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Hi, everyone,

perhaps this states the obvious, we all consider honey to be very healthy, and no-one is going to say that sugar water has any health benefits.

So they actually studied this: https://www.nature.com/articles/sre...ediction analyses using the,and 100% (HFCS vs.

And the research of course supports the common sense conclusion.

You would be hard put to find any evidence that sugar water somehow benefits the bees fight against DWV/varroa, whereas at least there is evidence that honey does.

Thanks,
Thomas
 

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Maybe this year I will not feed the nucs sugar water for a change.
Got plenty of honey frames to cycle in.

the impact of honey on fat body gene expression is robust.
 

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Is it such a stretch of the imagination that "honey" the very thing they spend there lives energy collecting is actually good for them? Sugar syrup has its place to prevent starvation and to keep bees moving forward. I view it like pollen sub it suppliments but it can't replace the real thing. That's one thing that single deep lang hives have against them. Very little natural stores for the bees. Triple deeps shine here with almost exclusive natural stores.
 

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Is it such a stretch of the imagination that "honey" the very thing they spend there lives energy collecting is actually good for them? Sugar syrup has its place to prevent starvation and to keep bees moving forward. I view it like pollen sub it suppliments but it can't replace the real thing. That's one thing that single deep lang hives have against them. Very little natural stores for the bees. Triple deeps shine here with almost exclusive natural stores.
I Am on the same page with you here Clayton.

GG
 

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I agree with the honey comments in general but the prime ingredients are glucose and fructose. Syrup contains far less ash. Syrup feeding does solve the starvation issue I have poor to nil success with pollen patties and limited success with dry protein powder (doled out by the TBSP). It seems the bees around here do quite well on stored bee bread and early Spring pollen.

I use two mediums and a deep as my year-round brood chamber. I am able to get the stored nectar honey and sugar water honey weight above 80-100 lb. fairly easily. I guess my conclusion, being a backyard beekeeper, is stored natural honey and bee bread in the brood chamber supported by the addition of syrup when needed to achieve winter weight. It is a long winter dearth, even here.

Fortunately or unfortunately the brood chamber, after removing supers, usually has 40-60 lb. of honey at the end of Fall flow. I can either move honey down or feed syrup. I refuse to move honey frames between hives. I do not need to extract every last drop of honey. Anecdotal evidence for the past two years suggest feeding a syrup for winter results in "clean" hives come Spring as compared to past years. It could be luck but lucky with nine hives for two years? More to learn or bee taught....
 

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Thanks for the reference - a difficult read for a novice but pertinent. I noticed there were no application conclusions beyond a discussion of feeding effects. Feeding Sucrose syrup in my case or HFCS has one big health consideration - avoiding starvation. It would also seem to support foraging bee's needs for carbohydrates, maybe comb building?

My situation or methods results in a mixed situation or natural honey and sucrose-syrup honey for winter survival and early Spring brood rearing. Kind of hard ot evaluate the pros and cons so far other than 9 for 9 this winter. My hives get the benefit of natural pollen starting in mid- March and robust flow in May 1st. I "think" the bees benefit from natural, wintered-over honey stores in the Spring. I assume this is a result of one observation when I changed my methods. I was not been able to find the infamous syrup honey from Fall feeding - left all stores in place as a result of failed Fall flow. I moved down honey frames to fixed brood chamber and extracted all remaining frames with an eye out for open or light honey. Nothing but a rich dark honey was found. This year, first time, I noticed all the outside frames were consumed where I imagined syrup honey was stored. The center frames above the centralized cluster were all "capped (heavily insulated hives). I get the feeling the wintering over bees "select" the syrup honey for heating and save the natural honey for brood rearing - just my run-away imagination.
 

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Thanks for the reference - a difficult read for a novice but pertinent. I noticed there were no application conclusions beyond a discussion of feeding effects. Feeding Sucrose syrup in my case or HFCS has one big health consideration - avoiding starvation. It would also seem to support foraging bee's needs for carbohydrates, maybe comb building?

My situation or methods results in a mixed situation or natural honey and sucrose-syrup honey for winter survival and early Spring brood rearing. Kind of hard ot evaluate the pros and cons so far other than 9 for 9 this winter. My hives get the benefit of natural pollen starting in mid- March and robust flow in May 1st. I "think" the bees benefit from natural, wintered-over honey stores in the Spring. I assume this is a result of one observation when I changed my methods. I was not been able to find the infamous syrup honey from Fall feeding - left all stores in place as a result of failed Fall flow. I moved down honey frames to fixed brood chamber and extracted all remaining frames with an eye out for open or light honey. Nothing but a rich dark honey was found. This year, first time, I noticed all the outside frames were consumed where I imagined syrup honey was stored. The center frames above the centralized cluster were all "capped (heavily insulated hives). I get the feeling the wintering over bees "select" the syrup honey for heating and save the natural honey for brood rearing - just my run-away imagination.
Robert you may be over thinking it. :)

IMO it is LIFO Last In first Out, they fill down as fall approaches, then consume on the way up.
So if you feed late season this is last stored then first used, not sure they would skip honey to save it for brood but I would think the possibility exists. IF they do skip honey to leave for Brood this would prove the "poorness" of the non Honey stores.

As well for my late swarms /late splits I feed during the goldenrod bloom so In My case what is stored is "mixed"

GG
 

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I believe there is a study out there that showed honey bees wintering better on sugar water compared to honey.

I like reading this stuff but also like to know what works "good enough".

Also, many keep bees for what the bees can give them. This makes a bigger difference if bees are how you buy shoes for your kids. I can't believe how many time I have read on here that sugar is 50 cents a pound and honey is $10 a pound. I never found it being a pound for pound trade when I would give a little feed.

Cheers
gww

Ps Robert, I do not believe you could tell the difference between plant nectar and sugar water in a hive after the bees process it unless you put food coloring in your sugar water. Sugar water looks and taste exactly like honey as far as I can tell. I was given several hundred pounds of sugar and fed start of every oct for a couple of years till it ran out. For pure hobby bee keeping, I am liking the zero feeding approach but hope I am observant enough to know when it might be needed. Lots less thinking when I was just throwing on 3 gal per hive in fall whether they needed it or not. No worry about about weight or counting frames of stores cause I knew they had the bare minimum for my area. Now I might have to look.
 

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I believe there is a study out there that showed honey bees wintering better on sugar water compared to honey.

well this is again an it depends statement.

I do not buy the better than honey.
I know "Some" honey has more ash content, so I would buy sugar is better than crappy honey.
And wintering, are we talking California or Ontario? there is wintering and then there is WINTERING

And winter better, if they are out of honey and dieing then yes they would winter better.
For pure heat production the sugar can do an effective job , but for raising some brood in late FEB is it the same, ??

Sorry one study where there are way too many local inputs, do the study in 3 places in every state then look at the results, sure some places it would work.

I have seen some hard up dudes in the UP of michigan feed straw to cows to get them to grass in "hay derth " situations.

Surviving and thriving are 2 different places.

many humans get along fine on Mrs butterworth's, me I prefer the tree sap stuff. :)

there is perfect food and there is good enough... since we humans no longer have perfect, we often presume other critters can do the same.

to survive yes by all means feed, to have an optimal diet, IMO honey is better for bees.

GG
 

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GG;

Good thoughts on weighing the "all depends" factors! We have to be wary of simplistic solutions for complex problems.
 

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I believe there is a study out there that showed honey bees wintering better on sugar water compared to honey.

well this is again an it depends statement.........

GG
Yes, it really depends.
If the honey contains too much ash/un-solubles - that is trouble.
I documented in my topic how I lost good units due to late winter diarrhea.
Subsequently, I tested honey from one of those units (and reported) - that honey indeed appeared to have too much non-floral component to it (was great dark honey and stayed liquid one year later - for shame no more left - it was so darn good).

At that rate of substandard wintering honey, wintering on straight sugar wins hands down.
 

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too much non-floral component

?? IMO not honey :) honey dew and such is the bees way of not starving , using poor food over no food.

My comments would be for "Floral content" Honey :) sorry I omitted the "poor feed the bees find"

Did you ever figure out what the dark honey was? if you liked it then at least there was a value.

I have also seen the bees on broken limbs of Hard Maple, early spring, I presume collecting sap.
They are quite resource full.

GG
 

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too much non-floral component

?? IMO not honey :) honey dew and such is the bees way of not starving , using poor food over no food.

My comments would be for "Floral content" Honey :) sorry I omitted the "poor feed the bees find"

Did you ever figure out what the dark honey was? if you liked it then at least there was a value.

I have also seen the bees on broken limbs of Hard Maple, early spring, I presume collecting sap.
They are quite resource full.

GG
I observed first-hand how bees and YJs were collecting sap from white pine 2-3 years ago - right next to one of my yards.
That honey very well could have lots of pine sap - that would be the non-floral component.
Indeed - the bees will collect sap from conifers, given the right conditions (terrible for wintering).

The honey was great, btw.

BTW, here is a video that documents a honey sample turned out to be exactly that - largely conifer honey (non-floral).
My sample was very similar to the one in this video.
The conclusion that the honey is non-floral is made at about 7:00.
Non-English; captions are available.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFMPbZ-Hya4
 

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Subsequently, I tested honey from one of those units (and reported) - that honey indeed appeared to have too much non-floral component to it (was great dark honey and stayed liquid one year later - for shame no more left - it was so darn good).
.
Non-floral honey to the left.
Typical floral honey to the right.
20191109_205336.jpg
20191109_205310.jpg
20191109_205150.jpg
20191025_075339.jpg
 

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I had a home made saw mill and we cleared about three acres of trees to build a lake. We piled the logs till I could get around to cutting them. It was plumb intimidating pulling those logs out to cut due to all the honey bees, yellow jackets and such that were hitting those logs. The honey bees also loved my sawdust pile when there was no flow as well as the trash cans at the gas station.

I just remember the post about? two years ago on the study results. I know that Ian steppler is way north and runs singles on sugar but also indoors. Most of the commercial guys I watch videos of top off their hives.

So, along with comparing against what is being gathered buy the bees, there is also comparing with needed out come of bee keeper.

The fact that people pay more for honey then for sugar means most people think it is better for people and if a study shows it is better for the bees, I can make that mental leap easily. When it come to better for the bee keeper, there may also be variance based on objectives.

I know I am too dumb to do more the look at anecdotal evidence that I see and then flounder at cause and effect based on what I think I know.

I like reading all the studies but still stay pretty lost in the interpretation of them put together with each other.

Cheers
gww
 
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