What French Bees Eat

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Monsieur Abeille 

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I was rather surprised to see in last week's FT magazine

( http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/f6385368-d66c-11df-81f0-00144feabdc0.html for any that missed it!)

an article about the bee-keeping chief exec of the London Stock Exchange, Xavier Rolet who keeps hives near his Provencal home.

There were a few odd comments in the article, but the one that really surprised me was "Rolet’s last job is to feed the bees a mixture of brown sugar, water and cider vinegar – a boost for the winter."

Brown sugar? Vinegar? Is this Michelin starred dining for les abeilles?
 

Queens59 

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The Gordon Ramsey of teh beekeeping world...mine make do with the motorway services menu :))
 

Finman 

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I
Brown sugar? Vinegar? Is this Michelin starred dining for les abeilles?
...............magic

Brown sugar is a sucrose sugar product with a distinctive brown color due to the presence of molasses. It is either an unrefined or partially refined soft sugar consisting of sugar crystals with some residual molasses content, or it is produced by the addition of molasses to refined white sugar.

Many have tried to give molasses to bees for winter but hives have died.

.
 
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RoofTops 

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Certainly brown sugar is generally considered bad for the bees but cider vinegar is a fairly well known additive to sugar syrup - the idea is to help invert the sugar and apparently retard crystalisation.

Interesting that he uses a WBC - how many of those are there in France I wonder?
 
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kazmcc 

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I thought anything other than normal sugar gave them the squits :confused: Have I heard right?
 

Hombre 

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You probably did hear it right. Brown sugar is not on the recommended list.

In the production of sugar, the crystal size is grown and the resultant brew is spun in large spin driers, with the rotating wall of sugar sprayed with water to remove the molasses. Brown sugar is generally washed to a lesser degree.

As a secondary school boy, I remember vividly going to a sugar beet factory somewhere in Lincolnshire, but couldn't for the life of me remember where. It did stick with me and I appreciated the value of the information gleaned, which has remained with me for many years now. Insightful Kazmcc, never write off the value of the school education trip.
 

thedeaddiplomat 

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I like to think that refined bees deserve refined sugar!:sifone:
 

Dishmop 

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Perhaps they get drunk on the cider and forget that brown sugar is bad for them..:cheers2:
 

Monsieur Abeille 

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I also thought that vinegar was added to wasp traps to deter bees
 

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