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I wanted to get some feedback on folks success between winter feeding with sugar syrup and raw sugar.
Thanks! 馃悵
These are two totally different methods of feeding with different immediate goals (of course, the ultimate goal is the same).
One can not directly compare the two.
You'll need to search and read - too much said as is.
 

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Dry sugar feeding is done in summer primarily prolonged rain induced starvation and as supplimental feeding in weather when the bees are not flying. Simple as that. I suggest you read an article on the condensing hive where it details how condensation surrounding the winter cluster is harvested during cold winter months. It is all very simple and straight forward.
 

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Personally, I never used dry sugar, only the sugar I made up. My method using a hive top feeder, the following:

2.2 Kg x 2 refined sugar
20 Litres of Water

I boil it down using a wooden spoon, just dipping it into the syrup, if you have a drip from the spoon, your done. Cool it, and place into the hive. I use the meds with this as well, Fumidal B, Honey Be Healthy, and they will finish it in 1 - 2 days. I have never gone beyond 3 days.
 

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Personally, I never used dry sugar, only the sugar I made up
So again - you have been setting your bees for the winter and it worked for you OK.
But try this same method in January or February when a colony needs saving (for any old reason) and report back how it works for you then. :)

The "any old reason" may include, for example, a weakened colony that stuck on the top and is unable to use the existing honey.
You can totally save them by dry, raw sugar.

These are not alternative methods - "syrup or raw sugar (assuming dry)".
Rather, these are appropriate sugar administration methods for different specific situations.
 

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So again - you have been setting your bees for the winter and it worked for you OK.
But try this same method in January or February when a colony needs saving (for any old reason) and report back how it works for you then. :)

The "any old reason" may include, for example, a weakened colony that stuck on the top and is unable to use the existing honey.
You can totally save them by dry, raw sugar.

These are not alternative methods - "syrup or raw sugar (assuming dry)".
Rather, these are appropriate sugar administration methods for different specific situations.
This was for fall feeding into November. I nevered used raw sugar, and I find it very interesting since I would like to try this aswell.
 

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Personally, I never used dry sugar, only the sugar I made up. My method using a hive top feeder, the following:

2.2 Kg x 2 refined sugar
20 Litres of Water

I boil it down using a wooden spoon, just dipping it into the syrup, if you have a drip from the spoon, your done. Cool it, and place into the hive. I use the meds with this as well, Fumidal B, Honey Be Healthy, and they will finish it in 1 - 2 days. I have never gone beyond 3 days.
By boiling it you risk creating hydroxymethylfurfural which is toxic to bees.
 

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Never knew that actually. I have always done it that way since I was a kid feeding bees, and at one point is was in the Ministry Agriculture hand book that I received, and never for the life of me did I ever consider this.

Where bouts in the Algoma District are you located? I am in the Sault
 

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Never knew that actually. I have always done it that way since I was a kid feeding bees, and at one point is was in the Ministry Agriculture hand book that I received, and never for the life of me did I ever consider this.

Where bouts in the Algoma District are you located? I am in the Sault
85 miles East.

Besides the risk of HMF. it is way too much fuss compared to dampening dry sugar very slightly and letting it dry into a cake. Same deal with bringing a 2:1 syrup to a boil on the stove. So much easier and safer to back it off to a 5:3 concentration using hot tap water and stirring with a drill in a 5 gallon plastic pail. It is strong enough not to mold and not so concentrated that it crystallizes in the feeders.
 

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Crofter, I say this with all due respect because I've learned a lot from your posts over the years, do you know anyone that has ever lost a hive because of HMF? I do not and I have been making syrup with boiling water from day 1.

I am starting to think it is something we all read and scared the heck out of us as noobs. I could also be completely wrong and I'm ok with that too.
 

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Steve, that is a fair question; just throwing your sugar into boiling water should not be a problem, but boiling down a sugar solution to the point of fudge making (perhaps 235 F.) temperature is reached amd quite a bit of time held at high temperature is a factor. I think people making fondant have to be creating some HMF. Even at temperatures reached in summer storage in bulk storage of HF corn syrup is reported to be problematic for bees. I have seen that referred to often enough. I used to bring my syrup back to a full boil after putting in the two to one sugar yet was having near 100% winter success, so just bringing it to a boil is not a definite bee killer. Last few years I got tired of the ritual on the kitchen stove and cant believe I kept it up as long as I did. Just using hot tap water and mixing in the sugar for a few minutes gets you syrup cool enough to feed immediately. No waiting to cool.

What levels of HMF are required to start to noticeably affect the bees is a good question. Perhaps the danger is overblown but if it is not necessary to reach and hold that high temperatures, my thoughts are why go to the extra trouble, expense, and personal hazard to do it.
 

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Last few years I got tired of the ritual on the kitchen stove...
Strongly agree with that. 1:1 doesn't really need heated and now I'm mostly into sugar blocks for supplemental fall/winter feeding. My question was more for the noobs that are terrified of using boiling water. You see it repeated on every forum but as stated earlier, I don't know of a single lost hive from it.
 

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From looking back over a lot of threads on Hydroxymethylfurfural it seems that straight white sugar solution is not so much a problem apparently as Hi Fructose corn syrup. Fructose sugar is quicker to form HMFurfural. Using acid additions speeds up conversion of sucrose to fructose so subsequent heating long and high temperature then would be more conducive to HMF production. If adding acids which have been touted for reducing mold and enhancing taste, the syrup should be allowed to cool thoroughly before adding. Heating to high temperatures where the sugar solution thickens and darkens to form a solid when cooled would be risky from the HMF perspective.
 

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I like Mountain Camp feeding. Put paper on the top bars, pour about 5 lbs of dry sugar on the paper, add a 2-3" shim, and put the top on. I don't moisten it at all, and the bees don't toss it out. I do this in October-November in my area.

In the spring, I salvage any sure left over, and use it to make syrup. Some hives consume most of it, some consume very little.

Some will question whether it is needed. I believe I get better results doing this than not, but I cannot prove it using the scientific method.
 

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I boil the water first, put the sugar in a 2 gal ziplock bag, add the water close it up without any air and just let it sit, jiggling it once in awhile. No pots to clean, no drips and no mess. Of course this is only helpful if you baggie feed.
 
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