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Discussion Starter #1
I have tried everything and am getting a little annoyed with how fast my syrup goes bad on the hives. When I lived in Utah it seemed the dry climate kept things longer. Only being a few miles from the ocean now, even fruit rots within a few days.

I typically boil the water and then add that to the dry sugar and stir - I'm on a well with a 10,000 gallon storage tank.

I tried essential oils but have since entirely stopped offering them to the bees, for other reasons, which they didn't help anyway.

I've tried adding vinegar (apple cider/white) to try and invert the syrup but it still only adds another day or so.

I add about a tsp of salt per gallon for the bees - this doesn't seem to help or hurt the mold.

After about a week of continually filling feeders (rapid feeders, hive top feeders, jars, etc) they turn into green slime messes and have to be removed and cleaned. It would be great leave a couple gallons on a hive so I wouldn't have to fill it every day, but if they aren't cleaned ever 2-3 days, sure make a mess!

Has anyone found a good way to keep the mold away that also doesn't harm the bees or their development? It's such a fine line considering they mix it with pollen and ferment it to feed to larvae. How do we keep the syrup fresh and still healthy for the bees?

Ideas appreciated.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Add bleach. I don't remember exactly how much, but a tsp. per gallon is a good start. You could also go back to feeding 2:1. It does not go bad as fast. When you clean the feeders, wash them in bleach to kill the slime regardless of which approach you choose. There has been discussion on this in the past so you can search Beesource, keyword bleach and syrup. Or go to this thread:
https://www.beesource.com/forums/sh...omes-sour-after-a-week&highlight=Bleach+syrup
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Add bleach. I don't remember exactly how much, but a tsp. per gallon is a good start. You could also go back to feeding 2:1. It does not go bad as fast. When you clean the feeders, wash them in bleach to kill the slime regardless of which approach you choose. There has been discussion on this in the past so you can search Beesource, keyword bleach and syrup. Or go to this thread:
https://www.beesource.com/forums/sh...omes-sour-after-a-week&highlight=Bleach+syrup
Wouldn't this keep the syrup from fermenting with pollen, into bee bread, as it's suppose to?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I add bleach during the summer dearth here to keep my syrup from getting icky. I have not noticed a problem. This is a tried and true method and others will chime in I'm sure.
 

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Use heavy syrup (at least 2:1) and add 1 to 2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. I make 2.5:1 using a makeshift double boiler then when it cools to 140 degrees I add invertase (an enzyme that inverts the sugar) and then add the vinegar when it cools. I then put it in empty gallon water jugs and I store it until I need it. I’ve kept it sitting for 4 moths with no sign of mold. I never have mold in my feeders now.
 

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Treat it with Mann Lake Pro Health. Yes it is expensive but it works. Last season I had 4 six gallon totes of sugar syrup that I put under my lean to and forgot about. It sat there for almost 4 months. I was sure that it had to be fermented. I opened each one up and checked. Syrup was just fine. Had I not treated it with Pro Health, it would definitely have fermented. My bees love it and so do I. Give it a try. I get it when it is on sale and stock up on it.
 

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2:1 with some apple cider vinegar. Randy Oliver did an experiment and demonstrated that 2:1 is the best feed no matter what you are trying to achieve. If they don't take it before it spoils, they don't need it or it is too cold for them to take it. J
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Is that 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar per gallon?

I'm happy to feed it thicker, I had no idea. I've heard the girls will have to retrieve more water to use it when thicker, but water is everywhere here.

And no pro health for me. After reading the research on EO being toxic to bees, even in low doses, I've cut it out of the yard. Call me cautious?

And it's not that it's going bad before they take it. They take it very quickly. It's that the containers start to mold and using a lot of hive top feeders, it sure gets annoying having to take them off, apart, bees out, scrubbed, sanitized, back together, back on the hive, then filled back up... Every week.

Even the rapid feeders and jars go green after a week. I've become less of a bee keeper and more of a mold killer.

I'll try 2:1 with some cider vinegar and see how much longer that lasts... At least before resorting to bleach 🤪
 

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I find that making sugar syrup 2:1 or thicker with boiling water, then adding a splash (cap-full) of bleach after it's cooled down, will prevent black mould from forming for up to 6 months when that syrup is stored in plastic milk jugs. I only dilute it immediately before filling a feeder, and only give enough so that the feeder is emptied within 2 or 3 days.
LJ
 

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2:1 with some apple cider vinegar. Randy Oliver did an experiment and demonstrated that 2:1 is the best feed no matter what you are trying to achieve. If they don't take it before it spoils, they don't need it or it is too cold for them to take it. J
:no:

Apple cider vinegar is the best attractant for Small Hive Beetles! Don't do it!

Earthboy
 

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Discussion Starter #15
We don't have SHB, never actually seen one in person.

...yet.
 

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I haven't had fermentation issues with either homemade 2:1 with a spoonful of vinegar and a half spoonful of HBH, nor with unadulterated Mann Lake Prosweet (which is about 3:1 with a slightly acidic pH). The latter costs more, but saves time in the kitchen. It's taken the bees up to 2 weeks to take it all. *shrug*
 

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:no:

Apple cider vinegar is the best attractant for Small Hive Beetles! Don't do it!

Earthboy
That's a new one for me. Have a reference? I just read that apple cider vinegar is used to attract them in some traps, but they also eat sugar,honey and wax. So Should we remove all sugar,honey wax and brood from the hive too? I don't have SHB, YET. I know they are coming. J
 

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Wouldn't this keep the syrup from fermenting with pollen, into bee bread, as it's suppose to?
Hmmm not sure on the bleach yes it would not help fermenting, yes it would mess with the bacteria in the fore and Hind gut, yes it could end up in stores. Sorry I cannot offer a better idea. I do not feed. In the spring I may add a honey frame from a dead out to a hive with low stores but that is it. Not sure what the big drive is to feed. maybe dry sugar would not mold. excess moisture could be drained off with better ventilation. Other than that good luck
 
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