HOW CAN MOULDY SYRUP NOT BE bad for bees? I have been told before that mould on frames is ok, bees will clean it up. We burn homes down that have mould problems, I don't get why its ok for bees. Sure bees can and do take care of mould problems, but how ill does it make them or how much does it reduce their immune systems? I can't help but look at the photos from the Pen state CCD report and think that THERE is the evidence that mould, virus, and bacteria harm bees. Whatever the cause of CCD is, look at the photos of fungial/bacterial damage of the bees in the report. Whether CCD is caused by a bacteria/fungus/virus, or whether it just makes bees susceptable to attack its worth avoiding all moulds. Here is a size comparison.
CCD is suspected of being caused in part by rotation of frames from weaker colonies, and aspergillus is suspected to be one possible agent.
The aspergillus spore is the smallest dot. The large one is a mushroom spore. I'm stealing this information from Paul Stamets and J.S. Chilton two microbiologists. "Aspergillus. Some species toxic. Aspergillus flavus, a yellow to yellowish green species, produces deadly aflatoxins....of all the biologically produced toxins, the aflatoxins are the most potent heptacarcinogens yet found. This is a deadly genus. The toxicity of this genus was largely unknown until in 1960, 100,000 turkeys mysteriously died from an outbreak of this disease in great britain."
The size of aspergillus is too small to see without an electron microscope so I don't know how the bees would be able to see/deal with the spores effectively? Once aspergillus reaches reproductive maturity it is only 3-5 microns big.
I would not take chances on allowing mould in syrup. If you can prevent it, and you can, do so. Smaller amounts of sugar syrup, and no hive top feeders with straw for bees to land on. Straw is a perfect substrate for Aspergillus. These toxins can and do kill humans. Those that work in mushroom plants can pick up a lung disease called "mushroom workers lung disease" Very nasty.
I haven't tried it myself, but lemongrass oil sounds like something that would work against moulds effectively. Aspergillus also thrives in a near neutral ph, so vinegar (which works as a cleaner due to its changing ph) should work well too.
CCD is being hyped up in the media, but we should not be complacent about moulds, they can kill us as well as bees. I use aspergillus as an example because it has come up in reports on CCD recently as a potential agent, but there are a lot of deadly moulds which are quite common. Anthrax is common in animal skin, and used to be call the goat shepards disease, because while weapons grade anthrax isn't floating around, close contact can kill you. Sticking our noses around in a mouldy box puts us close enough to be exposed to some nasty stuff. Usually our immune systems can fight off most things, but why take a chance?