Syrup has solidified!

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derekthegardener 

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I fed my first and only hive two weeks ago using an Ashforth feeder (Thornes). I have resisted the temptation to have a look on the advice of my local BKA, but with a fine day today, and the bes working very hard on the ivy, I couldn't resist. I just lifted the roof and looked through the hole in the crown board. The syrup has crystallised completely. I plan to take off the feeder and add more liquid to make the feed usable for the bees. I have left a super on top of the brood-box which is being filled with ivy honey. I plan to leave this with them for the winter. Am I doing the right things?
 

derekthegardener 

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Used recipe from Collins Beekeeper's Bible, ie. "Rather than weighing and measuring, pour dry sugar into container and make it level. Stirring all the time, pour in boiling water to a line about 5mm (1/4in) above the sugar level Continue stirring until the sugar is dissolved."
 

drstitson 

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2:1

i'm using 1kg sugar (ie a bag) to 500ml boiling water - 3 batches produce syrup that almost fills two 2litre pop bottles to the shoulders.
 

admin 

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until the sugar is dissolved."
I expect that is the problem.
You have to keep the heat on really to make sure the sugar molocules do not bind back together when cooled.

If you keep the heat up while stirring,the sugar crystals get excited,bang into each other and move further apart.

1:1 you can get away with but anything stronger needs heat as the sugar cools the water down instantly.

In a pop bottle you can shake like mad to excite the molecules without heat and just get away with it.
 

drstitson 

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:iagree:

add the boiling water, start stirring to dissolve bulk then place over low heat and stir until dissolved/granularity lost.

the odd bit undissolved will go when bottled and shaken whilst still warm\
 

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A clue to what happens if a few granules are left undisolved is to think about why you add a little granulated honey when seeding,the following day you have solid honey,just like your feed has turned out
 

Poly Hive 

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Which is why I asked the Q.

It is never as simple as it looks......... thank goodness for forums, I so wish I had had one in 87.

PH
 

drex 

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I have tried the above idea of continuing to apply heat while dissolving 2:1 syrup, and it did all dissolve ( actually it was 1.75:1 on recommendation of an earlier post on here). Cleaned feeder out to remove chances of any dust etc which might act as seed to crystalisation. That was 2 days ago and the bees have taken half, which I presume remained liquid, however on the bottom is a thick layer of solid sugar. It has really solidified hard, so that, unlike the syrup which I prepared without continued heat, it is not possible to stir it up and get it back into solution/suspension.

I know it is better and less work for the bees to feed strong syrup at this time of year, but out of frustartion thinking of going back to 1:1, with which I had no problem earlier.

Suggestions please
 

the naked beekeeper 

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Is it safe to add boiling water, without destroying the sugar or inverting it or some process like that?
 

Hebeegeebee 

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I pour on boiling water so the mixture is bit above the level of just sugar. Stir and leave 'till it clears. If a bit of the sugar doesn't dissolve, slosh in a bit more water (hot or cold).


Apart from a crusty bit at the bottom of a feeder I've never had it go hard.

drex, If the syrup has been on the heat then you have probably made candy!
 

Hombre 

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In the bottom of my sugar/syrup bucket and in the funnel I use, the syrup solidifies like that too, almost like a sheet of glass. I put in a very little water which is absorbed by the sugar and returns to a syrup overnight.

At any given temperature, just so much sugar can remain in solution. Heat increases the concentration possible. As it cools, or evaporates, there is a possibility of recrystalisation taking place.
 

steve1958 

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I have been using 2lb sugar to 1 pint of cold water.
Put the whole lot in a plastic lemonade bottle.
Shake it up.
Leave it overnight
Next day you have syrup all bottled ready to poor into feeder
 

Dishmop 

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In the bottom of my sugar/syrup bucket and in the funnel I use, the syrup solidifies like that too,
Probably sugar that was not disolved fully...... same as if you dont stir your tea properly and leave the cup unwashed for a week..........

I wish to disassociated myself from every having done the above... Not guilty.

It wasnt me... He did it....
 

Hombre 

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Correct of course, but only so much sugar can remain dissolved in a given solution. Anything that is supersaturated can crystalise as the temperature drops.

Understandably, I could be wrong.
 

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