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Changing out syrup


How often should I change the syrup/sugar water in a top feeder.
I know that to a degree it depends on ambient temp, but what guideline should I use before it spoils and becomes harmful to the bees?

Newly installed package.


Most people do it when they see visible mold. However, that doesn’t mean it is dangerous to the bees. You can prolong the life of the syrup by adding a little less than one teaspoon of chlorine bleach to each gallon - perfectly safe for bees and they still take it. http://scientificbeekeeping.com/fat-bees-part-3/


Prolong?? :slight_smile: heck my girls are drunks :slight_smile: they go thur a quart every 3 day or less


I put three drops of 85% phosphoric acid per quart of 1:1 syrup. This gives me roughly a pH of between 3.0-4.0 and would have a fairly long shelf life. You could do this with lemon juice as well since citric acid is also an antibacterial.

[quote=“Martydallas, post:3, topic:6726”]
heck my girls are drunks :slight_smile: they go thur a quart every 3 day or less
[/quote] Mine seem to take about 4-5 days to go through a quart of syrup


I would never add anything that adds smell. I used chorine bleach once. I won’t do it again. Vinegar was a similar issue. Both set off massive robbing frenzies. Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) works fine and is actually good for bees. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24477034


Hi there everyone,

@Michael_Bush I’m a great fan of you and all your “green” work!

I would like to know what would be the proportion/drops for the syrup, water and Ascorbic acid (vitamin C).

Another question is: here in Portugal now it’s Spring, and I got last friday my first bees with a queen from 2015. They are working well (I think). It’s not a big swarm. I inspected the hive yesterday afternoon and I have almost 1 frame (type langstroth flow hive) full of wax (I’m not using any wax background). My mentor said that the queen is already laying eggs on the older frame that came from the nucleos with some honey nectar.

Should I still feed the bees?

Thank you all!


My main goal is to get to 4.5 pH and that depends too much on the local water to say how much will work for that goal on your water. On my water at my old house (I’ve moved and have not worked it out for the new house) I was using 7 grams of ascorbic acid to five gallons of 5:3 syrup. Boil the water. Dissolve the ascorbic acid in the water. Add the sugar.