Simply considering the idea that it takes 7-8 lbs of honey (ball park 8-9 pounds 2:1 syrup) then which do you want to have happen? Store syrup in fewer cells which requires a lot less drying by the bees, or having the bees consume gobs of 1:1 syrup just to make a place to store it?
It is certainly true that if the bees are in wax building mode it is best to feed them if you want this to continue. I've fed bees many times to the point that they would draw comb but it took a fair amount of syrup before they kicked into gear. Personally when I need comb built I'll use the opportunity that a captured swarm gives me. They will draw comb like Noth no else and they can be fed to keep this going as well.
1:1 syrup is super prone to fermentation where I live so it is a major hassle. Making 2:1 is also a major hassle but I'm lucky that I can get liquid sucrose for $7.00/5 gallons. This is not supposed to ferment either but I had some that was about 6 months old that did ferment. I think it was a batch that I reduced however with plain water so it would work better in my frame filling machine during the cold season.
I really don't want to sound like I know a whole lot about any of this stuff because I feel like I have way more to learn than I currently know. The one thing I'll say I know beyond any doubt is that beekeeping has more experts than NASA
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks so much for your reply Michael.

Sidetrack, I like your theory, I totally understand what you are saying. Your idea makes perfect sense to me.

and Challenger I must admit this is pretty funny: The one thing I'll say I know beyond any doubt is that beekeeping has more experts than NASA
 

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Note that I wan't suggesting that 'honey' made from 1:1 syrup ultimately takes up any more cells than 'honey' made from 2:1 syrup. My point was that the only way to dehydrate 1:1 is to initially put it into more cells than 2:1 would require (for a given amount of sugar).

In the long run, bees will be moving honey around and consolidating it into fewer cells. This is the only way to get 'full' honey cells as a result of the dehydration process. But in the interim, 1:1 will require more cells to place the syrup in than if the equivalent amount of sugar was in a more concentrated 2:1 syrup. Those 'extra' cells have to come from somewhere. :)
 

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For what it is worth, a study by a Waller, 1972, and reported in the Hive and the Honey Bee, 1980 edition, states that the percentage of sugar in syrup that causes the greatest hording activity is 30 to 50%. Is this about the percentage in 1:1 syrup? We all have opinions, and mine is that Rader Sidetrack is correct that the bees will draw more comb if they have a greater volume of syrup to store. That is why it is recommended to feed 1:1 when drawing comb and switching to 2:1 when you want the bees to store more sugar in the fall.

Since we are stating only opinions, it is also my belief that when the books state that 1:1 is closest to nectar they are speaking of the sugar content of most nectars, which is 30 to 60%. Feeding syrup is done for a reason, stimulate a queen to lay, cause comb to be drawn, or to store food. That is why one method of feeding, or one strength of syrup does not work for all situations.
 
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