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Author Topic: How long does sugar syrup last??  (Read 6241 times)

Offline annette

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How long does sugar syrup last??
« on: August 20, 2008, 02:31:30 PM »
OK I know this has probably been mentioned before, but can't find any previous posts about it.

I placed a mixture of 2:1 sugar syrup into ziplock baggies and placed them into my refrigerator about 2 weeks ago. (Not freezer, but refrigerator). Now I want to start feeding this syrup to the bees. Is it still good? I did taste it and it tasted fine, but really want to make sure it will not harm the bees.

I need to feed tonight, so please answer soon.

Thanks
Annette

Offline NWIN Beekeeper

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Re: How long does sugar syrup last??
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2008, 02:39:29 PM »
[I did taste it...]
[Is it still good? ]

Should you maybe have asked first and tasted second?

Its funny when people do.... and then ask.  :roll:

Sugar will quickly turn to arsnic and poison anything that eats it... OK, seriously...

Its fine, and probably would have been fine if you left it out (unfridged) for a few months.
Its once mold starts to grow that you *might* have a problem with the bees consuming.


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Offline annette

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Re: How long does sugar syrup last??
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2008, 03:01:09 PM »
Boy, you scared me there for a moment. Ha Ha

Thanks for the reply
Annette

Offline eri

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Re: How long does sugar syrup last??
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2008, 03:53:45 PM »
I've found the thicker the syrup, the longer it lasts. My partner uses a 1:4 mix in the hummingbird feeders, and it molds in just a couple of days when it is hot outside.
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Offline Jessaboo

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Re: How long does sugar syrup last??
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2008, 04:08:33 PM »
I thought your question was going to be about how long did it take the bees to consume it all! I can't get them to make it last more than a few hours! If I don't find a sugar wholesaler I am going to have to get another job!

I have read a few things about keeping sugar syrup and as others have already mentioned, I think yours will be fine, too.

Are you feeding a well established hive 2:1? I am feeding 1:1 on a first year hive to get them to finish drawing out comb. Would you suggest I up that to 2:1 as we move into fall or is it dependent on their stores and flow?

Thanks.

- Jess


Offline JP

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Re: How long does sugar syrup last??
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2008, 04:26:17 PM »
Annette, I've kept it in the frig for several weeks, no problems.




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Offline Card

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Re: How long does sugar syrup last??
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2008, 04:48:04 PM »
Quote from: Jess
I can't get them to make it last more than a few hours!
Are you using an entrance feeder or a hive top feeder? I used hive top feeders this spring, but switched to entrance feeders during the summer - mostly because I can monitor them a lot easier and refill (or refrain from refilling) them without cracking the hives.

Anyway... the girls were draining a mason jar per day per each hive, and the sugar cost was bugging me - especially when there were things blooming but the bees seemed to be focusing on the syrup instead. Low hanging fruit, I assume. So I just made some lids with fewer holes and smaller holes. Now the jars last 3 or 4 days, and it seems like they're foraging more. After all - I feel like I should feed them to supplement their natural diet, not replace it.

Quote from: Jess
Would you suggest I up that to 2:1 as we move into fall...
I'm new at this too, but the impression I've gotten is that most people move to 2:1 in the fall to allow the bees to more efficiently store food supplies for the winter.
"You will come to learn a great deal if you study the insignificant in depth." - Buckaroo Banzai

Offline Jessaboo

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Re: How long does sugar syrup last??
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2008, 07:13:45 PM »
Thanks Card. I am using a hive top feeder but I think part of the issue may have been that I was letting them feed from above and below. I have reduced their access a bit so I hope they will make this latest batch last!

I have to do a "full" inspection soon anyway to see where we are so maybe I will hold off feeding again for the next week or so until I see what is going on in there. If they need it now, I will switch to 2:1.

I agree about the supplementing - I have heard lots of folks say the bees won't take it if they don't need it - and I had that experience this spring - first with a frame feeder and then with a jar on top. In both cases the syrup sat on the hive for over a week without being touched. I didn't feed anymore after that. But now I am not so sure that they wouldn't keep using the syrup because, as you say, low hanging fruit and all.

I am only feeding now because I am panicked about getting them through the first winter. But judging from today's orientation flights, they are probably doing just fine (despite me...).

I seem to remember a post where you had found a great source of cheap sugar - was that you? And if so - remind me again what it was?


Offline bmacior

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Re: How long does sugar syrup last??
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2008, 08:01:14 PM »
> "I have heard lots of folks say the bees won't take it if they don't need it"

my first year hive never quit taking it, so I quit giving it about a month ago.  It never had a chance to go moldy.

Barb

Offline annette

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Re: How long does sugar syrup last??
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2008, 11:26:00 PM »
My bees hardly have any stores and I want them to start packing it away for fall/winter. They are actually starting their shutdown now. Both hives are totally filled with capped brood and hardly any open brood. Queen is stopping her laying for now. That is why I fed them 2:1. I will feed slowly now. Just a ziplock baggie every week. I want to see what comes out of the fall honey flow we usually have here. Come October, then I will feed, feed, feed until November.

Annette

 

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