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The Hyde Ranger 

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The two for a pound sugar at farm foods has changed from tate & lyle (cane sugar) to silver spoon (sugarbeet) is the sugarbeet stuf ok to use for syrup to feed the bees ?
 

Brosville 

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As in all matters in beekeeping there are other views....... Personally, I wouldn't touch beet sugar with the proverbial ten-foot bargepole either for myself or my bees, mostly because of the likely high contamination with umpteen pesticides of the particularly damaging variety that are allowed for use on sugar beet (look it up, it's petrifying!) - the extraction process is frankly pretty scary too!
Having said that, I don't believe most cane sugar is entirely "clean" either, but anecdotally, no problems appear to surface when using it.
Lidl's own brand ("Cordelia") is cane sugar at 75p kilo
 
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m100 

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mostly because of the likely high contamination with umpteen pesticides of the particularly damaging variety that are allowed for use on sugar beet (look it up, it's petrifying!)
...despite all of them being totally undetectable in the final product with the most sensitive tests.

Beet sugar is pure sucrose. Fact.
 

Hivemaker. 

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I only feed bee's beet sugar,have done so for lots of years........ can you tell me what harm it's doing my bee's, as they appear to be mega strong and healthy.
 

Nellie 

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You're asking Brosville for facts? I've got him on ignore but I can pretty much guess what his post says about Beet Sugar.

Detectable or not it's doing something, Tate and Lyle have a beet syrup detector satellite which they use to detect hives being feed beet sugar. Then they send Luigi and the boys round in the middle of the night to stamp on your bees!
 

Hivemaker. 

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This is what this bunch think of it......

The primary distinction between cane sugar and beet sugar, other than being derived from different plants, is the processing method. Unlike beet sugar, cane sugar processing typically takes place at two locations, the sugar mill and the refinery. During the final purification process, cane sugar is filtered through activated carbon (charcoal) which may be of animal, vegetable, or mineral origin. This step is unnecessary for beet sugar and therefore is never done.

The vast majority of sugarcane is not organically grown, and most sugar plantations employ environmentally unsound agricultural methods, such as heavy insecticide and pesticide use and crop burning, which negatively impact soil, air, water, and the health of the workers. Sugarcane production is labor and energy intensive and utilizes large amounts of fossil fuels in processing, filtration, packaging, and transport. Plantation owners typically pay meager wages and provide no benefits while workers are forced to endure brutal, substandard conditions.

http://www.vegsource.com/jo/qa/qasugar.htm

Lots of pesticides are used on cane sugar...about 50 types.
Beet sugar has a higher sucrose content.
 
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Brosville 

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I've searched in vain for it - somewhere there is a list of approved "icides" for use on beet crops - it runs into hundreds, including at the top of the list, neonicotinoids, and a large number of fungicides (which have been shown to make the "Nns" a thousand times more toxic for bees)
Then there's the claim that beet sugar is "pure" and totally free of "icide" contaminants, which is just plain wrong and untrue - there are certain limits of contamination which ARE allowed, usually weaselled as insignificant levels - it would be virtually impossible to remove all the contaminants from a crop so liberally "blanket bombed" throughout it's life, so they rely on "safe levels" (usually decided upon by the industry itself)
So to be honest, you're probably best to seek out organic sugar to be 100% sure of it's intrinsic safety, but I've so far been pragmatic and taken the advice of the "natural beekeepers" who seem to be of the opinion that of the two forms of readily available sugar, cane is best.
As to the claims of feeding bees with beet sugar which have apparently survived and thrived, I don't doubt it - it's not like a lethal dose of cyanide which renders the victim stone dead swiftly, but often poisons act cumulatively and synergistically over a long period of time, and may possibly be one of the myriad causes of bee losses (the bees get weakened by one thing, and succumb to another, which they would have "thrown off" naturally)
I prefer to err on the side of caution where "chemicals" are concerned - as I said in my original post, I was giving my personal view, which is held by many other beekeepers - as I also said, there's many opinions on this as there is in all matters of beekeeping, and I was merely redressing the balance of the rather frightening "it's fine" claim -I'd sooner go with the more honest "I don't KNOW, but will proceed with caution" view..........
I've got my own way of avoiding the question altogether, I try never to feed
sugar, but would sooner leave them their own stores..........:coolgleamA:
 

Hivemaker. 

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Theres around 50 pesticides ect used on sugar cane.......including neonicotinoids.
 

dolbz 

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the extraction process is frankly pretty scary too!
Can you elaborate? I've just done a quick Google and can't see anything particularly scary about either extraction method for cane or beet.
 

Brosville 

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from memory it's boiled up with some caustic substance, which is later removed........
As for cane sugar, as I said in my original post "I don't believe most cane sugar is entirely "clean" either" - which means that both commonly available sugars WILL contain pesticide residues - as to which is less damaging I don't honestly know, and I doubt that anyone does (pesticide manufacturers are very good at avoiding the questions arising about the harm their products can do, particularly synergistically), so when making a choice, you're back to asking the experienced what they've found - as this thread has proved, many people think that beet sugar is harmless, I've come across many beekeepers who are adamant it's pretty filthy stuff........

I'll reiterate, all non-organic sugars almost definitely contain several "icide" residues, hopefully at "safe" levels - to be entirely sure, use organic, or don't use sugar at all..........
 

Hivemaker. 

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After many years of using beet sugar.......when do you think i should expect all my bee's to start dying then......next year..the year after...20 years time.
Yes i agree best not to feed sugar,just let the bee's starve when they are out of food because of bad weather.
 

jimbeekeeper 

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Having worked onsite on some projects on the final sugar section at British Sugar Newark, and seen many other sections of the plant, I have not seen any "scary" parts of the process that would either stop me eating the sugar or using it for my bees.
 

ryan_220 

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Iam shore my uncle who used to work in mantenance for British Suger for 30years said its first crushed up and then useing "super heated steam" above 300 Oc @ 10bar working pressure to refine it. I cant say i have ever heard him say anything about nasty chemicals ?
 

susbees 

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Ah the old cane vs beet argument again :S. I'd rather go for organic cane myself but both are environmentally highly suspect.

I vividly remember the ragged Haitian casual labour in the burnt cane fields of the Dominican Republic. I have an issue with such things, slave labour effectively, the air thick with carbon particles in the baking dry heat. But I also spent eight years living in the midst of beet fields in Norfolk...you could tell the beet fields...not a bee or a butterfly after spraying, then further along the river as if crossing an invisible wall they started again.

Sugar for the ethical's a b*gger.
 

m100 

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Then there's the claim that beet sugar is "pure" and totally free of "icide" contaminants, which is just plain wrong and untrue - there are certain limits of contamination which ARE allowed, usually weaselled as insignificant levels
So which part of beet sugar being pure sucrose and nothing other than pure sucrose being detected at 1ppb or above don't you agree with / understand ?
 

jimbeekeeper 

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So which part of beet sugar being pure sucrose and nothing other than pure sucrose being detected at 1ppb or above don't you agree with / understand ?

:iamwithstupid:

Like I said, nothing seen that is "scary" or nothing I would or have not eaten or feed to bees.
 

Brosville 

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I understand fully, I just wonder if others do...... should you care to read up on the subject, neonicotinoids are believed to affect bees at doses as low as .1
(one tenth) of a part per billion.
- to claim anything as totally pure is cobblers, and as I said, usually covered by weasellisms such as "statistically insignificant" or "insignificant levels" - those levels being set by the industry......... :beatdeadhorse5:

I've also clearly stated that it's unlikely to cause instant death, but if bees are having problems for which no satisfactory explanation has ever been given, (and it is reasonable to look towards cumulative/synergistic effects) - to proceed with caution is not unreasonable
 

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