Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
It doesn't hurt to boil it as long as you don't scorch it. But removing the water from heat before adding the sugar is good insurance to not scorch it.
I wasn't making patties, I was making syrup, from the recipe at Beemaster: http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php?topic=44468.0If you are following Laurie's recipe why are you heating syrup ? Her recipe is put together without heating and then placed in a dehydrator to harden the cakes. You might want to go back and take another look at your process and her recipe.
EMPHASIS ADDED by me.....
"When exposed to warm temperatures, sugar can form HMF and kill honeybees. Some researchers believe that HMF may be a factor in Colony Collapse Disorder, a mysterious disease that has killed at least one-third of the honeybee population in the United States.
The scientists measured levels of HMF in sugar products from different manufacturers over a period of 35 days at different temperatures. As temperatures rose, levels of HMF increased steadily. Levels jumped dramatically at about 120 degrees Fahrenheit."
HMF was determined to be a factor in "Gulf War Syndrome" with all the drinks and foods sitting out in steel shipping containers in the desert. You probably never heard of HMF in Desert Storm because the same group that lobbied to change HFCS to Corn Sugar hushed the story. HMF is a neurotoxin that breaks down the nerve synapsis. If you get bees crawling out front like they are drunk or sick it could be HMF.
mix sugar and hot water until all of the sugar is dissolved, hot tap water is hot enough to dissolve the sugar; or mix the sugar with hot—NOT BOILING—water that has been heated over a stove or micro. never let the sugar water solution boil over direct heat; syrup that is burned or caramelized, will cause high bee mortality....
Here is an interesting article from honey bee suite about "Hydroxymethylfurfural" http://www.honeybeesuite.com/hydroxymethylfurfural-is-not-good-for-bees/I wasn't making patties, I was making syrup, from the recipe at Beemaster: http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php?topic=44468.0
It doesn't say to heat it, but I have always done it to make the sugar dissolve easier.
But after I found this thread, which states that crawling bees can a symptom of (among other things) syrup that has been boiled:
Thanks, great info! I know some people aren't having a problem, but it is important I think that people know it CAN happen, in case they have symptoms, it is one more possible cause. If I hadn't stumbled across that thread here I never would have figured it out....Here is an interesting article from honey bee suite about "Hydroxymethylfurfural" http://www.honeybeesuite.com/hydroxymethylfurfural-is-not-good-for-bees/
Although it is in regards to HFC it is relevant. I also went to wikipedia and found out that acid is used in the production of HMF, so maybe by adding vinegar combined with boiling syrup produces increased toxicity. I too had bees wandering around on the ground in front of my hives dying. I thought at first it was Tracheal mites, but I found no K wing. I'm almost sure now that I was poisoning them with HMF because we only have raw water that needs to be boiled so I was heating the sugar and water together, and bringing it to a boil. I still boil my water now but I mix the sugar in after removing it from the heat.
Forrest:Thanks, great info! I know some people aren't having a problem, but it is important I think that people know it CAN happen, in case they have symptoms, it is one more possible cause. If I hadn't stumbled across that thread here I never would have figured it out....
The article covers why HFC, if heated can produce HMF, I said it was relevant because it gives temps etc. at which these toxins can form. Do you add anything acidic to your sugar bricks when making them? That is another factor involved here.Forrest,
In your opening post you mentioned that you were using sugar to make your syrup and that it boiled just a little bit, so I don't think you have found the source your problem yet because when I make sugar bricks I boil the heavy sugar syrup for 10 minuets and the bees show no adverse reaction to it, in fact 2 of my nucs thrived on it this past winter.
Colino's link is in reference to high-fructose corn syrup which is different than sugar, I am not a commercial beekeeper but I do think that they will use HFCS to ready their bees for winter and unless I am very mistaken they do not boil it.
Also take into account my bees showed the same symptoms as yours except I didn't add vitamin mix. One more thing I'm using refined beet sugar from sugar beets.Well I know the syrup is the problem because the two nucs that I fed it to had the wigged out bees - like I said, they were crawling on the bottom boards too....
I see three possibilites (all of which I am taking into account as of now):
1. I let the syrup boil longer than I believed.
2. The addition of vinegar while the sugar was boiling can have a similar effect to that described in the article referenced by Colino.
3. It was neither of these - but rather one of the following:
a) I screwed up the math and over dosed them with the vitamin mix
b) Something in this particular supplement mix (not identical to Lauri's) is harmful to the bees. If I get a chance tomorrow, I will post pics of the labels on the supplements, see what you guys think. I will also give the dosage rates I used (I wrote them down).
In the meantime, I am using syrup, and letting it cool completely before I add cider vinegar (1 tsp per gallon of syup). If that dosage is off let me know, I just did another batch and won't add vinegar till tomorrow.
Cheers and thanks to everyone!