Author Topic: Sugar consumption slowing way down  (Read 295 times)

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Offline Newbee

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Sugar consumption slowing way down
« on: August 25, 2020, 05:03:17 pm »
I've been feeding my 2 hives pretty heavy sugar water (1:2 water:sugar) for about the last month or so because the dearth hit our area, blooms just dried right up! I saw a lot of foragers taking flights, up and away, but never able to follow them. Also noted a decrease in the amount of pollen they were bringing in ('tis the season, right?) 1 Qt. Bottle would typically last 2-3 days when I started, and I was gradually increasing the concentration (more sugar, less water). Last bottle lasted 4-5 days on the hive. I typically give them a few days w/o any sugar water after they finished the bottle, then refill and replace.
Last week I put a good bottle of sugar syrup on maybe 1:3(!), it's been over a week, and they're only about halfway through it? Using 1 Qt. jars inverted into the inner-cover (with holes punched in the lids).
Do the bee's not like super-concentrated sugar water? By feeding super-concentrated are they just using less volume (but still getting sufficient food)?
Both hives started out as packages this Spring, so not too big, I've kept them to just 1 deep for the hive body (and it still isn't all drawn out?). The hope is to get them strong and hold strong over winter, go gangbusters in the Spring.
Thanks for the advice/suggestions.

- Kevin


Offline iddee

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Re: Sugar consumption slowing way down
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2020, 06:58:02 pm »
3 parts sugar will not dissolve in 1 part water. If that mixture was correct, the sugar likely solidified on the lid and they couldn't get it out. 2 parts sugar and 1 part is the max you can dissolve. Try mixing 1 part water to 1 1/2 or 2 parts sugar. Even that will have to be heated to dissolve.
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Sugar consumption slowing way down
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2020, 09:03:26 am »
I agree with iddee regarding sugar water.  Sometimes more is not better. 

I receive a newsletter from a beekeeper in Missouri.  In her last newsletter she wrote about doing splits in August.  She wrote this, "To get them to pull wax, feed them 2 parts water to one part sugar with a dab of food grade lemongrass. That will simulate plant nectar that triggers their wax glands to pull wax."  I have never tried this and frankly it may be hogwash.  I hope that I am not spreading bad information.

Offline Newbee

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Re: Sugar consumption slowing way down
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2020, 09:15:03 am »
Thanks for the advice!
Admittedly I don't measure the sugar/water ratio... Put a pot of water on the stove and stir, start adding sugar. When I can't add any more, I stop! LOL!
Thanks for the info about lemongrass. I have a lemongrass plant that I keep, do you think it would be useful to try extracting some 'juice' from that? I've done it before, cut off a few fronds from the base, twist and squeeze, a few drops of lemon-scented clear liquid come out... It didn't seem to harm the bee's when I  added it their food in the spring.
Thanks again.

- K

Offline rober

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Re: Sugar consumption slowing way down
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2020, 11:52:23 am »
everything i've read or heard is to use 1:1 syrup in the spring as is simulates nectar which encourages wax building & encourages the queen to lay. once the flow is over they pretty much quit drawing out comb. then use 2:1 in the fall which is similar to honey so the bees store it. this far into the season they should have drawn out those frames. are you using plastic foundation? hopefully there's enough comb for brood & to store some honey. i would plan on feeding them hard candy to get them thru the winter
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Offline Newbee

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Re: Sugar consumption slowing way down
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2020, 09:36:49 am »
Thanks Rober.
There are a few frames foundationless I was experimrnting with, but also empty frames with foundation. I've tried rotating them closer to the middle, but they seemed to skip right over.
Could there be somethjng in the foundation they don't like (mold, dirt, etc.?) Some of the frames with a little wax on them are very irregular and w0nky, too. Look like building queen cells, but they aren't (errr at least there is no terminus containing a cell).
Thanks again!

Offline RAST

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Re: Sugar consumption slowing way down
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2020, 06:17:05 pm »
 " but also empty frames with foundation"  Is this plastic or wax foundation?

Offline Newbee

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Re: Sugar consumption slowing way down
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2020, 11:08:00 am »
Wax coated plastic.