Why Would I Feed My Bees Green Food Coloring?

Why Would I Feed My Bees Green Food Coloring?

2:1 sugar syrup dyed with green food coloring.

I really don’t like to give my bees sugar syrup, but it is better than letting them die. The reasons I don’t like to give them sugar syrup are :

1)    Sugar water is a poor nutritional supplement for honey and is the equivalent of giving snicker bars to kids to live on.

2)   Making sugar water is a lot of work for me and the bees to process. Time is very valuable to everyone and including our bees.

3)    It costs a lot of money to feed honeybees. It actually takes 1/2 gallon of 2:1 sugar water to make just 1 medium frame of capped food.

It may not seem like a lot of work or money for just 1 gallon of sugar water for your bees. But when you start keeping more and more bees it takes more time and money for each one.

2:1 sugar syrup dyed with green food coloring.

I really don’t like to give my bees sugar syrup, but it is better than letting them die. The reasons I don’t like to give them sugar syrup are :

1)    Sugar water is a poor nutritional supplement for honey and is the equivalent of giving snicker bars to kids to live on.

2)   Making sugar water is a lot of work for me and the bees to process. Time is very valuable to everyone and including our bees.

3)    It costs a lot of money to feed honeybees. It actually takes 1/2 gallon of 2:1 sugar water to make just 1 medium frame of capped food.

It may not seem like a lot of work or money for just 1 gallon of sugar water for your bees. But when you start keeping more and more bees it takes more time and money for each one.

ADDING GREEN FOOD COLORING TO BEE SYRUP

ADDING GREEN FOOD COLORING TO BEE SYRUP

Even though I really don’t like to feed bees sugar syrup, I have to do it when it is needed. I never, never, never want to have any sugar syrup ending up in a bottle of my honey.

It can easily happen to anybody, as capped honey and capped sugar water look exactly the same. If you feed your bees a lot of sugar syrup in the fall, that will lead to excess capped sugar syrup in the spring. That capped sugar syrup can get lost in the shuffle and end up getting uncapped and extracted in the spring.

Out of curiosity and because I had to feed my bees sugar syrup anyway, I dyed 2 gallons of syrup I gave them. I did it by adding a few drops of food-safe green coloring. It didn’t take much to get the job done.

The liquid food coloring in the link works much better than the gel type. They took the green syrup down without a problem and stored it away just like any other.

Even though I really don’t like to feed bees sugar syrup, I have to do it when it is needed. I never, never, never want to have any sugar syrup ending up in a bottle of my honey.

It can easily happen to anybody, as capped honey and capped sugar water look exactly the same. If you feed your bees a lot of sugar syrup in the fall, that will lead to excess capped sugar syrup in the spring. That capped sugar syrup can get lost in the shuffle and end up getting uncapped and extracted in the spring.

Out of curiosity and because I had to feed my bees sugar syrup anyway, I dyed 2 gallons of syrup I gave them. I did it by adding a few drops of food-safe green coloring. It didn’t take much to get the job done.

The liquid food coloring in the link works much better than the gel type. They took the green syrup down without a problem and stored it away just like any other.

Dyed 2:1 syrup next to traditional 2:1 syrup.

Questions We Are Trying To Figure Out:

1)    Is the most recent sugar syrup stored (the green one), the first consumed by overwintering bees or the last one consumed in the spring?

2)    Does this green syrup or any capped sugar water make it through the spring and into the summer?

Dyed 2:1 syrup next to traditional 2:1 syrup.

Questions We Are Trying To Figure Out:

1)    Is the most recent sugar syrup stored (the green one), the first consumed by overwintering bees or the last one consumed in the spring?

2)    Does this green syrup or any capped sugar water make it through the spring and into the summer?

RESULTS OF GREEN FOOD COLORING IN THE BEE SYRUP

RESULTS OF GREEN FOOD COLORING IN THE BEE SYRUP

After feeding the bees several gallons of green syrup, it turns out that it was very hard to find green syrup in the comb. This would not be a reliable way to make sure you are not harvesting sugar syrup.

 

A more reliable way to do this is to only feed bees syrup when honey boxes are not on the hive. If feeding your bees with honey boxes on the hive, there is a reasonable chance that the syrup will be mixed with harvestable honey.

After feeding the bees several gallons of green syrup, it turns out that it was very hard to find green syrup in the comb. This would not be a reliable way to make sure you are not harvesting sugar syrup.

 

A more reliable way to do this is to only feed bees syrup when honey boxes are not on the hive. If feeding your bees with honey boxes on the hive, there is a reasonable chance that the syrup will be mixed with harvestable honey.

HOW TO MAKE SUGAR SYRUP FOR BEES

HOW TO MAKE SUGAR SYRUP FOR BEES

For a guide on how much sugar and water it takes to make a gallon of syrup or to find out how much syrup for your bees to store 1 frame of honey, see this page.

Sugar Syrup for Bees

Happy Beekeeping.

For a guide on how much sugar and water it takes to make a gallon of syrup or to find out how much syrup for your bees to store 1 frame of honey, see this page.

Sugar Syrup for Bees

Happy Beekeeping.

As an Amazon Associate, Foxhound Bee Company may earn from qualifying purchases

As an Amazon Associate, Foxhound Bee Company may earn from qualifying purchases

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