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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey - new beekeeper from Western Australia here.

I have two new nucs I'm starting with and progress is so far in the past two months has been negligible.

I am feeding a 1+1 sugar syrup, in inverted jars on the crown board. I noticed that syrup has developed black strands in it and looks like it's gone mouldy. I of course discarded it.

My questions are:
1. the bees have been consuming this mouldy syrup, and whether that is detrimental for their health,
2. what I should do and look for to make sure they are not sick,
3. and how can I keep it form going mouldy again in just a few days.
 

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On the basis that bees have been living intimately with rotting wood and moulds and fungi of various kinds for millions of years, I doubt that the black mould we see formed in sugar syrup will harm them much, if at all - but - as a human I don't like to see it either, and so treat my syrup with a splash of bleach just as soon as it's cooled, and before storing it. I normally make up batches of 2:1 or thicker, and dose it with thin, unscented bleach at the rate of somewhere around an eggcupful per gallon.

You mention negligible progress - I guess it would be mid-Summer where you are - so, are there signs of pollen coming into these nucs ? In terms of 'progress' generally - do you have BIAS (Brood In All Stages) in both boxes - i.e. are the queens laying eggs ok and is there capped brood as well as larvae ?
LJ
 

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At his time of year a stronger syrup close to 2:1 takes less work for the bees to dehydrate and the heavier syrup puts less moisture into the hive. It is also much more resistant to mold and fermenting.
Some molds might be tolerable but some are bad news. Not a good idea in general.

Edit; I missed your location detail: scratch the cold weather and moisture reference!:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah thanks guys, I'm in full summer here, 1+1 is the recommended dose. Since I have plenty of water for the bees availble, and 2+1 tends to keep for longer, is it such a bad idea to give them 2+1 then? Less work for the bees is welcome I suppose?

I read a lot about adding various potions to make it keep longer - essential oils, lecithin granules, bleach, cider vinegar, salt.... I don't have the time to experiment with these nucs so have t nail it first time if possible.
 

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Speaking of mold, I have some. I guess I didn’t ventilate my hive well and the is mold on the inner cover and on some bee bread. Bees looking good though. Any thoughts on whether they will use the moldy bee bread?
 

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Numbatino: Yes, you may use 2:1. Randy Oliver (scientificbeekeeping.com) conducted a study on 1:1 vs 2:1. They took the 2:1 slower, but there was no difference in drawing out comb and has been said, it dries quicker and less work for the bees. J
 
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