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Author Topic: Acidulating Sugar?  (Read 1144 times)

Offline GSF

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Acidulating Sugar?
« on: August 26, 2013, 05:16:29 PM »
I know there's different opinions on this. Today is the first time I read about it. If you put vinegar in your sugar water do you use white or apple cider or does it matter. I usually only make about a quart at a time. When I start back feeding this fall how much should I put in a quart?

I still haven't wrapped my brain around the whole acid issue thing. It'll probably take a few more readings.
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Offline Tightwad

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Re: Acidulating Sugar?
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2013, 07:24:23 PM »
I haven't herd of this yet ? :?

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Acidulating Sugar?
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2013, 10:45:07 PM »
I have tried both.  Both set off a feeding frenzy in the yard and I have never used it again.
Michael Bush
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Offline Roy Coates

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Re: Acidulating Sugar?
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2013, 11:08:33 PM »
i invert my syrup and use in hive feeders to prevent that robbing/feeding frenzy in the yard. I also use care not to spill any. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inverted_sugar_syrup

Offline TNBeeLady

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Re: Acidulating Sugar?
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2013, 10:03:10 PM »
What does putting vinegar in the sugar water do?

Offline GSF

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Re: Acidulating Sugar?
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2013, 08:51:05 AM »
I'm not really one to explain this but here's what I've read. There are differenting opinions about this subject. Some say when you feed sugar water to bees the PH is either too high or too low(?) Putting some vinegar in there makes the sugar water about the same PH as honey. They say the reason this is a bad thing is because it goof's up the bee's system making it more prone to certain diseases such as Nosema, AFB/EFB, and so on.

It got me to thinking, heck sugar isn't good for humans either so I was trying to figure out the merit behind this.
"Life is hard, It's even harder when you're stupid."

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Offline TNBeeLady

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Re: Acidulating Sugar?
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2013, 09:08:03 AM »
Thanks GSF.  Sounds like a good explanation to me!! :)

Offline alfred

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Re: Acidulating Sugar?
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2013, 10:26:43 AM »
An acid like vinegar or lemon juice is used to speed the process of creating the syrup. Invert sugar is a syrup where the glucose and the fructose of sugar(sucrose) have been split up. This is a hydrolysis reaction that can be achieved through heat alone but the acid serves as a catalyst thereby speeding up the reaction.

Honey is mostly glucose and fructose with small amounts of sucrose, maltose and other sugars. So it is very similar to invert sugar syrup. Both are sweeter than plain sugar. Both are more stable as a syrup. Invert sugar is less likely to crystalize in your feeder. Bees love it and it can set off a frenzy. I am always careful not to spill it around the hives when I feed with it. I like it because they seem to take more of it, and that is the point of feeding. I also like it because I can put a lot of it in a feeder and leave it and not have to worry as much about the feeder getting all crystalized. On the other hand it is a little of a pain to make and then needs to cool before you feed it.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Acidulating Sugar?
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2013, 11:15:41 AM »
The pH of honey and the pH of sugar syrup are quite different.  One effect of this is the bacteria in the gut of the bees (which protects against nosema, AFB, EFB and Chalkbrood) does not do well with sugar syrup.  Ascorbic acid seems to do nothing to set off robbing.  Vinegar sets off massive robbing in my experience.  It's the smell, I sure, as when using vinegar the bees will come out to meet you.  Inversion is a side effect of the acid, not an effect I am looking for.  The syrup keeps much longer at a pH of 4.5 or so.

Michael Bush
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Offline alfred

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Re: Acidulating Sugar?
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2013, 01:25:16 PM »
So you would add the ascorbic acid in order to bring the ph of the syrup to 4.5 so that it is better for the bees intestinal fauna?

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Acidulating Sugar?
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2013, 01:43:18 PM »
>So you would add the ascorbic acid in order to bring the ph of the syrup to 4.5 so that it is better for the bees intestinal fauna?

Yes.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Offline alfred

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Re: Acidulating Sugar?
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2013, 03:34:23 PM »
Very interesting!
Thanks for the info!

Alfred

Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: Acidulating Sugar?
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2013, 12:29:42 AM »
I have used apple cider vinegar in my simple syrup for over 50 years and have never had a problem with the adding of it to the syrup setting off robbing, me thinks there were other factors present. 
1 tsp per quart of syrup or a tbsp per gallon is all that is needed.  The bees will take the syrup better when cider vinegar is used.
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