Supplementary feeding of bees: Bees require supplementary feeding when the food stores are poor. Supplementing the food stores of bee colonies with sugar syrup and pollen substitute/pollen supplement is known as supplementary feeding.
When do the bees need feeding?
Honey bees collect surplus food in the form of nectar and pollen when bee forage is available in plenty. Nectar is converted in to honey and stored for future use when there is dearth of flora. Similarly pollen is processed to form bee bread for later use to meet protein requirement of the colony. But with commercial interests in mind different hive products are harvested from bee colonies which need to be supplemented for their survival. Colonies are fed sugar in different forms to supplement honey and pollen substitute or supplement in place of pollen. Therefore, it is important to know method of preparation of different types of feeds given to bee colonies and methods of feeding.
• Table sugarProcedure: Sugar is fed to bees by preparing syrup of different concentration depending on the season. Sugar is fed even in dry form or in the form of candy.
• Tartaric acid
• Fat free soy flour
• Wheat flour
• Brewers’ yeast
• Butter paper
• Different types of feeders (friction pail, division board feeder )
Preparation of sugar syrup:
Preparation of sugar candy:
In addition to honey, bees also need pollen to meet their protein requirements and rearing of brood. If pollen stores are not sufficient and fresh pollen is not available, colonies can be given pollen substitute/pollen supplement.
Pollen substitute: This is a food to supplement pollen stores to which no pollen is added.
Pollen supplement: Pollen supplement in addition to other components also contains pollen. It is readily accepted by bees.
Preparation of pollen supplement: To prepare pollen supplement mix 1 part of pollen in 3 parts of fat free soy flour and 2 parts of sugar syrup (prepared by dissolving 2 parts of sugar in 1 part of hot water). This is fed to the bees in a similar manner as described for pollen substitute.
Precaution: Pollen substitute or supplement should be fed only during dearth period when pollen is not available or during spring when colony demand for pollen is more for brood rearing as compared to available pollen.
Last modified: Monday, 16 July 2012, 8:47 AM