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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm curious as to what is every one's opinions on adding citric acid and Honey Bee Healthy to the suger. This came up at our club meeting last night. My hives were at 140#s this fall and I'm just curious. Is this necessary? I think I'm gonna pass...
 

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I'm curious as to what is every one's opinions on adding citric acid and Honey Bee Healthy to the suger. This came up at our club meeting last night. My hives were at 140#s this fall and I'm just curious. Is this necessary? I think I'm gonna pass...
It really depends when you are going to add the HBH to the sugar. HBH will cause robbing, so if you are adding it to your sugar bricks to add to your wintering hives, it shouldn't be a problem. Spring, summer or fall is a different answer and I would say no.
I personally add nothing other than a bit of vinegar to my sugar brick recipe. Adding essential oils to something the bees eat doesn't make sense to me since natural nectar has none.
FWIW
 

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I also agree it is not needed. HBH has its uses but not for mountain camp or sugar block feeding. Laurie's sugar block recipe has citric acid added but I never have and plain sugar and water or sugar and vinegar works just fine. I find it is best to keep it simple. If you make sure your hives have plenty of stores going into winter, you wont need mountain camp or sugar blocks.
 

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I always figured mountain camp was putting a piece of newspaper over the frames and pouring dry sugar on it. Some hit the newspaper with a spray bottle to get it damp.
 

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I tried using HBH and essential oils years ago but discontinued using it shortly after. I found no real benefit, and it actually has a downside of inducing increased robbing pressure during a dearth. If it's necessary to add all this stuff to sugar water or blocks to entice them to take it then there is probably another problem that needs to be addressed. Other than feeding syrup in cold weather, the bees always seem to take the sugar readily if they need it.

Citric acid and vinegar can be added when making sugar blocks but sometimes I'll make mine with just water and it works just as well. As mentioned, I agree to keep it simple.
 

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I add the vinegar to the sugar and water solution and heat it to make my sugar bricks. My bricks are indeed, "bricks" when the solution cools. It is hard as a rock.
The vinegar and heat invert the sugar so it is readily available to the bees. Just adding water to granulated sugar and letting it harden does not invert the sugar so one bee must ingest it to invert the sugar and then the bee can feed it to another bee. When the sugar is already inverted, bees can skip the "middle bee" and use the sugar directly.
 

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Using HBH has fallen into disfavor and you should look into the concerns before you consider using it. I have forgotten the issue (gut health?) but was convinced not to use it. J
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Excellent insights here. I'm not opposed to feeding sugar. It just seems like adding more ingredients would add to a higher gut load between cleansing flights. On a separate note when I'm feeding the pigs and it's warm the bees are all over the feed. If Mega Bee and the other makers of pollen sub use roasted soybean to achieve such a high level of protein maybe I can just feed my bees pig food...not! Only kidding 😉
 

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I have reservations about the high temperature cooking. The idea about inverting the sugars to make them more available to the bee ( and decrease recrystallization of syrup) seems to chance the production of hydroxymethyfurfural (SP?) which is harmful to bees.

When there are possible danger flags and certainly more work, I will stick with just dampening the sugar and it will cake solid enough for me.

The honey bee healthy I bought quite a few years ago is gathering dust. Not much proven benefit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Proof, ah who needs it when we have concepts like small cell and gadgets like varroa gates and laser mite removal. What will we need next?
 
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