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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was doing a powder dusting on a hive and saw some globs of what seemed to be liquid of some sort being carried on or around the pollen baskets area of some workers bees rear legs. I think I heard one time that bees use tree sap to make Propolis but I have never seen it before. I am assuming that that is what I saw...or was it?
 

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Could be. We also observed bees going for cherries fallen from the tree and about to rot. We had cells with red cherrie sap in the hives. Tasted like cherry. Tested it in a lab and it was indeed cherry juice. Taste it.
 

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I love the idea of coloring syrup to identify it. Any drawbacks to doing this?
I can't say that I have a lot of data on this. I just started adding coloring this year, and I got the idea from stories of people finding "red honey" in their feeders because their bees had found hummingbird feeders or beeks near candy factories finding various colored "honeys."

I've often wondered about the effect of the dye, but the people who find all these weird colors in their hives haven't reported any ill effects on their bees. Also, this year, I started feeding very minimally (e.g., a split might get a small feeder until they have foragers, or a new package might get a jar of syrup. Otherwise, they're on their own.) So far, though, the dye hasn't seemed to hurt the bees at all. They're booming actually.
 

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> globs of what seemed to be liquid of some sort being carried on or around the pollen baskets area of some workers bees rear legs.

Yes, it's propolis. No, it's not liquid (well..., it's a very slow liquid...) The red comes from certain kinds of poplar.
 

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> globs of what seemed to be liquid of some sort being carried on or around the pollen baskets area of some workers bees rear legs.

Yes, it's propolis. No, it's not liquid (well..., it's a very slow liquid...) The red comes from certain kinds of poplar.
Yes Ive seen this too. some on the landing board and some on the deck under the hives. Im betting Tulip Poplar thats what we have most of here. G
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
> globs of what seemed to be liquid of some sort being carried on or around the pollen baskets area of some workers bees rear legs.

Yes, it's propolis. No, it's not liquid (well..., it's a very slow liquid...) The red comes from certain kinds of poplar.
Thanks.
 

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I've gotta ask...why would you need to color your syrup? You say to differentiate between syrup and honey...you shouldn't feed with supers on, so everything goes to the brood boxes. So...as Hillary says...What difference does it make?
Ahh...read your blog...Top Bar Hive. Have a Tanzanian myself.
Nice Blog BTW.
 

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I've gotta ask...why would you need to color your syrup? You say to differentiate between syrup and honey...you shouldn't feed with supers on, so everything goes to the brood boxes. So...as Hillary says...What difference does it make?
Ahh...read your blog...Top Bar Hive. Have a Tanzanian myself.
Nice Blog BTW.
There has been alot of discussion on this site about bees moving their stores. Perhaps the fear of them moving fed syrup that is stored in the brood chamber to the supers would be my guess to answer your question. G
 

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I've gotta ask...why would you need to color your syrup? You say to differentiate between syrup and honey...you shouldn't feed with supers on, so everything goes to the brood boxes. So...as Hillary says...What difference does it make?
Ahh...read your blog...Top Bar Hive. Have a Tanzanian myself.
Nice Blog BTW.
Thanks for the compliment on my blog. I appreciate it!

In answer to your question, I wanted to first clarify that I have TBHs, not Langs, so I don't add supers. The bees, as you know from your TTBH, build a honey barrier. However, the idea is the same -- I don't want to feed syrup when the bees are storing their surplus honey.

As for coloring the syrup, I'll try to explain my thought process, but bear with me because I'm only a 2nd year beek with a propensity to overthink sometimes.

Biggraham610 is right. Bees moving syrup was one of the issues I was thinking about, though perhaps it's not as big a deal as I thought.

Also, last year, I had a colony that didn't have enough stores, so I fed them heavily in the fall, and they stored mostly syrup. At the time, I didn't add any color to the syrup, but as I thought about things over the winter, I realized that if there was any left over, I wouldn't be able to tell it apart easily from honey gathered in the spring. Of course, I could just mark the bars or taste them, but I guess that was another thought running through my mind.
 
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