Feeding honey back to bees

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Deux Ruches 

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Hi All, :cheers2: for all the help and advise that you've given without realising it. Like many others I've found the answers here without asking the question. Used the search but can't find an opinion on this. I have a hive that is very active, thaking in lots of pollen. When hefted yesterday was very light and needs feeding. I have a 6/8 kilo tub of extracted honey which could be given back, if it would be more useful than fondant to them. Does anyone have any experience of this?
Nick.
 

VEG 

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If its from your own hives and can be sure it is disease free then yes you can feed it to the bees, but sugar syrup works out a lot cheaper.
 

sherwood 

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If this is recovered honey and not fit for resale and you are not sure of which hive or hives it came out of you can feed it back to the bees BUT you must dilute it down with water say 3parts water to one part honey and boil the mixture and leave it to boil for a couple of minutes after it has started to boil. Let it cool then feed it back to them, but why not wait till later in the season when you can feed it back to them when you still have supers on but there is a shortage of forage.
That way when you might want to continue the breeding you will be feeding them something that is honey rather than a substitute and therefore cannot detract from the honey even if they do take it up into the supers after all honey cant adulterate honey can it
 

MJBee 

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Welcome Deux Ruches, greetings from the Dordogne - your question has been well answered by Veg and Sherwood, I would save your honey and feed 1:1 sugar syrup at this time of year but little and often so that the brood area does not get stuffed full of syrup and leave nowhere for the queen to lay which is a classic cause of an early swarm.
Regards Mike
 

Deux Ruches 

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Thanks Craig and Sherwood.
It's quallity honey from my apiary, I just don't have the customers.
I've read recently in an old 1947 book by A, Norman Schofiled, that it's possible to feed back honey if diluted by one cup of water to each 1LB of honey. Hence the question has anyone experience of this.
I think I'll give them a block of fondant and leave the experimenting for another day.
Nick.
 

Deux Ruches 

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Hi Mike.
Sorry our replies overlaped. Yes well answered on, wether to or not give it back.
It's 15c in the shade here now so I must go and act.
Nick.
 

RoofTops 

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I've fed honey back to my bees. I did it full strength the first time but was then told to dilute it 50:50. The reason given was they are supposed to get so excited by being given pure honey it can very easily set up robbing. Diluting the honey also dilutes their excitement.
 

m100 

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If this is recovered honey and not fit for resale and you are not sure of which hive or hives it came out of you can feed it back to the bees BUT you must dilute it down with water say 3parts water to one part honey and boil the mixture and leave it to boil for a couple of minutes after it has started to boil. Let it cool then feed it back to them
Why do you need to dilute to that extent 50:50 being what the bees can metabolise, so with 80:20 sugars:water you need 60 more units of water to give 50% or a dilution of 4 parts honey to 3 parts water.

And as for boiling, what precisely is that achieving, besides increasing HMF levels?
 

Midland Beek 

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Feeding back honey or a honey/water mix is likely to over excite bees and may provoke robbing. I would simply feed 2 sugar to 1 water syrup if your colony is low on stores.
 

MuswellMetro 

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Why do you need to dilute to that extent 50:50 being what the bees can metabolise, so with 80:20 sugars:water you need 60 more units of water to give 50% or a dilution of 4 parts honey to 3 parts water.

And as for boiling, what precisely is that achieving, besides increasing HMF levels?

No idea why they need to boil it for 5 mins...20minutes maybe if it had EFB but in any event reguarding HMF . Honey held at an average temperature over 30°C for 6 months will accumulate more HMF than the same honey heated to 70°C for 5 minutes and then cooled.
 

m100 

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30 deg C over 6 months won't be achieved unless I decided to store the honey on top of my boiler, and unless we are doing this up a mountain 70 deg C won't boil water, let alone a water and honey mix.

Will 20 mins really kill off EFB? and even if it did then why not feed it to humans instead!
 

sherwood 

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Why do you need to dilute to that extent 50:50 being what the bees can metabolise, so with 80:20 sugars:water you need 60 more units of water to give 50% or a dilution of 4 parts honey to 3 parts water.

And as for boiling, what precisely is that achieving, besides increasing HMF levels?
You are attempting to kill any pathogens that might be present in the honey prior to feeding to what might be another colony Apiary hygene please
 

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