Ok, well I know how to make sugarsyrup. Is there a way you can store this? SO like I can make a few pail fulls and keep it so I will have it on hand, or should I just make it fresh whenever I feed the bees?
I am certainly no expert on this, but I it was mentioned in a previous thread that sugar syrup will go bad quickly. I don't know if this is when it is exposed to air such as in a hive or out in the open.
I made a gallon of 1:1 sugar syrup a month ago. It has been in a plastic gallon water jug with the lid tightly sealed this whole time. I thought maybe it had gone bad by this time so I checked it a couple of days ago. I smelled it and tasted it and it seemed just as good as the day I made it. The water was really hot when I added it to the sugar and it has been sealed so I'm assuming that has alot to do with it. I don't know how long it will last but I'm thinking of leaving it in there just to see.
In the future, I plan to make it as I need it, based on recommendations from posters here.
[This message has been edited by dtwilliamson (edited April 29, 2004).]
I think there are lots of factors that change how long it will keep. Certainly boiling it helps. Essential oils seem to keep things from growing in it. The thicker the syrup the better it keeps, so you may want to make up 2:1 and water it down to 1:1 when you use it. But then 1:1 doesn't crystalize so much. A container that has had moldy syrup in it will mold more quickly too. So sometimes it keeps for quite some time and sometimes it doesn't.
You can make syrup as saturated with sugar as you can get it and it will not go bad at all. Sugar syrup goes bad because it ferments, like weak honey can ferment. But once a certain level of sugar has been rached, the yeast connot multiply in it. The syrup will almost be like honey, but not fragrant and not quite as thick, but it'll most definately NOT be like water.
I have kept this for a few weeks already, having made several gallons at once that I laddle into my feeders as needed.
I have not done this myself but have spoke to several big operators who add 1 cup of clorox to a 55 gallons of syrup. You would have to of course figure the measurements for smaller amounts. They said it does no harm to the bees but keeps the syrup from going bad and keeps the equipment (lines, hoses, and such) free from any growth.
The last one I specifically spoke to this about was the Wooten's in California. They are listed on this site under the "bees" section from the homepage if anyone cares to call.
I have been useing twelve gallons I made last fall when I was feeding up for the winter. It kept fine although it had my home made HBH in it so that may have had an effect on why it kept so long.
I think that the key is to boil the water and use clean containers. I have a couple of containers that now have a little mold in them since they have been emptied so I have been thinking of rinsing them out with boiling water before useing them again.
checked the 1:1 sugar syrup I had made about 6 weeks ago.... went bad somewhere between week 4 and week 6. Made it with very hot water and used an empty gallon jug of nursery water so it should have been fairly clean. When I looked in the cabinet at it....the gallon jug looked like it was going to burst with all the pressure in side. I slowly unscrewed the cap and let the pressure out....Sure enough....smelled terrible but the appearance didn't look any different then when I made it. Didn't last as long as i had hoped.
I think the best bet is michael's first suggestion and that's to make 2:1 syrup and water as needed. You can make more syrup that way and it requires less storage space. Water it down as needed.
Great that the Vinegar kills the mold, but what do you do to kill the acetobactor? Do you use distilled white vinegar? Otherwise you are creating a breeding ground for acetobactor which is the bacteria that converts carbohydrates into acetic acid (vinegar).
Keep the chlorine away from teh sugar syrup, it doesn't come out very easily. You "could" try sulfites, but I don't recommend that either. Just make the stronger syrup, and water as needed. I just make it as needed, but then again I am only making syrup for 4 hives right now. I use 1-5lb bag of sugar, and water to consistency. When an operation gets large, then I could see the need to store the surplus syrup that might have been made.
>Great that the Vinegar kills the mold, but what do you do to kill the acetobactor? Do you use distilled white vinegar? Otherwise you are creating a breeding ground for acetobactor which is the bacteria that converts carbohydrates into acetic acid (vinegar).
I've never had a problem with it, but then most cheap "apple cider" vinegar is actually distilled with "apple cider flavoring" added. I'm sure I've used Apple cider vinegar though, because I always buy it if I can find it, which is not very often. I've never had syrup to to vinegar. I think there's too much sugar in it.
As a wine maker, keeping vinegar supplies and wine making supplies separated is a real concern. If just a tiny bit of naturally brewed vinegar (meaning has acetobactor present) gets into a wine recipe at any stage, it has a high chance of turning sour. Now because it is alcohol the vinegar has an easier time of it, but acetobactor can turn any simple carbohydrate into vinegar, not just alcohol.
One of the reasons why honey ferments when SHB infestations get too high is because the honey becomes exposed to yeasts and also YEAST NUTRIENTs coming from the nitrogenous waste of the SHB larvae.
Although pure sugar syrup may not be favourable conditions, it is still a condition that will allow acetobactor multiplication and also harbor yeasts. Its just something I think I would avoid based on my experiences in other areas.
I actively breed yeast cultures and acetobactor cultures for wine and vinegar brewing, therefore I am probably at higher risk due to the increased density of these cultures here as opposed to in the wild.
Oh as another aside, if you have aquariums you can feed your fish with vinegar worms. You can culture them by getting Natural Apple Cider Vinegar, chop up some apples into 1/2 inch cubes, and toss the cubes into the vinegar and cover loosely with a clean rag, or aluminum foil. Wait a few days and you'll see some wrigglers hanging out on the chopped apples. Just rinse them off and drop into your aquarium.
I've been feeding a lot to my 20 hives. I mix up about 10 gals at a time and store in 3 gal jugs, very full. (Not for long). My problem is the mold in the hive top feeders. I keep a piece of copper wire in them an add a dollop of lemon juice to the batch when i make it. I don't know if it helps but the bees seem to like it. I heard the copper bit on this site. Any comments?
[This message has been edited by dickm (edited May 11, 2004).]
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