Mann Lake LTD Liquid Feed Article
How do you decide which product to feed? First you have to decide what you are trying to achieve.
Do you have plenty of bees in the box but need to put weight on? HFCS provides immediate nutrition to the colony as they don’t have to break down the sugars into fructose and dextrose and they can quickly pack on stores. Bees tend to treat HFCS like stored honey, which tends to act as less of a stimulant for brood production than feeds with sucrose.
Do you have weight on the hive but need to stimulate brood production? Liquid sugar stimulates the bees much like a nectar flow, as the bees have to break down the sucrose into fructose and dextrose as well as dehydrate and adjust the PH for storage. This process doesn’t allow them to put weight on quickly. The Pro-Sweet 77 and Pro-Sweet 71 supplies sucrose, fructose and dextrose, allowing bees to both build up and put on weight.
Will you need to hold over some of the product for a few months or will you feed it all out right away? First, the moisture (% solids) of the product and secondarily, the PH determine the shelf-life of the product. The higher the moisture level (or lower the solids), the more rapidly fermentation can occur. O-sucrose at 66.5 % solids has the most moisture; both HFCS and Pro-Sweet 77 are 77% solids whereas Pro-Sweet 71 is 71 % solids. The higher the PH, the more likely you will have microbial growth occur. HFCS is very acidic (low PH), o-sucrose is very alkaline (high PH) and both Pro-Sweet products have a mid-range PH to avoid microbial growth.
Is crystallization an issue? Crystallization of type 55 % HFCS can be reduced by adding 10% water, but any more than that can cause fermentation issues. O-Sucrose can also crystallize, especially in cold weather. Pro-Sweet 77 Pro-Sweet 71 are the least likely to crystallize as the sugar molecules tend not to ‘stick together’ to form crystals.
Call us at 800-880-7694 to discuss your needs and questions you may have.
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