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  • syrup or fondant for Autumn feeding

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More advanced beekeeping discussion forum.
 #948  by Chrisbarlow
 04 Oct 2018, 18:21
Im curious as to what other peoples choices are for feeding in Autumn. Syrup or fondant?

I tend to feed syrup to get my boxes up to required weight. What do others use?
 #949  by NigelP
 04 Oct 2018, 19:34
Chrisbarlow wrote:
04 Oct 2018, 18:21
Im curious as to what other peoples choices are for feeding in Autumn. Syrup or fondant?
Prefer a bit of steak myself :roll:
Either is fine. Depends on individuals beekeepers circumstances me thinks.
One thing...don't get obsessed with the 2:1 ratio (its pre-metric), equates to 2kg sugar and 1.25 liters of water.
It's a pain to make, comes out of solution easily as it's super saturated...
Go for more water...and add some thymol and it keeps for years.
 #950  by Chrisbarlow
 04 Oct 2018, 21:36
I agree about ratios. people get really hung up on precise measurements and I just think get a life.
To avoid mould I prefer to put 1ml of bleach per gallon of water and that works fine to avoid mold. I am sure some folk will be highly offended at that thought though.

I do have thymol and I am told its a good way to avoid nosema, maybe one day I`ll try it. I have a recipe some where for mix ratios some where.

your right about circs, I think fondant is a good way to avoid wasp robbing as no spillage.
 #955  by Patrick
 05 Oct 2018, 15:35
Ironically I find syrup more of a pain to make up in small quantities than larger, partly because I use a mains drill to mix up large quantities and it’s not practical with small.

I think the ratios thing is because it’s in books with lots of other rather impenetrable instructions which leave the reader slightly befuddled and therefore only confident it will work if they do exactly as instructed. As the original idea was to give them as saturated a sugar solution as possible “to give them less work” to store it can teeter on the edge of granulation and I agree bung in a bit of extra water by all means - it’s just above their heads so collection is easy. Nectar comes in many different sugar concentrations naturally and the bees cope admirably.

I somehow manage to get everything sticky whether I use fondant or syrup. It could just concievably be pilot error..
 #958  by NigelP
 05 Oct 2018, 16:46
Chrisbarlow wrote:
04 Oct 2018, 21:36

I do have thymol and I am told its a good way to avoid nosema, maybe one day I`ll try it. I have a recipe some where for mix ratios some where.
There are at least 2 different recipes for thymol solutions for addition to syrup. There is the Hivemaker, thymol- Lecithin emulsion which is more complex than the easier Manley recipe, which is what I use.
For a 1000x/2000x concentrated stock solution AKA Manley you dissolve 20gms of thymol crystals in 100 ml of Isopropanol. In use you add either 1ml per liter of sugar solution (1000x). Or I use it as 2000X and add 0,5ml to 1 liter. Both concentrations stop any mold forming, but whether this simpler thymol solution is effective as a nosema preventative is more speculative. However, I have never had a colony suffer from serious nosema (or at least the ones I've tested) since I started using it. Nor have I ever found any mould growing in any of my 1:1 sugar solutions,which has included containers left outside all year in out apiaries for the "just in case occasional emergency feed".
 #959  by Chrisbarlow
 05 Oct 2018, 18:19
its the manley recipe that I have. I will have to give it a try. Cheers Nigel
 #977  by CDS
 06 Oct 2018, 15:40
Finally got back on the forum after the switch from the old website.

I find I'm using fondant more and more for winter feeding - the plain bakers' stuff, not Ambrosia or equivalent. It is convenient to use, can be used at any time, and the bees never get caught out with fermenting stores. I still use a bit of sugar syrup for various reasons and usually make it up with thymol as per Manley. I can't prove it works against Nosema but it doesn't seem to hurt and it certainly preserves the syrup. I didn't need to feed at all this year as there was plenty of honey stored in the double brood boxes once the supers were removed.
 #981  by Chrisbarlow
 06 Oct 2018, 17:48
Welcome back CDS. I had the same issue
It was back and I hadn't realized.

I think I might start using the Manley recipe for syrup myself
 #986  by KiritGordhandas
 07 Oct 2018, 09:22
The NBU publication Feeding Bees (Best Practice Guideline No. 7a) has a simple recipe using surgical sprit. Fill a container one third full of thymol crystals and top up with surgical spirit. Add 2.5ml per 4.5l of syrup or, in old money, half a teaspoon per gallon of syrup.

Link to PDF File: http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm?pageid=167