Quantcast

Can sugar syrup go off?

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

Vergilius 

Field Bee
Joined
Aug 24, 2010
Messages
937
Reaction score
0
Location
East Sussex, UK
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
3
Dear all,

Probably just a silly question...

Made about 2 litres of sugar syrup a week ago intending to feed the bees immediately. However the bees had not cleared out the last load so I decided to postpone the re-fill. Due to weather and other circumstances I have not been able to re-fill since I last checked and I was just wondering whether the sugar syrup (which has been sitting in a sealed container in the kitchen) could have fermented or gone off due to the length of time it has been left.



Any answers welcome.


Thanks, Ben P
 

the naked beekeeper 

Field Bee
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
Messages
742
Reaction score
0
Location
S.E. Cornwall
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Enough
Yes it can ferment is the answer.

There is a recipe from Hivemaker where you can add some thymol to stop this from happening, if you are using big quantities.

But 2 litres? That's not an awful lot so have to ask whether your bees really need it, if it's been on a week already and still not cleared.
 

jimbeekeeper 

Queen Bee
Joined
Dec 14, 2008
Messages
2,470
Reaction score
1
Location
East Yorkshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
1
For the cost of the the sugar (about £1) for only 2L of syrup, is it even worth the chance of giving it to the bees?
 

Vergilius 

Field Bee
Joined
Aug 24, 2010
Messages
937
Reaction score
0
Location
East Sussex, UK
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
3
No it hasn't been in the hive at all yet. This was a new batch.
 

Vergilius 

Field Bee
Joined
Aug 24, 2010
Messages
937
Reaction score
0
Location
East Sussex, UK
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
3
if it's been on a week already and still not cleared.[/QUOTE said:
No this batch has not been on at all, it has been sitting in the kitchen.


Ben P
 

the naked beekeeper 

Field Bee
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
Messages
742
Reaction score
0
Location
S.E. Cornwall
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Enough
Smell it......

Does it have any mould on?

I'd be inclined to chuck it though...for the sake of what it cost you to make it. With the temperature fluctuations in a kitchen, it's likely to be on the turn if not already. Your bees' health are worth more than a pound or so.
 

Hombre 

Queen Bee
Joined
Feb 27, 2009
Messages
2,818
Reaction score
0
Location
West Midlands
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
Ten
If it's 2:1 syrup and been in the kitchen in a clean properly stoppered bottle for less then a couple of months, I doubt that it would have begun to ferment.

Fermentation normally requires that the syrup absorbs moisture from the air so that the immediate surface becomes diluted to the point where it is able to ferment, given that natural yeasts from the air are present.

Left on a hive for a few weeks it is open to the air and given the temperature cycling and potential of yeasts etc. on the inside of feeders then there is more of a risk. If it smells like it's fermenting then it probably is and should be taken off. You aren't in this position, so relax and stop worrying so much.

I hope that this has put things into perspective for you. I recommend dosing with a thymol tincture to improve shelf life and additional doses to assist with nosema and general bee health.
 

johnandyrob 

Field Bee
Joined
Nov 28, 2009
Messages
849
Reaction score
0
Location
Co. Durham
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
18
Yeast spores can start to grow in sugar syrup after 3 days the warmer it is the more and faster they grow ( nice warm kitchen ) and is highly toxic to bees killing them. Throw it away
 

MuswellMetro 

Queen Bee
Joined
Oct 1, 2009
Messages
6,516
Reaction score
19
Location
London N10
Hive Type
14x12
add vitamin c at 1g per 2L increases the acidity and stops it fermenting, or add hivemakers thymol, or four or five drops of essential oil

Vit C also makes Bees more likely to take it
 

johnandyrob 

Field Bee
Joined
Nov 28, 2009
Messages
849
Reaction score
0
Location
Co. Durham
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
18
add vitamin c at 1g per 2L increases the acidity and stops it fermenting, or add hivemakers thymol, or four or five drops of essential oil

Vit C also makes Bees more likely to take it
Do this with newly made up syrup no the stuff you have had in the kitchen for a week bin that
 

drstitson 

Queen Bee
Joined
Aug 4, 2010
Messages
7,657
Reaction score
0
Location
surrey, lincolnshire etc.
Hive Type
dadant
Number of Hives
14
syrup which has been bottled and sealed when hot is unlikely to go off or ferment in a week. if this was the case jam wouldn't keep - your syrup has a greater % sugar than any jam.
 

Black Comb 

Queen Bee
Joined
Aug 10, 2009
Messages
2,737
Reaction score
0
Location
Cumbria
Hive Type
other
Number of Hives
10+
One of my many mistakes was to feed a colony one week old syrup.
Gave them diarrhoea

Never again
 

Silly Bee 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jul 13, 2010
Messages
1,018
Reaction score
0
Location
Lichfield
Hive Type
wbc
Number of Hives
3
If you are in any doubt as to wether its safe to use, just dump it, why risk your colony of bees for 1Kg of sugar. Goodness sake.
 

margob99 

House Bee
Joined
Nov 15, 2009
Messages
401
Reaction score
0
Location
Amersham
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
2
Well, this begs my question; does bakers fondant go off? I've been storing it on a cool kitchen shelf, wrapped in clingfilm, since December last year ...
 

Silly Bee 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jul 13, 2010
Messages
1,018
Reaction score
0
Location
Lichfield
Hive Type
wbc
Number of Hives
3
How much did it cost, how much are your bees worth, will you lie in bed worrying if you should have given it to them?
 

Skyhook 

Queen Bee
Joined
May 19, 2010
Messages
3,054
Reaction score
0
Location
Dorset
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
5
Well, this begs my question; does bakers fondant go off? I've been storing it on a cool kitchen shelf, wrapped in clingfilm, since December last year ...
No, too concentrated for anything to grow, as long as it's well enough wrapped to stop moisture getting in or out.
 

Hombre 

Queen Bee
Joined
Feb 27, 2009
Messages
2,818
Reaction score
0
Location
West Midlands
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
Ten
If you have any left over fondant in the fridge and don't feel too confident about feeding it to the bees, then get some peppermint essence and feed it to the kids or use it to make syrup for the bees - without the peppermint essence!.

Syrup generally only ferments when it gets, diluted and dirty, A bit of warmth from the hive helps of course.

If you don't have any thymol in it, give it a taste yourself if you have any doubts. You can always spit it out if it's nasty.

From his last comments, I imagine that PeterS is likely to have problems with commercial syrup? I think that the squitters had little directly to do with the syrup if it was made up properly.
 

Black Comb 

Queen Bee
Joined
Aug 10, 2009
Messages
2,737
Reaction score
0
Location
Cumbria
Hive Type
other
Number of Hives
10+
No it was home made.
I've heard this tale off 2 other beeks as well (both experienced).
 

Vergilius 

Field Bee
Joined
Aug 24, 2010
Messages
937
Reaction score
0
Location
East Sussex, UK
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
3
Don't worry guys! I've heard enough! Syrup safely down the drain.
I'll make a new batch on Sunday and feed immediately. Just out of interest how much have you guys fed your bees so far this Autumn?






Ben P
 

Hombre 

Queen Bee
Joined
Feb 27, 2009
Messages
2,818
Reaction score
0
Location
West Midlands
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
Ten
I wasn't counting because my arms were stretching and my back aching, but about four tonnes. Not my own bees of course.

About 10kg per colony to my own thus far. I'm running late.
 

Latest posts

Top