Sugar syrup strength and it's influence on wax production

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Beebe 

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I've mostly read that feeding bees "thin" syrup generally promotes wax production and that "thick" syrup or more solid forms of sugar tend to be used as stores.

I've long doubted this to be such a straightforward division as generally described because it conflicts with my other readings, that it is a surplus of sugars, possibly sometimes coupled with insufficient storage space within the hive, which causes involuntary production of wax within a bee.

Currently, my bees are gulping down vast lakes of very thick syrup and I'm seeing fresh flakes of white wax on the inspection trays. This implies that, despite a significant amount of the sugar being stored immediately, the bees' metabolism does not differentiate between our arbitrary, beekeeping definitions of sugar.

Is it not more likely that the time of year when the bees are receiving extra sugar has the greatest influence on what they do with it? Traditionally, you don't feed thick syrup early in the year when you want them to build new comb or produce extra bees; what happens if you do?
 

drex 

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I have read somewhere ( ? The Apiarist, Randy Oliver) a study where it was found to make little difference. The bees will thin or thicken it whatever, depending on what they want to do with it. They will not draw comb unless they actually need it. I doubt if the moisture content of nectar varies much.
Of course if it is thin syrup and they are going to store it, there will be more work involved for them to drive off moisture
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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I've found it makes very little difference, I don't think I've ever given my bees anything but heavy syrup or (even heavier) invert I've given new swarms invert and they have quickly built comb with it and stored hardly any.
another case of accepted 'wisdom' I think.
 

Beebe 

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I've found it makes very little difference, I don't think I've ever given my bees anything but heavy syrup or (even heavier) invert I've given new swarms invert and they have quickly built comb with it and stored hardly any.
another case of accepted 'wisdom' I think.
...I thought as much; nice to have it confirmed by you and the preceding posts. :)
 

Erichalfbee 

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Same here. Thick syrup or invert every time. Swarms are very good at drawing foundation on invert believe me.
 

Mabee 

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As drex mentioned above, Randy Oliver ran tests where it showed they drew as much with 2:1 as 1:1.
I’ve been feeding heavy syrup to 2 nucs in the hope they’ll fill out an extra brood box for winter, last I checked they mostly had, will check again at the weekend to confirm.
 
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