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I am still trying to help a friend save an old hive. It is now stablized. He wants to feed some old molasses that were put up "green" (not cooked enough). I am concerned because in other posts there was mention that over heated sugar water could cause problems, I don't remember why. Would it be safe to use the molasses? Should they be diluted? With warm weather we are feeding 1:1 sugar water to stimulate brood. Will switch to 2:1 later, will probably have to feed most of the winter. Thanks for the help.
 

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While there are few certainties in beekeeping, I thnk that nobody would recommend feeding molassas to bees. I have never tried it, but multiple credible books clearly state that it is bad for bees and may cause the loss of colonies.
 

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Thanks for the advice. I have made copies of this and Man of Wars post and will pass them on to the friend today. You helped me stop a melt down of the hive.They really wanted to use the old molasses. Compost maybe?
 

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Very, repeat very, interesting discussion. I am still searching for a definative answer as to weather " raw cane sugar " is a safe food for bees. I am convinced that molasses is not good as bee food however I was told that bees congregate on horse feed, to forage, and that the feed contains some molasses. I do know that at least some horse feed does contain molasses but since I don't have horses I am not informed enough to argue the point.

I live in the " Heart Of The Cane " here in South Louisiana and I have access to the raw sugar at a very favorable cost, meaning free. The raw sugar contains 3-4 % residual molasses but it is as clean as can be, considering it's process to get to the raw sugar storage warehouse prior to further shipment to the refiners.

I have posed the question to several, hopefully knowledgable sources, and have received several answers. Nothing definative, yea or nay.

I have not fed any raw sugar to my bees prefering to leave an ample amount of their honey in their hives as their sustanance.

The whole idea boils down, to me, as a matter of cost. As a hobbist beekeeper and an entrepreneur I always consider cost. TO ME, free, is a really low cost :).

Anyone have any further insight on my question?

Thanks.
 

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Before and after the pollen season, my bees visit my band sawn lumber piles. They are collecting sawdust, the closest thing they can find to pollen. My guess is that's what they are trying to collect from horse feed rather than the molasses. Molasses has so many impurites in it, the bees will get dysentery, at least if they consume it while clustered in cold weather.
www.thebeeguy.blogspot.com
 

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Bees will eat molasses without a doubt and like it. That does not mean it is good for them. Do not use it.

Raw sugar should be OK in my opinion if it contains only 3% molasses. I would not feed it for winter stores myself, but spring feeding should be OK.

Disclaimer......... The above is merely opinion.
 

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Jackbee, since in your location the bees fly all winter you can probably feed raw sugar without worrying about dysentry. The bees are probably feasting on raw sugar anyway if it's being produced in your neighborhood (within 2 or 3 miles). But then again, why feed if you don't need to? :cool:
 

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*IF* you *REALLY* want to feed molasses, which I wouldn't do, I would definitely not do it this time of year. It will give them dysentary and probably poison some of them besides. But dysentary is much more managable in the middle of summer than the winter. Summer would be a better time to risk it, if you really want to risk it.
 
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