HFCS Vs Honey

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by barry42001, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    For overwintering my colonies, decided as I always have--that they will have what God intended for them to have--honey, I habitually leave them with 60+lbs of honey.
    while I do use sugar syrup, under select sircumstances--a swarm I will of course spray them down with sugar syrup, and when first hived just to get tehm started. But for winter feeding--when flying conditions are less then optimal, or when the bees simply can't get out I have read that High Fructose Corn Syrup, contains a much higher level of indigestable byproducts, and in all probability is a cause of dysentery, in early spring. Mind you for those in the " cold weather ", states you will in all probability experience a degree of dysentery strictly because of the bees inability to make cleansing flights. However those of us in the " warm weather " states where confinement is considerably less time, and should be no dysentery, believe I know the cause, as stated above, and it makes sense. I am well aware it is cheaper to feed the bees corn syrup as opposed to honey. But from my personal perspective, the bees come first as without them your honey crop would be somewhat reduced. My convoluted thought process.
    :drinks:
    Barry
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    If I'm not mistaken, and I may be, I think God meant for Italian bees to stay in the climate of Italy. After removal from there, other changes may be needed to help them adapt to the man made changes that God did not mean to take place. Now, to achieve your goal, your first action should be to return them to Italy.
     

  3. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    iddee i like your thinking on this I have often said bees are not honey machines and was never ment to be put in a little white box stashed at the edge of a field and then work to fill the hive with honey only then to have some guy with a mask over his entire head come in blow smoke in there face and and steal there honey. Sell it and give them a concilation prize of a mixture of 2:1 sugar water in return. But darn i sure do enjoy doing that and i sleep well at night. :yahoo:
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    experiment after experiment suggest that the life of a worker is directly related to the feed they ingest. sucrose comes out on top (longest life), then honey and then hfcs.

    if hfcs is not manufactured in the proper way impurities can be lethal to a honeybee.
     
  5. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    actually Iddee, to suggest that Italian honeybees were solely intended for the climate of Italy, is incorrect, while that may well be where they originated from, due to the expansionist nature of most insect life, I would dare suggest that while they would not have made it to the North American continent without asssistance, they almost certianly would have invaded other area of Europe, and Middle East. And that impurities in HFCS, is percisely what I have read long time ago.
     
  6. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Your last sentence intrigues me. "a long time ago?? Just how long have we been making HFCS. I thought it was a relatively new product.
     
  7. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    by a long time ago, time reference is about 5 - 6 years ago.
     
  8. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    OK. You had me wondering.... I think in the last 20 years, what we feed them is one of the lesser problems the bees have.
     
  9. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    It is all contributary--while certianly not of the same magnitude as varroa, or CCD--but one more thing that doesn't help. Many things are contributing to the honeybee decline--would it not be perhaps a bit prudent to assist them with a product you are more or less forcing them to take because thier preferred product, is being taken from them. Not to say that you should not take honey from them--but for overwintering purposes--why not simply allow them to keep the fall flows for themselves--usually the honey is not of the higest quality anyway for our purposes, and is in enough volume that they could store quite a bit overwintering problems would be minimized- limiting dysentery.
     
  10. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    No, actually fall honey compared to sugar syrup, and maybe hfcs, I don't know, has more minerals which contribute to dysentary.

    Plus, I don't know what your fall honey is like, but up here it is fine honey. Goldenrod.
     
  11. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Here the fall flow is less than the hive's consumption, so if they don't have a winters supply by June 30, they starve or you feed them.
     
  12. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    Iddee writes:
    OK. You had me wondering.... I think in the last 20 years, what we feed them is one of the lesser problems the bees have.

    tecumseh:
    We were feeding HFCS in the early 80's.

    I would suggest that what you feed bees does matter in a number of ways. It matters even more if bee are starving and you feed them nothing.
     
  13. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    No, but I was feeding them in the early 80's. As I said, I don't think whatever we were feeding did or does as much damage as our open borders with little or no restrictions.
     
  14. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    Given that suppliers are now providing liquid sucrose it leads you to believe that some folks think HFCS is not the best kind of feed for honeybees.

    If I had starving bees I would feed them whatever I had at my disposal.

    Over the intermediate time frame.... Price competition from honey from country with slave labor wages and a host of pest are the largest problem for most beekeepers who rely on bees for their income. Sometime you suspect the powers that be (no pun) have more concern for someone half way around the world than their own.
     
  15. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    I leave them however much honey they produce from goldenrod in the fall. That stuff is just nasty so they can keep it, I don't even want to try selling it. In addition they get a 10# sack of dry granulated cane sugar with a hole cut out of the top that is mostly used for moisture control, but also as insurance against starvation.

    My main fear in feeding HFCS is that corn is grown with neonics that are taken up by the plant and are present in every cell of the plant so they almost surely would make it into the HFCS (though I admit I can't prove this) which increases the pesticide load on the bees' immune systems and would act as an additional stressor to them. Though I don't think the levels of pesticides that make it into HFCS are enough to kill the bees by themselves, I do think that the extra stress on their immune system could turn something else that might otherwise have been non-lethal to them such as EFB, into a hive-killer. Every extra little bit of stress adds up and makes a difference.
     
  16. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    I got people that cant wait to get the goldenrod honey. It smells like dirty socks or death warmed over when green in the hive. But once it rippens up and they cap it the smell is gone. The flavor is sharp but there is actually a good market for goldenrod.
     
  17. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    I ran out of honey except for the aster and goldenrod honey, people kept after me for more honey so i took some of the dark aster, goldenrod honey to the farmers market. I wouldn't sell it to them unless they tasted it first (plastic spoons and a big honey bear) i never had one person turn it down and have several orders for fall honey. That was three years ago. Jack
     
  18. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    Again comes back to commerce, and as I stated in the beginning, for me personally, I would rather feed them what they already made for themselves, rather then risk feeding them something that might be a detriment to thier health--thats totally preventable. Realize thats not cost effective as sugar syrup and HFCS is less expensive then what you would get for selling that pound of honey. I totally get that. All I say is sucrose apparently is the feed of the future in my mind then take the honey feed them sucrose, until them leave them with the 60+ pounds of honey for the winter actually saves you money in labor no need to trudge out to the hives every other day or so to change out the feeder.
    Barry
     
  19. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    Barry... if some new beekeeper ask me what to feed bees I tell them straight off plain old table sugar. Research project after research project say worker bees will live longer on table sugar than when fed honey. Once I calculate the cost of the added water to HFCS and transportation (Huston is 100 miles away) the $/# is about the same. I of course don't add much price to the sucrose for the adding water back and mixing.

    The problem with any # of honey/hive is for the very best brooding queens this is generally not enough and for the meek and mild way to much. If I have a strategy??? it is leave enough in each yard to get the hives thru late winter and then provide necessary feed come the increasingly heavy brood rearing of spring time. In this way I also have a good worker force to catch the earliest spring flows.

    the smaller units I maintain over the winter do require a good bit of attention and feeding.... but given their size means I change out feeder jars about once per week.
     
  20. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    Ugh, I can't stand goldenrod honey... I can't imagine that people actually like it. I pulled some one time, and gave it away because I didn't want to eat it and couldn't justify charging someone for that horrible stuff. I told myself then that I'd never pull it again. To me it actually smells good when the girls are working it... but then smells and tastes horrible when they are done with it.