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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does sugar water go bad in a 1 to 1 mix ? Can I mix 5 gallons of it and let it set in a closed container at the hive site ? I hear some use a corn syrup instead of sugar because it is cheaper, is there any truth to that and if so where do you get it.
Thanks
Mike
 

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Syrup that is 1:1 likely will eventually ferment or sour. You may be able to delay that by adding vinegar or citric acid to lower the ph, but mixing less at any one time is the most definate solution.

There is a difference between 'high fructose corn syrup' (HFCS) and ordinary corn syrup like Karo syrup available in the grocery store. HFCS can be a less expensive bee feed than sugar, but it is normally only available either in industrial quantities (totes or tanker), or possibly in your own containers from some industrial/commercial users like large bakeries for perhaps other food manufacturers. If you are close to some bee equipment dealers, some of those (i.e. Mann Lake in Woodland CA) also sell HFCS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Rader, I suppose you could smell the sugar water that has gone bad soured or fermented. Funny how you learn all this along the way when you're new to this beekeeping.
 

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It gets cloudy, AND stinks.
 

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>Does sugar water go bad in a 1 to 1 mix ?

Yes. Quickly.

>Can I mix 5 gallons of it and let it set in a closed container at the hive site ?

No.

I make only what I need and I make it 5:3 because 1:1 does not keep well...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
wow I hope I don't kill all my bees in the first month I've had them. So is this sugar water toxic or will they just refuse it ? My queens didn't look good when I released them and now I'm trying to kill the rest.

@ Michael Bush you said you mix 5:3 so do you have standard volume measurement for that say quarts of sugar to quarts of water.
 

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My bees just quit taking it when it sours. I get better longevity by boiling the water first, adding the sugar and then gently bringing it just back to a low boil then right off the heat. Keep covered and refrigerated for best short storage. Honey Bee Healthy advertises that one of it' uses is inhibiting fermentation.

1/2 gallon of water to 8 lbs sugar is 1:1. Fill any jar slightly past half way with water (boil to half) & add sugar and you should be close enough to 1:1. Quart mason jars can be made up just like canned food, and fit nicely over the inner cover inside a (covered) medium super. There is a debate about this method of feeding - some don't recommend it. It has always worked for me. I don't feed regularly.

My new 2014 packages took a quart a day in this manner for the first few days, until they had their fill.
 

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> 1/2 gallon of water to 8 lbs sugar is 1:1.

Water weighs 8.3 lbs per gallon. If you ignore the ".3", then 1/2 gallon of water with 4 lbs of sugar is 1:1 syrup.

Nothing wrong with syrup that is 8 lbs of sugar with 1/2 gallon water, but it is 2:1 syrup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the info guys, guess I'll go out to the hives tonight and switch out the feeders. Looks like I need to buy a scale.
 

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You don't need a scale for sugar, syrup doesn't need to be that exact. But since you asked ....
  • Granular sugar 1 cup = 48 teaspoons ~ 200 g = 7.06 oz
  • Granular sugar 2 cup = 96 teaspoons = 1 pint = 14.12 oz
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar
The easiest way is to use the printed weight on the sugar package and match that in water.
 

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in super easy terms..... take empty clean mason jar.. fill half way with sugar... Stand on one foot the left foot.. now add hot water to mason jar.. close ... place foot on ground shake jar for 1 min 32 seconds place jar on counter.. presto done.
 

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>@ Michael Bush you said you mix 5:3 so do you have standard volume measurement for that say quarts of sugar to quarts of water.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfeeding.htm#ratios

A pint of sugar weighs about a pound. A pint of water weighs about a pound. Sugar comes in bags labeled in pounds. Water is easily measured in pints (pounds). 20 pounds of sugar to 12 pints is pretty close and fits easily in a five gallon bucket.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ok so now I feel like an idiot. Just don't want to end up killing what I have left, it's all new to me as of a month ago.
Thanks
Mike
 

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A pint's a pound the world round. This important (exact) feature of the Imperial measurement system permitted a subject of the Crown to know that he (or she) was getting a full pint measure when he bellied up to a local bar that was selling liquid refreshment made from hops, malted barley, etc. You could measure the weight of the pint of refreshment and compare it to a known pound weight. A pint of water weighs exactly a pound.

For simplicity of measurement for those who don't want to measure out 12 pints individually--Michael Bush's recipe translates to 20 pounds of sugar and a gallon and a half of water.
 

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My apologies for the mis-information. Apparently that should have read 8 lbs to 1 gallon for 1:1

So I'm interpreting

1 pt/1 lb = 1:1
1 Qt/2 lbs = 1:1
1 Gal/8 lbs = 1:1
1 1/2 gal/ 12 lbs = 1:1

then it goes to 1 1/2 gallons/ 20 lbs = 5:3, right?


I'm gonna stick to "fill any vessel half way with boiled water and top it up with sugar."
'simple enough for my kind of stupid....

I would be interested in what ratio that is. The girls would be pissed if I change it.
 

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Colobee, I got you beat on stupid. I forgot there were two pints in a quart. So, I have been feeding my bees 1:2 sugar water. From first inspection it looks like they are drawing plenty of comb. They just don't have much in the way of stores. I sure won't make that mistake again in the fall.
 

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in super easy terms..... take empty clean mason jar.. fill half way with sugar... Stand on one foot the left foot.. now add hot water to mason jar.. close ... place foot on ground shake jar for 1 min 32 seconds place jar on counter.. presto done.
Out of boredom and interest I decided to pay attention and make up some more syrup for my packages. It appears I may have screwed up. I filled the 1 gallon jar halfway with 4 pints of boiled water first, rather than the sugar. But then it took about 8 cups/4 pints of sugar to "top it off", so maybe we're OK... Or should I go buy another measuring cup? :D

I'm glad my bees don't think as much about it as I do. :applause:

The left foot tip really does help, if you have a "bad" right knee...
 
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