Quantcast

Bad syrup

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

SixFooter 

Drone Bee
Joined
Sep 16, 2009
Messages
1,343
Reaction score
0
Location
Merseyside
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
12
I think I may have poisoned some bees and I'm not sure what I should do. I moved a colony from a nuc to a full hive last week and added a rapid feeder with syrup. The syrup had been sitting on a shelf in the shed for a few days, so I guess may have gone off. I opened the hive up tonight to see if the feeder needed topping up and I found lots of dead bees in the feeder. I then noticed a few more under the crown board. In total probably 50 or so dead bees and perhaps another 20 wandering around alive, but not very well on the ground outside the hive. The top of the roof is also covered in little blobs of bee faeces. Could all these things be caused by the syrup starting to ferment? I couldnt smell anything in the syrup, but would it smell if it was fermenting?
Is it more likely to have nothing to do with the syrup and be something else?
There's not much harm done as yet, but if the syrup is the cause could more of it be stored in the hive and be likely to cause problems in the future?
All I have done is remove the feeder. Is there anything else I should do?
 

Midland Beek 

Drone Bee
Joined
Oct 18, 2009
Messages
1,969
Reaction score
0
Location
South Staffs
Hive Type
none
All I have done is remove the feeder. Is there anything else I should do?
I think that is good enough. Giving fresh syrup would be better.

The chemical hydroxy-methyl-furfural (HMF) can sometimes build up in stored syrup, but usually not over the timescale of a few days. If you make up any syrup in the future be sure to store it in a cool place.

You get mould and a smell when syrup ferments.

I am presuming you are using ordinary granulated sugar?
 

admin 

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Messages
6,393
Reaction score
3
Location
Hampshire uk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6
Could they have Nosema ?
Has any spraying been done near the hives ?
How many dead outside the hive ?
Did any syrup get spilt when feeding ? as it could be a case of robbing.

If syrup goes off it smells yeasty,I always add a little Thymol to stop fermentation,that way it keeps for ages if not used.
 

grizzly 

Drone Bee
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
Messages
1,106
Reaction score
0
Location
Hampshire
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
6
I had somethign similar to this and it was because i was using boiling water to dilute the sugar, this (please correct me if im wrong) then makes it toxic to bees.

I now use WARM water from the tap only, with a bit of Thymol and hey presto no more dead bees in the feeder.
 

Friar Tuck 

House Bee
Joined
May 30, 2010
Messages
316
Reaction score
0
Location
Wiltshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
3
I have my water just hot enough to melt the sugar in. I also use cane sugar but what is the differance between using cane sugar and beat sugar ?:ack2:
 

Black Comb 

Queen Bee
Joined
Aug 10, 2009
Messages
2,737
Reaction score
0
Location
Cumbria
Hive Type
other
Number of Hives
10+
I've also noticed one strain (the darker ones) get the runs if I feed them 1:1.

2:1 seems fine.

I will add some Thymol in future as suggested but it was all fresh from warm but not boiling water.
 

Onge 

Field Bee
Joined
May 24, 2009
Messages
839
Reaction score
0
Location
Cambridge
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
9 Medium Poly, mostly foundation-less. Some run as Warre TBH
I had somethign similar to this and it was because i was using boiling water to dilute the sugar, this (please correct me if im wrong) then makes it toxic to bees.

I now use WARM water from the tap only, with a bit of Thymol and hey presto no more dead bees in the feeder.
I have used boiling water to make syrup before with no adverse effects.

I use hot water from the tap now because its easier.
 

Juststarting 

House Bee
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
293
Reaction score
0
Location
North Derbyshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
4 hives, 1 nuc
Boiling water

How does the temperature it is dissolved at ie boiling or warm water change the final solution and make it toxic if boiled water is used?
 

SixFooter 

Drone Bee
Joined
Sep 16, 2009
Messages
1,343
Reaction score
0
Location
Merseyside
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
12
It's been quite warm in the shed which may have helped the syrup to go off. I made some more syrup last night which I will feed to the bees tonight.

I always use boling water though and I didnt know this was the wrong thing to do.
 

admin 

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Messages
6,393
Reaction score
3
Location
Hampshire uk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6
How does the temperature it is dissolved at ie boiling or warm water change the final solution and make it toxic if boiled water is used?

hydroxymethylfurfural(HMF) ?
 

grizzly 

Drone Bee
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
Messages
1,106
Reaction score
0
Location
Hampshire
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
6
Of course......i was just going to say that myself, :leaving:
 

Friar Tuck 

House Bee
Joined
May 30, 2010
Messages
316
Reaction score
0
Location
Wiltshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
3
and why cane sugar and not UK produced beat sugar ?
 

Poly Hive 

Queen Bee
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
13,655
Reaction score
3
Location
Scottish Borders
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
9 and 18 Nucs
To be honest if it was "bad" syrup I would have thought there would have been thousands of dead bees.

PH
 

Juststarting 

House Bee
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
293
Reaction score
0
Location
North Derbyshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
4 hives, 1 nuc
I am doubtful that dissolving sugar (sucrose) using boiling water would produce HMF. If boiled to caramalisation point (circa 160oC) then it could be produced, but water from a kettle cools relatively quickly and would not cause a break down in the sucrose.

If the sugar was dissolved in the presence of an acid then fructose could be formed and this more easily converted to HMF, but again continued boiling would be required. (inverted syrup is made this way an only seems to cause problems if overboiled).

However having said this if there is evidence (even only anecdotal) that using boiling water to dissolve sugar can cause harm I will use luke warm water and stir/wait longer for it to dissolve - I'm not in that muc of a rush to kill my bees!

I'm just curious about the science/chemistry and if anyone can add further details I'd be very interested.
 
Last edited:

Rosti 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jul 29, 2009
Messages
1,750
Reaction score
0
Location
North Yorks, UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
4
from warm but not boiling water.
I previously posted this, but a quick cut and paste which I hope helps clarify:

If you simply warmed the water to circa 35-40'C to dissolve then naturally occuring Yeast & Mould in sugar will survive and germinate. If you took the water to 85'C, dissolved and then cooled you have provided an effective loading reduction (including from the pan and utensils etc). The general Y&M 4 log reduction rule is 85'C/5 mins, but what with cooling you are fine.
Next consider cleanliness of storage vessel and exposure to Y&M when decanting.

I go to 85 and decant hot, effectively letting the syrup sterilise the storage container if I know I need to store it and get 2/3 weeks (at ambient) unopened but it makes diddly squat diff once in the feeder!
 

Chris Luck 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jun 29, 2010
Messages
2,538
Reaction score
0
Location
Vienne, 86400, France
Hive Type
dadant
Number of Hives
Less than 100
Couple of general questions.

Why feed at this time of year?

and if you do,

Why don't you feed honey?

Chris
 

FROGDOGDIVER 

House Bee
Joined
Feb 20, 2009
Messages
161
Reaction score
0
Location
Northern Ireland
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
8
I have used boiling water to make syrup before with no adverse effects.

I use hot water from the tap now because its easier.
I also have always used boiling water to make my syrup up. Never had any problems when feeding it. Quite the opposite they cannot get enough...
 

MuswellMetro 

Queen Bee
Joined
Oct 1, 2009
Messages
6,524
Reaction score
26
Location
London N10
Hive Type
14x12
and why cane sugar and not UK produced beat sugar ?
some people think that beet sugar is more likley to contain trace pesticide residues

i just use the cheapest, 55p at Booker or 75p at Lidl for 1kg
 
Last edited:

Vortex 

Joined
Aug 4, 2009
Messages
336
Reaction score
1
Location
Bracknell. UK
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
16 spread across 4 apiaries
I've just fed my new swarm because even though there is a good honey flow on it means they can expend more effort drawing wax and less on foraging - it also means they'll fill what storage space they have up quicker and be forced to draw wax to provide the necessary expansion space.
I don't have honey so I can't feed it and feeding sugar syrup is considerably cheaper. I wouldn't even consider feeding what the supermarkets call honey back to the bees even if it is sterilized within an inch of it's existance.
 

oliver90owner 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
15,628
Reaction score
27
Location
Lincolnshire
Hive Type
14x12
And you think the foraging bees will change jobs? Unlikely. More likely they will add even more stores and reduce further the space for the queen to lay, thereby reducing the ability of the colony to expand. The house bees need to be feeding larvae, not making extra, surplus-to-requirements, wax. More bees means faster colony expansion - I think.

RAB
 

Latest posts

Top