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How long should I leave uneaten sugar water on the hive before it turns bad? I am using inverted quart jars on a walter t kelly hive top feeder. The feeder is placed on the inner cover, a jar is placed into one of the openings and then a empty deep is used to surround the entire thing. It is out of direct sunlight. I do not want to leave it on so long that it harms the bees but I also do not want to be wasteful.
 

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I can only give you my rule of thumb. In hot weather like I have in Virginia right now, I pour it out if it is in there over a week. It may remain viable much longer, as I have smelled/tasted it after a week and it seems just fine.

My typical goal is to put enough feed to last them 3 days and then refill.
 

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I have heard several ppl tell me that they add vinegar to their syrup so it will last longer. I cant keep my jars filled fast enough so i dont have that problem but if your bees arent taking the syrup fast enough you might want to give that a try. I have read about it on several threads here on beesource.com.

Here is one thread i read about that idea:
http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=243223
 

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DS,
Are they still taking the syrup? If not, I'd take it off now. Then it won't be in your way when it is time to put on the next super.
 

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For what it is worth; I add 1/2 teaspoon of "acid blend" to 1 gal. of sugar water. It detoures mold for quite some time and it does not seem to effect the bees or there taking of the feed. You all can read the "academic" research on nector content (OH State, Penn state and others). I get the acid blend from my wine supply store (Presque Isle Wine Cellers). The blend consists of Tartaic, Malic & Cirtic Acids. It works for me!

Just my 2 cents.
 

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Some people add 1 tsp of bleach to 5 gal of syrup.
Mine is fermenting in less than a week here. I can smell it when I open the feeder, my feeders are top feeders. That might make a difference, as they aren't sealed.
 
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