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Josh

NZBF Fermented syrup a problem?

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Quick newbee question, not answered on here as far as I can find.

 

I've got a new hive that's got a feeder with 2:1 syrup. Put it on 10 days ago, clearly too much food around as the bees have been largely disinterested.

 

Lifted the lifted the lid to check the food store, and got a whiff of fermentation.

 

Should I be throwing this syrup away? There were bees up there, but the level is hardly changed.

 

Cheers

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Yes, dispose of it and add more fresh syrup. I do this when doing the rounds feeding my hives. If a hive hasnt taken the syrup down I first check the colony to ensure all is well and there isnt an underlying issue, if there is a problem I can either fix it while in the apiary (advantage of having more than one hive) or formulate a paln and come back to it. If all is well I put fresh syrup in the feeder and make note to check it next time I am in the apiary.

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I would dispose of it.

 

I notice some beekeepers mix a small amount of bleach with the syrup to help prevent or delay fermentation.

If you have an ongoing problem this could be worth checking out.

My hives are in my back yard so I can regulate the feed rate to ensure it all gets used before any signs of fermentation but if they were further away i'd be considering bleach as an option.

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Chuck it. Fermented syrup kills bees, if they take it. If you've read a few bee books you'll find that chlorine isn't good for them either.

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I obviously don't read the right books:-)

Some snippets I have read include

Fat Bees—Part 3 @ Scientific Beekeeping

And by the same author http://scientificbeekeeping.com/fat-bees-part-4/

 

Thymol is perhaps a safer/more interesting alternative but yes... read up and be careful with anything you put in the hive

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Thanks for the feedback, and I got a clean feeder and fresh syrup on just before the rain arrived. For what it's worth I put a squeeze of lemon juice in too... almost wanted to try it myself.

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I remember having 1/1 syrup in 0.3L glass bottles(12 bottles) for almost five years. There were no problems at all and bees loved it.

 

If one does not know how to make a syrup then better read on first .

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I remember having 1/1 syrup in 0.3L glass bottles(12 bottles) for almost five years. There were no problems at all and bees loved it.

 

If one does not know how to make a syrup then better read on first .

 

I don't doubt that the syrup would keep in a jar, especially if it went in hot, indefinitely. Much like a good jam.

 

But sitting on top of a hive with warmth and condensation it was no surprise to me to smell the fermentation. My question was more about whether or not the bees would be affected by it or choose not to take it.

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But sitting on top of a hive with warmth and condensation it was no surprise to me to smell the fermentation. My question was more about whether or not the bees would be affected by it or choose not to take it.

I go by the statement 'if they take it its fine'. If I am not sure I leave a jug with some on the deck of the ute for 5 min... If the bees start picking it up I feed it out. If I am also not sure about it I only give them 1l per hive and refill when they have used it-that way if it does turn there isnt much in the hive and the bees have a better chance of using it up before it dilutes and ferments in the hive....

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When I make up syrup I add a slug of cider vinegar. I've got syrup from last autumn that still hasn't fermented.

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find that chlorine isn't good for them either.

The bees don't get the chlorine. It kills the bugs in the water, then evaporates, as far as I know

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I have added apple cider vinegar at 100mls per 20litres sugar syrup and 5mls per 20 litres of Manley strength thymol solution for the last 2 years. The sugar syrup does not go off in storage and, while I'm not 100% sure, I think it cured some Nosema as my bees haven't had any diarrhoea since I started using it. I found fermented syrup was killing my bees if they were slow to take it up - never had problems since. If you are cooking up thymol solutions be careful - it gets a bit gassey so don't do it inside and wear decent protective gear.

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The bees don't get the chlorine. It kills the bugs in the water, then evaporates, as far as I know

it depends on dosage and time for it to dissipate.

i have toyed with the idea of adding a campden tablet, one to about 20-30 liters of chlorinated syrup.

its commonly done in brewing to bind the chlorine if your stuck with town water for your brewing. just not sure how it would effect the bees.

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I noticed yesterday that the bees weren't eating the syrup. Doesn't smell bad, but slightly different. Would it be O.K to throw it out in paddock somewhere? Or could the bees still get sick from it. I would put it good distance away.

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I noticed yesterday that the bees weren't eating the syrup. Doesn't smell bad, but slightly different. Would it be O.K to throw it out in paddock somewhere? Or could the bees still get sick from it. I would put it good distance away.

I guess if they are not eating it in the hive they will stay away from it in the paddock - I would just pour it out on the ground.

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