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Hi,
So far I've been feeding my hives a 1:1 ratio of cane sugar to water, but it's a time consuming job(heating it up) and so, I'm looking for a fast to make, cheap substitute for my syrup. Any input would help:D
 

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I don't know how to get cheaper than sugar and water, but I got a whole lot faster when I stopped heating water on the stove.

I run the hot tap water for a minute and use that. Stir the sugar into it hard and fast for a minute and done.

Wayne
 

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For 1 Gallon at a time I take a 1 Gal plastic milk container and put a 5lb bag of sugar in it, then fill with hot tap water - shaking 2 or 3 times before it is full. I know it is a little light on the sugar, but the bees haven't complained yet.

For 10 Gallons at a time, I fill a 5 gallon tote with water and empty it into a 20 gallon trash can. Using an immersion heater that I got from Walter Kelley several years ago I heat the water and then mix in 70lbs of sugar, stirring with a canoe paddle. When I'm done I get the mixture back in the tote using a simple bilge pump. This method has the advantage of being something I can do in the garage, NOT in the kitchen.
 

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the hot tap water works for me but i mix a half a plastic water jug that they use in a water dispenser - carboy but not sure on the spelling of that ?? - 10 lbs sugar and half full with a little hbh that i made up myself - they love it - so fellas what happens if you take some of the honey thats made from sugar water ?? always wanted to ask that - will it taste like honey from nectar ??
 

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I stopped heating the water on the stove for 1:1 quite a while back. I just use hot tap water now (2:1 is a different story). I use those big plastic water cooler bottles to mix them in. I fill them about 2/3 full and then slosh it all around a little. If any sugar settles back down, I slosh it around again later. That pretty much takes care of it.
 

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Yes just hot tap water. For small amounts just put white sugar into a 2liter pop bottel up to the top of the label, then fill with hot tap water - shake.

I also put a few drops of blue food color in the feed. It's interesting to see where the feed ends up. Bees move honey around and you will find this blue food in various places.

In answer to another poster, you can eat bee processed plain syrup it - it does taste sweet, but not like honey.

However, I've gone mostly natural - a lot of folks on this forum say "FEED" "FEED" "FEED", well for me I will briefly feed a new swarm, a NUC, or small amounts in the fall - but as long as my bees have enough stores for winter - I don't believe in feeding them.
 

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I got one of those cajun cookers. Uses propane to heat a large kettle. I put 50 lbs of water into my large kettle. Turn flame on high for about 10-15 minutes, and it will be starting to bubble. Doesn't actually have to be boiling.

Turn off the flame and then I dump 50 lb bag of sugar in it and stir it with a 5 gal paint stick. It dissolves in a minute or two.

This gives me 100 lbs of 1:1 syrup. I leave it to cool overnight and add some honey B healthy in the AM and take it out to the Bee yard. This is quick and easy. Actually only takes a few minutes of my time and gives me 100 lbs. If your kettle is not big enough, then just do it in smaller batches.
 

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oops, meant anybody use raw sugar vs white?

would be even more natural then the processed stuff.

Pablo
I don't think it really matters. From the chemical perspective there is really little differeence between what you call "raw" sugar and white. Surcose is basicly a chemical, and sugar is a chemical. It is white as surcose is white. Raw sugar is still refined to to remove, mould, bacteria, dirt, it is just done in a way that leaves it in a less refined state than white sugar. HOwever, raw sugar tastes better to some and many feel is a 'greener' option.

Personaly, I don't think it would make a hill of a beans difference to the bees, nor any reall differences on their health. However, raw sugar is typicaly a lot more expensive, so that will be the biggest noticable thing.

The other thing I would suggest would be going the true 'natural' route. Let the bees find natural food and only feed if absolutly neccessary. Natural food is much better for the bees than sugar
 

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Heres what Ive been using all spring, the bees love it and it doesn't spoil easy, you can find all the ingredients at Amazon. I buy my sugar at wal-mart for about 12.50 for 25#, I mix the whole 25# for one batch. I make 5 gal at a time and use a battery drill and paint mixer, use hot tap water, takes about 10 minutes to make a batch. Ive stored it over several weeks without spoiling. I copied the recipe from this forum last winter.

Here is the latest formula I am using to feed/treat my bees.
Makes 5 gallons of feed.

In a five gallon bucket add 2 1/2 gallons of hot water (can be hot tap water) Next add 3 teaspoons of Soy Lecithin Granules (Mix well) I use a mud mixer with my drill but you can mix by hand.
Next add 2 droppers (or about 30 drops) of thyme oil (I use the oil not the crystals)
Next add 5 droppers of lemongrass oil
Next add 5 droppers of spearmint oil
Add one five lb bag of sugar
Mix well
Continue to add another 15 lbs of sugar mixing as you go
When you are done it should be pretty close to the top of the 5 gallon bucket. You can add equal amounts of water and sugar to top it off at this point if you want to.

This is a stimulant/treatment feed and not to be confused with a fall feed of 2:1.

With the EO's this will not ferment and can be stored for awhile. You can also cut the mixture in half if you don't need as much.

Good luck all.
 

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I have been tossing around the idea of using an old coffee maker for making 2:1 syrup. If it worked right it could be a set it
Rip the guts out of it and hook it up to a 5 gal bucket for a reserve tank, put the heater under a steel pan. Let the heated water run through a bucket of sugar with a few small holes with filter paper over them. Maybe Ill try it with a normal sized coffee maker first. Add a timer and it could be a set it and forget about it thing.
Just an idea I have been tossing around in my head.
 

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Heres what Ive been using all spring, the bees love it and it doesn't spoil easy, you can find all the ingredients at Amazon.
Thanks -- I will try putting the oils in to keep it from spoiling -- I find that after a couple of weeks, the sugar syrup is turning bad/fermenting/growing unsightly things.

By the way, honey made from sugar syrup has the consistency of honey, but only has the mildest of the honey flavor to it. You probably could cook with it, but I wouldn't sell it as it might ruin your reputation with future honey sales.
 

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What is your purpose in feeding? To stimulate brood rearing? To help them get more stores? To stock them up for winter? To get them enough reserves to get through the spring? Just because you think you need to? If it's to get them through the winter, dry sugar can keep them from starving. If it's to get them started in the spring, then I'd use syrup, but 2:1 keeps better and means hauling less syrup out to the beeyard.
 

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the hot tap water works for me but i mix a half a plastic water jug that they use in a water dispenser - carboy but not sure on the spelling of that ?? - 10 lbs sugar and half full with a little hbh that i made up myself - they love it - so fellas what happens if you take some of the honey thats made from sugar water ?? always wanted to ask that - will it taste like honey from nectar ??
i must warn you.
hot water in glass carboy's can cause them to crack.
hot tap water is generally fine, just as long as the carboy is room temperature.
they are not tempered glass

they do make plastic carboys now.


i would also like to suggest using a clean paint mixer attached to a drill for mixing the syrup, this would work great for large amounts.
 
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