sugar syrup questions

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by T.J., Apr 29, 2012.

  1. T.J.

    T.J. New Member

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    okay, i'm a little confused about ratios and mixing the syrup. 2:1 = 2 parts sugar 1 part water , 1:1 is 1 part sugar 1 part water...right?

    in the how to keep bees book from walter t kelly co. it says to mix 20lbs sugar to 1 gallon of water.....what ratio is this?.........i've always hated math :mad:

    the above recipe is what i mixed and thought i had it mixed good but i checked the feeders today and it seems i didn't have it mixed good enough.... some sugar is setteling to the bottom and caking up cutting off the flow. i am trying to use chick waterers both a quart jar and a gallon waterer setting on top of the inner cover with empty hive bodies enclosing the feeders.

    any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. jim314

    jim314 New Member

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    I don't worry about weight. I mix 1 part sugar to one part water for 1:1. But I boil the water before adding the sugar. It dissolves completely that way very quickly. For 2:1 it is almost mandatory to boil the water before adding the sugar.
     

  3. dr.buzz

    dr.buzz New Member

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    A gallon of water is 8 pounds, so you mixed a little richer than 2:1, which would be what you want to do in the Fall. 1:1 is for Spring/drawing comb/brood stimulation, etc...
    You might have heard, "A pint's a pound the world around," but honey is heavier than water and other liquids that might refer to. If a gallon of water is 8 pounds, that makes each quart 2 pounds. But a quart of honey is 3 pounds.

    Anyway, if you want 1:1, 20 pounds of sugar should be mixed with 2.5 gallons of water. I use hot water and a clean paint mixer in a cordless drill......
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    20 lb. sugar to 1 gallon water is 2.5 to 1. Too strong to mix under normal conditions. Boiling would be needed. 8 lb. sugar to 1 gallon water is 1 to 1. That is spring and summer feeding. 10 lb. to 1 gallon would be OK and easy to measure, unless you buy 4 lb. bags.
     
  5. T.J.

    T.J. New Member

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    thanks to everyone for the help.i really appreciate it.
    now 1 more question : is there any way to "fix" the gallon of 2.5 to 1 i have setting in the fridge? how much water do i need to add to get it down to 1:1? i know i'll have to heat it on the stove to get it mixed but how much do i need to heat it?
    thanks again,
    T.J.
     
  6. dr.buzz

    dr.buzz New Member

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    You'd need to add 1.5 gallons of water to get it down to 1:1 If it was me, I'd just take it out of the fridge and let it get room temperature overnight, then heat up your 1.5 gallons of water and mix it in real good. Heating the water helps you, but it's not exact...you can use hot tap water, you can boil it on the stove, you can microwave it til it's hot, whatever. It's not so necessary to boil water when you are just doing 1:1....If that's more syrup than you need for a while, you can always add 1 tablespoon of Clorox per gallon of syrup to prevent mold.
     
  7. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Dr. Buzz is right, but you can also pour a quart into a container and add 1 1/2 quart of hot water to it. Then store the remainder in the frig until needed.
     
  8. T.J.

    T.J. New Member

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    thanks for the help.it is appreciated.:thumbsup:
    maybe i didn't give the girls diabetes with my sugar over-dose mistake :shock:
     
  9. Zulu

    Zulu Member

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    As nectar is at vastly different strengths and the bees seem to know when to cap honey at about 18% water, they won't care about your mix, many ( incl me) fed dry sugar last winter.

    As for my mixing, I visually pour in the sugar to my gallon pickle jar, 1/3 of the height by eyeball, and fill with hot water from the tap, stir in easily with a wooden spoon. Thus 2:1 mix.....

    In fall I mixed 5 gallons at a time , large stock pot halfway full of sugar, filled with water and added hot tap water and boosted heat on turkey fryer with propane. 1:1 mix at end. have also started with water and added sugar till full, but have never checked the density , one way over other, my guess is second would use more sugar. I do have the equipment to test sugar density in my brewery.

    I'm also adding Honey B Healthy to my feed. Low qty but scent seems to drive them nuts.
     
  10. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    I boil 8 cups of water, pull from burner, add 8 cups of sugar and stir, cool and bottle...presto! That makes a gallon(16 cups) of syrup for me. On a side note, I have experimented with top hive feeders and ziplock bags the last month. I am removing my top feeders...they are nasty! The bags work great and the syrup looks cleaner over time versus the top feeder. I use a vent super on top of the inner cover so it allows plenty of room to lay the bag once the telescoping lid is on. As a hint, name brand bags are superior in the way of closure and integrity of the bag. Cheap bags don't seal as well and tend to have pin hole leaks.
     
  11. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    I got to the point where I did about the same. Except I use a half gallon of water and a bag (4 lbs) sugar. I usually give it a splash of HBH and a splash of lemon juice. That makes one gallon of syrup. Of course, I am only feeding one (well, it will be two) hives, and that will last about a week, so it doesn't get old. I prefer making little holes in the top of the bag with a stick pin (you know, with the plastic knob on the end). Clean and easy. :)
     
  12. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Do not boil the syrup once you have added the sugar. You can heat it, but don't bring to boil.
    You CAN bring the water to boil first, then turn off the heat and stir in the sugar.
     
  13. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a zulu snip..
    As nectar is at vastly different strengths and the bees seem to know when to cap honey at about 18% water, they won't care about your mix, many ( incl me) fed dry sugar last winter.

    tecumseh:
    exactly or as the old man I worked for in the fabrication shop once said.....'we ain't building clocks here". in some things great accuracy is just not required. 2 to 1 (2 parts sugar to 1 part water) is often the suggested ratio for fall and winter feeding although I tend to alway make up 1 to 1 simply due to the simplicity. I have read of folks that feed ratio as low as 1 to 2.
     
  14. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

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    tec, could the best ratio for fall/early-winter syrup be kind of location/climate specific? In a humid environment (Oregon/Washington?) during the fall/autumn it seems that a heavier ratio (2:1) might be better so that the bees have a head start in evaporating it down for storage. Whereas in a dry environment (Arizona?) it seems to me that they should be able to work 1:1 down pretty quickly.

    Here in Alabama, like many places across the USA, seasonal climate conditions have been bouncing around so it's hard to predict whether it will a humid or dry fall...I guess that's the need to play it by ear and respond to your current conditions...???

    Am I barking down the wrong trail?...or trying to build a clock with an arc welder? :)

    Ed