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NZBF Sugar crystals blocking bee saver

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I thought I'd piggy back off this thread, rather than start my own as my question I feel is some what relevant. (and it was the closest I could find with a search.)

I've got a top feeder and feeding 2:1 as discussed. But I've noticed that sugar is starting to crystallize again in the feeder. (over a couple of days)

Do I remove the crystallized sugar, and add more water to it and put it back in the hive? Or biff it and start again.

I've had to clear the gaps in the bee saver a couple of times to ensure the bees have a good go at getting the syrup.

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Sounds as though the sugar wasn't fully dissolved when you made it up. 2:1 can be difficult to make up unless you use heat.

 

When mixing cold I add sugar to 1:1 and mix until fully dissolved. I then add more sugar, a cup at a time, mixing until completely dissolved before adding another cup. When the last cup won't dissolve I add a little water and mix until dissolved.

 

When mixing hot I add all the ingredients at once then mix while heating until fully dissolved.

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I have been heating it, and it's come out clear and fully dissolved as it should be.

Its once It's been sitting the feeder for a couple of days, and I guess cooled down it starts to crystallize again.

Hence my question about re dissolving it, or starting again.

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I would reheat and add a little water. No sense in throwing it away.

 

There's not much difference between 2:1 and 1.5:1 as far as the bees are concerned. So you can safely err on the less-sugar side when making up 2:1. Then it won't crystallize as quick.

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But I've noticed that sugar is starting to crystallize again in the feeder. (over a couple of days)

i doubt its the solution, but if you have a tin lid on top and no hive mat, then add a bit more water to take in account of evaporation.

however normally a good hive will down that syrup in a day or so.

so possibly the hive is a bit weak. may pay to put in less.

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Oh ok, googled it, it's one of those things that stops the bees getting into the feeder.

 

Remove it and fill the feeder with straw so the bees don't drown. That way they can get a lot more bees in there and remove the syrup faster so it doesn't have time to crystalise. A reasonable hive can empty the feeder in around 3 days if given full access.

 

I see you are in Christchurch, lots of cheap barley straw where you are, and it's ideal for feeders. Have to really pack it in so it's impossible for the bees to drown, don't use hay, it sinks.

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Yeah the hive is weak, it's not much more than a nuc really. It nearly starved 6 odd weeks ago, It is starting to look more healthy. But still has a way to go.

I do have a hive mat, but I think your right there will be a bit of it evaporating.

I might try putting less in more often. Hopefully they will get into it more.

Thanks for your comments :)

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@BRB if it's that weak then you also need to consider the size of the space they occupy. If they're only occupying half of a single (or less) then that's a lot of empty space for robbers and other invaders to use. If they're not much more than a NUC then best to transfer them into a NUC and use a jar or frame feeder. Reduce the entrance to 1-2 bee spaces.

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just a side info: if you don't clean the feeder properly, the remaining sugar crystals will start crystallisation very quick. it's always the way with (over)saturated solutions. it's nice and liquid in a bucket, if you sprinkle a few sugar crystals on top of the liquid it starts to solidify.

Same thing is happening in my top feeders, had to crack up all the crystallised sugar from the bottom and clean the beesaver. Removed sugar goes back to boiling water, dissolves fine, reusable for feed.

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Thanks for the advice guys.

I've done a couple of the points above, cleared out the feeder removed all the old syrup, cleared the bee saver properly.

I'm now putting 2l of syrup in at a time, and the 1st lot of 2l it took them about 3 days to clear it. And its looking like they will get through this 2l in about the same time.

Checked frames today and have about 4 sides of capped honey so we're getting there.

Thanks again. :)

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I've had this problem hen dissolving on an element but has completely disappeared after using 2.1 sugar and boiling water, beat until dissolved. I think if the sugar syrup is overheated, it will crystallize. I will try the straw too. Thanks for the idea.:whistle:

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Thanks Rob....a great site. Feeling a lot more confident about my 'girls!'.:bee::bee:

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