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Author Topic: Sugar syrup digestion  (Read 4007 times)
KONASDAD
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« on: September 07, 2007, 07:42:35 PM »

OK- the mantra is... 2 water to one sugar  spring time. 1 to 1 fall because they will have a more difficult time disposing excess waste material in winter  time. Soooo.... can i presume they dont "reduce" sugar water like they do w/ nectar to 17%. Do they store sugar water exactly as given to them, or do they reduce the water conten until its the same as honey's water content? 

I dont understand why the bees wouldn't reduce the water conten for sugar water just like necar, and as such it should not theoretically make a differance what ratio we feed the bees, they will reduce it to whatever their needs are and store it if needed. Thereby having no additional impact on them in winter. I am obviously missing some factual information...thoughts
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« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2007, 08:05:15 PM »

I mix my ratios sugar to water not water to sugar any thing they cap will be evaporated down to around 18% or so depending on environmental factors  Smiley  RDY-B
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« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2007, 08:16:37 PM »

the concern is that to much moisture in the colony will cause condensation from cluster heat moisture leads to many kinds of problems such as nosemea and desintary bees must remain dry to survive ventilation-is key factor but you must also retain heat  RDY-B
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2007, 08:32:30 PM »

>OK- the mantra is... 2 water to one sugar  spring time. 1 to 1 fall because they will have a more difficult time disposing excess waste material in winter  time.

No.  Actually in the spring 1:1 is recommended.  In the fall 2:1 is recommended.  that's 2 parts sugar to 1 part water.  I don't know anyone who is recommending 1:2 but that would be closer to nectar, and also won't keep very well.
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« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2007, 10:34:55 PM »

Me, always out of step, feed my bees a little different mixture: I call it 3:6 which is 3 5 lb bags of sugar to 6 quarts of water.  Makes about 2 1/2 gallons of syrup.  It's heavier than 1:1 and lighter that 2:1.  A 1:1 would be 1 lb sugar to 1 pint of water (A pint's a pound the world around) and 2:1 would be 2 lbs sugar to 1 pint of water.  What I'm mixing is actually 5 lbs sugar to 2 quarts of water or if you prefer: 5 lbs of sugar to 4 lbs of water. I've found that The bees seem to take it much faster than they do either of the other 2 mixes.  If I feed them 2:1 they don't want to build comb where they will with the mix I'm feeding. 

My summer has been so dearth of nectar that I'm still forcing them to draw comb in order to have enough stores for winter.
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« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2007, 12:08:32 AM »

I feed 1-1 in spring , in winter I feed 2-1,

a 5 pound bag of sugar is roughly 10 cups of sugar( might be a touch extra), so in winter I will have 5 cups water to a 5 pound bag of sugar( which equals 10 cups sugar), thats how I alway figure my mixture...... hope it helps
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« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2007, 12:18:49 AM »

I just pour 5 lbs of sugar into a clean 1 gallon milk jug and top off with hot water.  It's just a little heavier than a 1:1 mix and is easy to handle and mix.  I just screw on the lid shake throughly and take it out and set it behind the hives to refill the feeding jars as necessary.
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2007, 09:40:03 AM »

My question is why does it matter what ratio we feed if they reduce it before capping? If it is capped it is all 17% regardless of what ratio it began as.
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« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2007, 09:52:49 AM »

My question is why does it matter what ratio we feed if they reduce it before capping? If it is capped it is all 17% regardless of what ratio it began as.

yea they always reduce water content so it really doen't matter what ratio they are fed.

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mat
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« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2007, 10:33:24 AM »

It is not always 17%, but below 20% of water. It is much less work to evaporate water from 2:1 syrup, especialy that the outside temps are lower in fall.
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« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2007, 09:38:58 PM »

>My question is why does it matter what ratio we feed if they reduce it before capping? If it is capped it is all 17% regardless of what ratio it began as.

It requires energy and time to reduce nectar (or watery syrup) down to 4:1 (approximately what honey is).  From 1: 1 takes much more time than from 2:1 and much more energy.

Also if they go into winter with a lot of watery syrup in the combs, because they didn't get enough time, this will not keep or work well compared to capped honey.
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Michael Bush
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rdy-b
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« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2007, 12:50:44 AM »

the thiner the syrup the more water or moisture in the hive syrup in- a -in hive feeder or a hive top feeder  will form condensation from the heat of the colony water can start to drip down causing any kind of problem such as fermenting honey to bacteria to damp bees that can freeze up in the sever cold yes they work harder to get it to capping stage but why make them work harder and why add more moisture than is required to feed in winter conditions.in the spring when you want to stimulate instead of store resources moisture is not a big problem for the bees they are flying and air is being circulated these are some of my thoughts on the subject i hope they make sense to you    RDY-B
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« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2007, 01:24:02 AM »

Konasdad.  Michael said it right to the point.  If the bees have less moisture to evaporate to make the sugar syrup more compatible to their needs, so much the better.  1:1 in the spring mimics nectar flow, spring building up time. In the fall, they want to be able to store their stores as quickly as possible, to a state that they can use over wintertime.  hence -- 2:1.  Lots of food for thoughts.  Have this wonderful day, love our life we're livin'.  Cindi
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2007, 10:27:21 AM »

I understand it takes time and energy to reduce the sugar water, but when february and march come and they uncap the stores, why does it create dysentry?
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« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2007, 03:52:22 PM »

it breeds in the moisture you have created by adding thin sryup probably end up with some mold also good luck these roads have been traveled by many others and is not something that needs to be reinvented  RDY-B
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« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2007, 12:21:40 AM »

Konasdad.  I think that your queery needs some elaboration.  It is not the uncapping of unprocessed food that causes the dynsentry, I don't think that the bees will cap any sugar syrup that has not been reduced to the moisture content of their honey, which is around the 18% level.  I could be wrong, but I hear something wrong with what you are understanding.  Recount your question, make it more clear what your need of understanding is.

If the bees have food that is not of a certain moisture content, i.e., the moisture content of honey, then they are ingesting something that their bodies have to work further for them to use it as a viable long term food, i.e., wintertime.

Your question needs answers, no doubt about that. I await comments from our friends on the forum too that can provide good input, something that is easily understood.  Have a wonderful day, await input, valuable answers.  Cindi
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« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2007, 07:12:12 AM »

>I understand it takes time and energy to reduce the sugar water, but when february and march come and they uncap the stores, why does it create dysentry?

IMO it doesn't.  The problems are the high humidity and condensation in the hive and the syrup spoiling.  If it spoils it may contribute to dysentery or it may not, but it takes a lot of energy and time to dry the syrup and if that's not done before the cold sets in they will be in a much more humid environment during the winter.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2007, 08:17:09 AM »

So what then would be the minimum consistant day time temps to stop feeding 1 to 1 and go to something heavier due to the difficulty evaproating the syrup ?
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Finsky
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« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2007, 09:00:28 AM »

.
Bees reduce moisture that it will not ferment in store. Yeasts are not able to use condensed sugar. Water reducing needs high temp in the hive and so needs wax work too.  In winter cluster hive temp is 10C less.

When bees uncap honey/sugar during winter, it takes water from air and sugar dilutes. So bees get drinking water in their food.

If sugar is too moist to uncap in autumn, it will be fermented and it swells from combs. Even big hive will die during winter when it try to lick fermented sugar on combs.

You will se in winter how uncapped sugar swells from edge frames. It goes to bottom, and that is why you need put hives a little bit forward slanting.

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« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2007, 07:55:43 PM »

>So what then would be the minimum consistant day time temps to stop feeding 1 to 1

I don't see it as temps.  If you wait until it's cold to start feeding 2:1 it may be too late for them to get it dried.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2007, 08:09:50 AM »

Thanks for the info. I have been feeding 1:1 just trying to get them to fill out the second deep and make it through the winter. I had not thought about them not being able to reduce it enough to cap off as the weather changes.
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Cindi
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« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2007, 10:09:43 AM »

Bees reduce moisture that it will not ferment in store. Yeasts are not able to use condensed sugar. Water reducing needs high temp in the hive and so needs wax work too.  In winter cluster hive temp is 10C less.
When bees uncap honey/sugar during winter, it takes water from air and sugar dilutes. So bees get drinking water in their food.
If sugar is too moist to uncap in autumn, it will be fermented and it swells from combs. Even big hive will die during winter when it try to lick fermented sugar on combs.
You will se in winter how uncapped sugar swells from edge frames. It goes to bottom, and that is why you need put hives a little bit forward slanting.

I think these are some pretty good words of wisdom.  Our rule of thumb with sugar syrup feeding in my area is that the bees do not get any more feeding after about October 5.  It is bad to feed them any s.s. after this because they do not have time to processs it for wintertime food.  If there is sugar syrup left in the hive at this date, it is removed, plain and simple.

We are advised too in wintertime to tilt the hives slightly forward.  We were taught this in our classes.  It is good hygiene and keeps any moisture from accumulating on the solid bottomboard, if one is using that board in their hives.  Finsky has corroborated what we have been taught here in my area.  Have a wonderful day, we all need to listen and learn.  Cindi
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« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2007, 12:04:21 AM »

so tell me it sounds like your area would be a great candidate for feeding fondant do many keepers fed fondant to help with the moister problem in your area after oct. 5 seams like a viable option  RDY-B   
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« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2007, 09:26:09 AM »

RDY-B.  In all actuality, fondant is used alot, but it is only meant for "emergency" feeding, there in case the bees runs out of their honey or sugar syrup stores.  It is the most important fact to ensure that the bees have stored enough honey or sugar syrup to last their wintertime.  Robo has a great recipe for candy for the bees, it is in the hive "just in case".  Have a wonderful day, best of our wonderful life.  Cindi
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« Reply #24 on: September 15, 2007, 10:16:44 AM »

As Cindi says, I see fondant as "emergency" food.  I don't see syrup and candy as interchangeable.  They serve two different purposes.  Candy seldom gets converted to stores and stores are best for overwintering.
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« Reply #25 on: September 15, 2007, 08:00:59 PM »

Just thought i would ask seems to me the hole thing started and is very much practiced in Canada and similar climates. I have no need to practice that method but always thought it has merit. lots of talk about feeding going on i hope people feed pollen patties as well the new word in my bee yard is VITELLOGENIN ben around for years just  didnt     know the science of it  listen learn and read great day  Wink Smiley RDY-B
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« Reply #26 on: September 16, 2007, 08:28:40 AM »

I love it when the feeding threads come up..... Now to make your brains hurt even more.....2:1 is max saturation so scientifically speaking syrup cannot be reduced any more than that without heating (boiling). So how do the bees do it? has anybody checked the moisture content of capped syrup going into winter?
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« Reply #27 on: September 16, 2007, 10:13:16 AM »

RDY-B.  Wow, OK, Vitellogenin.  Listening, learning, this is what good beekeepers should strive for.  I googled the term vitellogenin and read about it.  I will be studying more.  I am surprised that this terminology has never come up in all the studies I have done on beekeeping.  Just to make things a little more interesting, I copied from the Wikopedia site the diddy on vitellogenin, for those (like how I am usually) are a little lazy and say, ya, I'll look at this later.  It is important for us as beekeepers to be informed, study and learn as much as we can.  It is good for us as human beings, and those as the girls that we all want to keep healthy and allow us to be involved in their beautiful little lives.  We are privileged to have these bees, we should take good care of them.  They are ours, only as long as we help them to live happy and healthy lives.  The excerpt follows in italic quotes:

"Vitellogenin and honey bees
Honey bees deposit vitellogenin in fat bodies in their abdomen and heads. The fat bodies apparently acts as a food storage reservoir. The glycolipoprotein vitellogenin has additional functionality as it acts as an antioxidant to prolong Queen bee and forager lifespan as well as a hormone that affects future foraging behavior. [1] The health of a honey bee colony is dependent upon the vitellogenin reserves of the nurse bees - the foragers have low levels of vitellogenin. As expendable laborers the foragers are fed just enough protein to keep them working their risky task of collecting nectar and pollen. Vitellogenin is important during the nest stage and thus for worker division of labor. A nurse bees vitellogenin titer that developed in the first four days after emergence, affects its subsequent age to begin foraging and whether it preferentially forages for nectar or pollen. If young workers are short on food their first days of life, they tend to begin foraging early and preferentially for nectar. If they are moderately fed, they forage at normal age preferentially for nectar. If they are abundantly fed, immediately after emergence, their vitellogenin titer is high and they begin foraging later in life, preferentially collecting pollen, which is the only available protein source for honey bees.

Vitellogenin and juvenile hormone feedback loop
Vitellogenin is part of a regulatory feedback loop that enables vitellogenin and juvenile hormone to mutually suppress each other. Vitellogenin and juvenile hormone work antagonistically in the honey bee to regulate their development and behavior. Suppression of one leads to high titers of the other. [2] It is likely that the balance between vitellogenin and juvenile hormone levels is also involved in swarming behavior. [3] Juvenile hormone levels drop pre-swarming and it is expected that vitellogenin levels would therefore rise. Swarming bees would want to pack along as much vitellogenin as possible to extend their lifespan and to be able to quickly build a new nest.
"

My suggestion to our forum friends would be to go a little deeper into the understanding of the biology of the honeybee and find out more about this glycolipoprotein vitellogenin, I know I will be -- and right RDY-B, listening, learning.  Have a wonderful day, beautiful life.  Cindi
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« Reply #28 on: September 16, 2007, 11:19:52 AM »

>2:1 is max saturation so scientifically speaking syrup cannot be reduced any more than that without heating (boiling). So how do the bees do it? has anybody checked the moisture content of capped syrup going into winter?

I think it's actually closer to 1:2 as the maximum saturation.  2:1 (sugar:water) is supersaturated as is honey (more like 4:1).  The way supersaturation works is you either have to gradually reduce the water content by evaporation AFTER the sugar is dissolved or you have to heat the water to get it to take more sugar.  The bees use the evaporation method.  They also invert some of the sugar with enzymes which casues it to crystallize less.  But eventually it crystallizes anyway, as all supersaturated solutions do.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #29 on: September 17, 2007, 07:22:38 AM »

American Bee Journal has been running articles by Randy Oliver on the importance of Vitellogenin and fat bees.  Interesting reading, but I can't find a link to anything to direct anyone too.  You'll have to find the August and September issues to read about it.
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« Reply #30 on: September 17, 2007, 09:48:37 AM »

Ann, we should look deeper and try to find a link, I will try tomorrow morning, I think the American Bee Journal would be difficult for some to get hold of.  Some time ago, before I got my new laptop, I downloaded a PDF file of a book called "Fat Bees Skinny Bees."  I can't find it on my hard drive  huh  Must have been deleted somewhere.  But I betcha that this book talks about Vitellogenin.  Wonder if the American Bee Journal articles can be obtained through the internet somehow?  BEst of this beautiful day, greatest of our life.  Cindi
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« Reply #31 on: September 17, 2007, 01:00:55 PM »

Quote
a book called "Fat Bees Skinny Bees."


Here’s a summary of the “Fat Bees Skinny Bees”

http://www.rirdc.gov.au/reports/HBE/05-054sum.html

and here’s the entire version in PDF:

www.rirdc.gov.au/reports/HBE/05-054.pdf
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« Reply #32 on: September 18, 2007, 12:32:56 AM »

Dick, beauty, thanks for bringing this to the forefront.  Have a beautiful and wonderful day.  Cindi
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« Reply #33 on: September 18, 2007, 09:10:52 PM »

thumbs up  Wink RDY-B
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