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I have 2 colonies that were new splits this year. It is late August in Maine and I would like to feed them as they are very light on honey stores. I am in the process of switching over to natural bee keeping methods and understand the bees can become stronger/more resistant if you feed them honey as opposed to sugar syrup. I think this is my understanding from Michael Bush's site. I had a five gallon bucket of crystallized honey that I heated in a glass jar in a water bath. The temperature was 140-150F. Is this safe to feed to the bees? I do know there is some issue with Hydroxymethyl furfural. I would love a few opinions..... thanks... Marcy
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I thought HMF was just in corn syrup. I don't think theres a problem if the honey is from disease-free bees.
I believe HMF can be found in honey as well s corn syrup, but in concentrations low enough to not harm people but is not good for the bees. I am trying to get confirmation on this information here.

Thank you
Marcy
 

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Thank you Micheal. This is all a bit beyond me, but from your links it seems to me that HMF is not particularly good for humans or the bees. I assume your advice is not to feed this to the bees. Pleased do confirm this as I may not be completely clear. I am trying to get some splits to build up food stores to overwinter here in Maine and am looking for the best way to do this. I do have some crystallized honey left and am now thinking this is a better choice than the heated honey. Do you have any suggestions about how to feed this? And would you suggest feeding sugar syrup in a winter solution as a secondary measure?

Thank you so much..

by the way I am in the process of switching all my beekeeping methods over to your tried and true natural methods which is how I got the notion in my head to feed honey to the honey bee. :) I might have come to this rather logical approach sooner but somehow missed this as I guess it is just too obvious. Your approach is so rational and so spot on in my opinion. Thanks again for your thinking and for spreading the word!
 

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>I assume your advice is not to feed this to the bees. Pleased do confirm this as I may not be completely clear.

I think timing has as much to do with what you can get away with as anything. What you can feed in the spring and not have problems is different than what you can feed in the fall. Fall is probably the most critical because anything that gives bees dysentery is a bigger threat when there will be no cleansing flights for a while. I would feed old dark honey in the spring probably. I would not feed it in the fall if I had any doubts about HMF because of how old it is or how much it's been heated. But I would also try a little bit on one hive and see what they do before going all out. HMF is a fact of life with honey or any kind of sugar syrup. It's just a matter of how much and when.
 
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