feeding bees sugar water

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by thatguy324, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. thatguy324

    thatguy324 New Member

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    okay i am about to catch a swarm so what is the ratio of sugar to water in volume not weight and do i bring it to a boil turn off the heat then mix it in
     
  2. litefoot

    litefoot New Member

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    1 to 1 ratio by volume. I. Depending on how much syrup I want, I use quart jars (one dry and one wet) to add equal amounts of sugar and hot tap water. I heat the mixture slowly until it is clear.
     

  3. Ray

    Ray Member

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    http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm



    The Practical Beekeeper
    Beekeeping Naturally

    Measuring ratios for syrup.


    The standard mixtures are 1:1 in the spring and 2:1 in the fall (sugar:water). People often use something other than those for their own reasons. Some people use 2:1 in the spring because it's easier to haul around and keeps better. Some people use 1:1 in the fall because they believe it stimulates brood rearing and they want to be sure to have young bees going into winter. The bees will manage either way. I use more like 5:3 (sugar:water) all the time. It keeps better than 1:1 and is easier to dissolve than 2:1.


    The next argument is over weight or volume. If you have a good scale you can find this out for yourself, but take a pint container, tare it (weigh it empty) and fill it with water. The water will weigh very close to a pound. Now take a dry pint container, tare it (weigh it empty) and fill it with white sugar and weight it. It will weigh very close to a pound. So I'll keep this very simple. For the sake of mixing syrup for feeding bees, it just doesn't matter. You can mix and match. "A pints a pound the world around" as far as dry white sugar and water are concerned. At least until you've mixed the syrup. So if you take 10 pints of water, boil it, and add 10 pounds of sugar you'll get the same thing as if you took 10 pounds of water, boil it, and add 10 pints of sugar.


    The next confusion seems to be on how much it takes to make how much syrup. The volume of 10 pints of water and 10 pints of sugar will make about 15 pints of syrup, not 20. The sugar and the water fit together.


    Don't confuse the issue of how you measure. Measure before you mix. In other words, you can't fill a container 1/3 of the way with water, and add sugar until it's 2/3 full and have 1:1 syrup. You'll get more like 2:1 syrup. Likewise, you can't fill it 1/3 of the way with sugar and then add water until it's 2/3 full and have 1:1 syrup. You'll get more like 1:2. You have to measure both separately and then put them together to get an accurate measurement. I find the easiest is to use pints for water and pounds for sugar since the sugar comes in packages marked in pounds and volume is easy to measure for water. So if you know you are going to add 10 pounds of sugar and you want 1:1 then start with 10 pints of boiling water and add the 10 pounds of sugar.
     
  4. Cupcakus

    Cupcakus New Member

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    Dry sugar and water have almost the exact same density so you can do it by either volume or weight. Whatever vessel you use to measure the water, use the same vessel for the sugar at the same level and you'll have just about perfect 1:1 syrup.
     
  5. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    that guy,
    what litefoot said: "1 to 1 ratio by volume."
    1:1 syrup. i use 1 gallon pails, i fill the pail 1/2 or a bit over with sugar. i run hot tap water, stir, fill. typically hot tap water will dissolve the crystals if your water is hot enough, especially if you let it sit a bit. sometimes i will heat a pan of water, not boiling, and add it to my bucket to dissolve the crystals more quickly, and if the mixture is still too warm for the bees, i leave enough room in the pail to add cold water.

    do not boil the syrup, and with 1:1, you really don't need to boil the water, just warm enough to dissolve the crystals. so if you are heating water on the stove, heat it well before it boils, take it off, add your sugar. how do you figure how hot, hot is? stick your finger in it....:grin:
    ps, i do stick my finger in the water....
    just another crazy keep thing mixing syrup.
     
  6. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    With a swarm (the object here is to help make comb), I use four cups of sugar and enough water to fill the remainder of my one liter jar and stir -this makes it thinner than 1:1. Then, I put it in the microwave and select the 'reheat' button. This brings the water to about 110 F. Stir again, then cool to outside air temp or 90 F. Its ready to go into the hive. I put it over the hole in the inner cover and cover it with a hive body. Your results may vary. JMO :)
     
  7. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    Personally, I don't think the bees are that particular. If you put sugar water with the bees (especially if you have HBH in it), they'll take it. Of course, it helps for the measurements to be close to what you're aiming for.
     
  8. Zulu

    Zulu Member

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    Last night late I read in the latest Beekeeper magazine that if you invert the sugar for feeding it will be much easier for the bees, as it will be mostly Glucose and Fructose, which is what they will do themselves via enzymes . By not having to convert it first , less energy is used.

    they go on to explain how to go about inverting a bulk batch in detail..... Made interesting reading and also made sense.

    will post the full article later if anyone interested.
     
  9. Zulu

    Zulu Member

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    Oh. Yes, I just fill the sugar half way in my gallon jars and fill jar with hot water from the tap and add a dash of Honey B Healthy

    edit: for spring feeding only
     
  10. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

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    Zulu, your method does not result in a 1/1 ratio, more like 1 part sugar to 2 parts water. Like ray said, the total volume of the solution is about .75 of the sum of the parts. To get 1 to 1, you need to fill the jar 3/4 of the way full of sugar and then stir in enough water to fill the jar.
     
  11. Zulu

    Zulu Member

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    Yep I am aware of that thanks , in winter feeding I do fill to about 3/4 to 4/5. I guess I should have said spring feeding. My philosophy is the bees will use it no matter how accurate you are. I spend more time in prep for winter feeding as I also add essential oils - like wintergreen and teatree oil.

    as volume and weight as almost the same ratio for sugar and water the correct way is to use the same measure, for a 1:1 mix - I should take half gallon of water and half gallon of sugar to be correct, and that would result in bit more than 3/4 gal on mix


    i need to transcribe the original article on inverting sugar.... Had no time yet.
     
  12. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    I bring the correct volume of water to a boil, add some citric or ascorbic acid or vinegar till it tastes a bit tangy then dump in the same volume of sugar and bring it back up to a boil. The acid along with the heat contributes to inverting the sugar and boiling kills any yeasts, fungus etc. that would lead to fermenting though it will certainly get innoculated in feeding. Even if inversion is not complete it will reduce the tendency to crystallize. Acidifying the feed also brings it closer to the Ph of honey which makes the bees work easier to ferment the bee bread they will produce with it. 1 to 1 syrup is easy but the thicker winter syrup is easy to scorch when inverting and carmelized sugar is bad for bees. You really have to still it vigorously. A gas flame much easier than electric ring burners.