Rules and features of bee feeding
In order for each bee colony to be capable of normal life, and the yield of beekeeping products was high, the bees must receive the amount of nutrients they need. Beekeepers claim that in order to avoid pathologies in the development of bees, the following requirements must be observed:
- spring bribe, thanks to which favorable conditions are created in bee colonies for the development of stronger and more viable individuals;
- the main bribe, which should be long and voluminous and used to the maximum by bees to obtain beekeeping products;
- autumn bribe aimed at developing the strength of the family.
However, for many beekeepers, this is where the problems begin. Firstly, there is not always enough food, and secondly, it is not always possible to find places that will provide bee bribes. Experts say that in practice, the spring bribe is usually interrupted for a long time, and the autumn one is absent altogether, which makes preparation for the main bribe rather difficult.
However, a number of measures will make it possible to correct the situation, for example, by migrating, increasing the number of bribes, adding additional fertilizing for the winter period. All this will contribute to an increase in the yield of marketable products. You should also carefully consider the choice of an apiary: carefully examine the area, evaluate its food supply. Of course, the stability of the natural food base is due to many factors: climatic and weather conditions.
Paying attention to the fact that weather conditions in spring are not entirely stable with characteristic temperature changes and frequent precipitation, experienced beekeepers use artificial feeding methods, as they know: with a lack of feed in spring, one cannot expect normal development and reproduction of bees, and, most importantly, nutrition in winter. This can lead to the fact that the wintering will end badly, because in this case only small families with a large number of old bees will survive it. In addition, the uterus can give spring offspring only if it is properly fed, preferably with the addition of honey products or sugar syrup. But when there are no bribes, such feeding causes the bees to be active, so it is important to ensure that all families are healthy, and that bees in neighboring apiaries would not be carriers of infectious diseases. This allows you to get strong individuals and in the spring to breed the maximum possible number of bees.
What is the best food?
In view of all this, it is very important to regulate the amount of food in the hive, not only during a lack of natural food, but also during feeding, to supply the bees with winter food. Sometimes they resort to feeding bees for some specific purpose, for example, to breed queens or in order to understand which individuals or families are receiving insufficient feed.
The most popular bee food consists of honey and bee, which includes all the necessary nutrients, thus, it is Candypal, which has all the qualities necessary for feeding larvae, worker bees and drones. It ensures optimal vital functions of bees, the formation of honey-containing products, energy of bees. In the autumn-winter period, it is recommended to feed the bees with honey, since during this period the bees do not work and there is no brood. Honey supports vital processes and the creation of valuable food products. Honey contains a lot of carbohydrates and is a source of minerals.
In spring, brood appears, wax is released and combs are built, bees begin to collect nectar. At this time, it is necessary to add bee bread to the feed, since it is the bees fed with bee bread that normally secrete wax, feed the larvae, and have enough energy for the bees to work in the family. Perga is an organic protein-fat feed containing many minerals and vitamins. The lack of honey is compensated by feeding in the form of sugar syrup. The deficit of bee bread is not compensated by anything. And although scientists tried to find analogues of pollen and bee bread, their attempts did not lead to anything. That is why it is very important for Russian beekeepers to have at least a certain amount of bee bread in stock: in our climatic conditions, bees receive a small pollen bribe. If the farmer has bee bread, then if there is a lack of it in the diet of bees, he can simply add it to the top dressing. Also, sometimes milk is used for feeding, which also cannot be replaced by any other substance.
Feeding bees outside
The food supply of the bee colony must be monitored throughout the season and especially in early autumn, because the amount of honey produced increases during this time.
Constant feeding throughout the year is not required for bees.If the weather conditions are unfavorable, then in this case you can feed the hives. Beehives must be prepared for wintering. But if bees in adverse conditions consume all the honey, then this is a net loss for the beekeeper. Therefore, it is very important to calculate costs and profits in order to understand in time that the work is at a loss, and, therefore, something needs to be changed.
The difficulty of feeding bees on the street is that the bees, however, fly out of the hive, can get sick and die. Therefore, to provide them with more energy, you need to feed the bees with sugar syrup. Bees need to be prepared for feeding in advance so as not to disturb insects, which undoubtedly affects their safety.
Winter feeding is necessary for bees in order for them to produce normal, viable offspring and to produce products that are widely used by people for various purposes. Since bees need food that would provide them with energy expenditure for life, but at the same time would not burden their digestion, it should be easily broken down and give a lot of energy at the same time. Such food is honey. Therefore, it is recommended to feed the bees with honey in winter.
How to feed bees in winter: expert advice
The preparation of bees for the period of low temperatures begins earlier than the first frost hits, and even before the cold snap sets in. Usually, the preparation of the apiary for wintering begins in August-September.
For the most favorable wintering in each bee house, as a rule, up to 9-10 kilograms of honey is left. At the same time, about 6-7 kilograms are used for insect nutrition, the rest is for storage, since honey is the main resource from which bees draw strength for life, in fact, being carbohydrate, and therefore easily decomposed and giving a large amount of energy. Some beekeepers even recommend increasing the amount stored for the winter up to 15 kilograms: the more feed, the better the wintering, but it is important not to “go over”.
The honey dressing should be placed in a special way:
- lie in plates;
- the location should not prevent insects from moving;
- honey should not obstruct the passage of air, reduce its circulation;
- the middle part of the hive should not be filled with honey;
- you should place top dressing in the upper part of the hive, at its walls;
- insects should be free to move around the hive;
- there should be free space above the frames.
If natural honey is not enough, you should feed from August. You can feed insects with sugar syrup that you have prepared yourself. The syrup should be prepared at the rate of one kilogram of sugar per one and a half liters of water. The water is brought to a boil, and then sugar is evenly poured into it. When the mixture is completely cool, the syrup can be fed as a top dressing. Its daily dose should be no more than two hundred to three hundred grams per bee house. This syrup is usually processed by old bees that die off during the winter.
Nests for wintering should be prepared by September. If the bees are still lacking food, it is recommended to feed them a more concentrated syrup. For this syrup, you need to dissolve two and a half kilograms of sugar in two liters of water. Top dressing should be done in large quantities: one portion can contain up to three liters. This is done in order to fill the cells faster.
In a situation where there is enough feed, and the nectar is no longer available, the queen bee no longer lays eggs. With proper feeding, wintering will have a good effect on the young and new generation, since young insects will not spend much effort to nurture the new generation.
Winter dressing should include either honey or very low strength sugar syrup. It needs to be produced regularly, but in small quantities, only 15-30 grams per serving.
At the end of wintering, it is necessary to feed the bees in a certain way. To do this, you need a frame with honeycombs, which are filled with heated sugar syrup mixed with honey (or just honey). In such a frame with standard dimensions, you can fit about one kilogram of food. Before feeding, empty combs are removed from the hive, and those filled with nutritious feed are placed, then all this is covered with a heater.