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Author Topic: Does sap = sugar water?  (Read 653 times)
jester7891
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« on: March 22, 2009, 06:38:38 PM »

I have been clearing about 1.5 acres of forest over the winter for the bees (new beekeeper started last year, get the bees established first and then put in the orchard – everyone is happy). Over the past few weeks, I have cut down a number of ash and hickory.  The sap bleeds out of the stumps and my bees have been having a field day with the sap.  Is this the same as sugar water to them?  I know I should have taken a picture but there were about 75 of them on one stump ~ 12 inches in diameter last week.
                                 
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2009, 06:59:39 PM »

I have been clearing about 1.5 acres of forest over the winter for the bees (new beekeeper started last year, get the bees established first and then put in the orchard – everyone is happy). Over the past few weeks, I have cut down a number of ash and hickory.  The sap bleeds out of the stumps and my bees have been having a field day with the sap.  Is this the same as sugar water to them?  I know I should have taken a picture but there were about 75 of them on one stump ~ 12 inches in diameter last week.
                                 
                                                                     Jester


The sap of trees is similar to a sugar syrup and in its original form bees will take it if and when readily available.  Some would consider it a honeydew, being from the sap of the tree.  But the bees are harvesting the "sugar" content just as they do from flower nectar and converting it.  Sap has higher trace mineral content than sugar syrup.
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Greg Peck
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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2009, 07:10:33 PM »

Depending on the type of tree the bees may be gathering resins for propalis (sp?). I dont know off hand what trees or if this applies to your situation. Just a thought.
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« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2009, 01:04:37 PM »

Although the sap has sugar, it is a low concentration of sugar, less than 3%.  Probably the bees gather it more for the water.  Mine are all over some holes in my maple trees.

Rick
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