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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a little confused. When it was recommended I feed my bees a 1/1 sugar syrup (small swarm I got mid summer) I thought it was to help them put away enough food for winter. Is this true, or am I just feeding them for daily requirements? Seems to me they go through an awful lot of the stuff in a short period of time. What volume of sonsumption should I expect (i.e. cup/quart/gallon per day)?
 

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If you have some full honey supers, you should give them a super or two of honey. Its much better for hte bees, they'll be healthier and replace that honey for you better.
 

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Feeding the bees 1 to 1 syrup is done to new packages to make them think that there is a nector flo on so they will build the foundation you provided into comb for the queen to lay eggs in. Later it is used to stimulate comb building for the suppers. a 2 to 1 syrup is feed to the bees in the fall if they need more honey(food) for the winter.
Clint

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Clinton Bemrose
just South of Lansing Michigan
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The swarm was supplemented with drawn frames from another hive, but most of the frames were not drawn. Right now the entire bottom super is drawn but has very little honey stored. The Upper super has all but the #1 and #10 frame completely drawn, with standard brood/honey/pollen pattern. Should I reverse the supers?
 

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Maybe they are being robbed out by another hive and they are storing it instead. That would be my guess.

But keep in mind, even 1:1 syrup is dehydrated by the bees and a gallon of it will only make about a quart of "honey" and that's not counting what it takes to make the wax.

Stores should be 2 parts of sugar to 1 part water or feed them straight honey if you have some or just give them some from a strong hive, in the comb.



[This message has been edited by Michael Bush (edited August 04, 2003).]
 

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How do you get a 2:1 syrup? Man, it takes me forever to get 1:1 to dissolve.
 

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>Man, it takes me forever to get 1:1 to dissolve.

I used to have problems with my syrup crystalizing, it never happens anymore, here is how I make it.

Turn your burner on high.
Fill your stew pot with hot tap water to about 3/4 full. You should measure the first couple of times to know how much you can make at one time. I use eight four cup measures.
Bring the water to a rolling boil.
Pour the measured sugar in. Again, eight four cup measures for 1 - 1 syrup.
Turn off the burner.
Stir until the syrup clears, about two minutes, it happens all at once.
Wait until the syrup cools and pour into traveling container and add essential oils.

As long as I bring the water to a full boil, my sugar does not crystalize.

Bill
 

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I don't have problems with cristallization either whith my 1:1 sugar syrup. But I don't boil it. I prepare it in 5 gallons (20 Litres) gas containers (it is easier to bring to the apiary this way and easy to handle when filling the Miller type feeders).

I first empty a 10 kg (22 pounds) bag of sugar in it then place it under the faucet to fill it with hot water. When it is about half full, I take it out of the sink and place put the lid back on the tank and then shake it well. A lot of sugar gets dissolved. Then I complete the filling with cold water to the 5 gallons mark and shake it again. Voila, all sugar dissolved, and no cristallization yet.

Hugo
 

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If I'm feeding a lot I often make 1:1 by just mixing hot tap water and sugar, and it may crystalize or it may not depending on how fast they take it. For 2:1, I boil the water (a good rolling boil) add the sugar and keep stirring and heating it for a while after it's all disolved. Sometimes I bring it to a boil again. Sometimes I don't, but I do heat it back up after adding the sugar. If you are not careful when doing this you will ruin it by burning it.
 

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Another trick for making strong sugar syrup, something I learned from winemaking. Is making Inverted Sugar Syrup. Inverted sugar is a LOT more like the sugars found in nectar.

Sucrose is a complex sugar, and isn't as easy for the bees, OR YOU to digest as simple sugars like Dextrose (commanly called corn sugar). The process for inverting sugar is to take 1/4 Gal of water, boil in 2:1 sugar, then add the juice from one freshly squeezed lemon. Let simmer until about 1/3 of the water has boiled away. That's right, that makes a 3:1 sugar syrup. We in winemaking use these to make Cane sugar more digestible by yeast, therefore enabling it make more alcohol than from ordinary cane sugar.

The acid from the lemon splits the sucrose into its simpler components, thereby preventing the bees digestive system from having to do so. Granted the bees can digest sucrose and is a major constituent in honey, honey also contains almost equal and sometimes greater parts of the simple sugars. This is a LOT different than just complex sucrose in solution, and the inversion process with the recipe above breaks down half or more of the sucrose into simple sugars. The acid also helps prevents crystalization in the syrup. The pH and total acidity of the syrup will also mimic that of nectar.

The bees like it a lot. And I am not sure why it hasn't been "discovered" by beekeepers as well. Its quite a compatible "thing"

[This message has been edited by Scot Mc Pherson (edited August 06, 2003).]
 

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THE HIVE AND THE HONEY BEE --1992 Edition

On Carbohydrate supplemental feeding, Chapter 6, pages 222-223:

" The ideal carbohydrate supplement is sucrose. For fall feeding honey bees should be fed a concentrated solution of 2 parts sugar to 1 part water (by weight) or by mixing 16 pounds of sugar with 1 gallon of warm water. In the spring a less concentrated solution of sugar containing 1 part sugar to 1 part water (weight by weight)can be prepared by mixing 8 pounds of sugar with 1 gallon of warm water. In the spring honey bees have more time to concentrate and ripen the solution so the sugar concentration is less critical than that for fall feeding.

There are sugar formulations that can be purchased for bee feeds. For example, drivert sugar (92% sucrose and 8% invert sugar), Type 50 sugar syrup (77% glucose-fructose and 23% water), and various concentrations of high fructose corn syrup (42%, 55%, and 92% fructose). The use of high fructose corn syrup is increasing because it is less expensive than mixing a sucrose syrup. Researchers have shown that honey bees readily consume and store high fructose corn syrup even though its biological value may be somewhat less than sucrose. The major disadvantage of feeding high fructose corn syrup is the danger of adultering surplus honey as the bees store this product and treat it as honey. "

On carbohydrates,
pages 205-206:

" Honey bees show a definite preference for various sugars when offered a free choice. When concentrations of some sugars were offered in the field and laboratory, bees preferred -in descending order- sucrose, glucose, maltose, and fructose; mixtures of the sugars did not have an additive effec. Sucrose was the most preferred, and glucose the least to foraging bees given a choice of collecting syrup from an artificial flower (Waller 1972). [...]

Honey bees in cages preferred diets containing sucrose to those containing sugar combinations, honey, invert sugar, or isomerized corn syrup (Herbert and Shimanuki 1978a). Barker and Lehner (1974a) found that sucrose was superior to other sugars in both acceptance and nutritive value when they fed 13 sugars to honey bees and measured survival, water and sugar consumption. "

Thought that would add to the discussion ...

Hugo
 

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I can't really tell whether that supports what I said or not. But I can say that bees being fed in the hive are not caged.

And my experience has shown that they like home made invert sugar syrup better than just plain cane sugar syrup. Invert sugar made from Cane Sugar ( sucrose ), breaks down into glucose and fructose about equal parts. The process outlined above develops into a syrup that maintains roughly equal parts of sucrose, glucose and fructose (with widely varying results depending on teh size of the lemon and its qualitative components i.e. acidity, total acid, sugar contents, acid distribution (citric acid, malic acid, ascrobic acid)

Keep in mind its been a few year since I have had a hive, but this I can remember and have been making wine and keeping bees for a minimum cumulative of 12 years each. My first hive having been started 18 years ago. Not saying I am an expert, but I am saying I am not talking out of my butt.


Also I am refering to home made invert sugar syrup which has a bit of lemon juice in it, commercially available invert sugar does not contain the trace elements found in a lemon, nor does it carry any of the ph and acidity properties of home made invert syrup.

[This message has been edited by Scot Mc Pherson (edited August 06, 2003).]
 

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I don't have it in front of me, but ABC XYZ of beekeeping has a recipe for invert sugar syrup to feed bees. Seemed to me it used cream of tarter or something like that, which would be tarteric acid. Seemed like it was a lot of work to keep it from burning while you boil it, which seems to be a necessary part of the process of inverting it.
 

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Boiling the mixture increases the temperature. Increasing the temperature increases the solubility of the solution (meaning more sugar can go into solution), the increase in temperature drives off oxygen which combines with acids to make salt-water neutralizing some of the acidity. So boiling increases the acidity and decreases the pH of the solution without having to add more acid to reach the same acidity. The sugar MUST be in solution, and crystalized sugar will have no chance of inversion. So again raising the temp allows more sugar into solution.

Then finally, by having inverted the sugar at a high temp, you simmer off some of the water which increases the amount of sugar in solution and further increases acidity and reduces pH allowing more of the sugar to invert. And finally the high temperature and resultant release of water, allows the higher acidity to keep the high amount of sugar in solution from coming out of solution.

The temp just really after all that explanation increases how acidic the present acid is


[This message has been edited by Scot Mc Pherson (edited August 06, 2003).]
 

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>Keep in mind its been a few year since I have had a hive, but this I can remember and have been making wine and keeping bees for a minimum cumulative of 12 years each. My first hive having been started 18 years ago. Not saying I am an expert, but I am saying I am not talking out of my butt.

Mr Mcpherson, I didn't intend to put your word in doubt, I just wanted to share the infos I was just reading yesterday in the Hive and the honey bee wich I just bought and am reading.

I am in my first year in beekeeping, and really apreciate all the knowledge that I can gain just by reading the messages of all the experienced beekeepers on this board.


Hugo

[This message has been edited by abeille (edited August 06, 2003).]
 

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Do I really sound that defensive?


[This message has been edited by Scot Mc Pherson (edited August 06, 2003).]
 

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Well the best way to prevent robbing while feeding is to do the feeding deep within the hive. The bees that are being fed aren't incited to rob as much, and bees aren't as likely to try and rob the hive you are feeding.

Two ways this can be accomplished, placing an empty super on top of the hive and using a ziplock bag with a few pinholes punched through it is one way, you can use a devision board feeder or two, which is meant to replace an empty frame in perhaps the upper brood chamber.
 
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