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Thread: salting a hive

  1. #1
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    Feb 2003
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    brown county,indiana,usa
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    i've heard of beekeepers putting a little salt out for the bees,and i've done this occasionally though it's one of those things i always forget to do.anyway,last week i went out and put a heaping tablespoon of salt out in front on the landing of each hive,with one particilar strong hive,the salt was gone within an hour!i wonder if this is something we can do to help the bees that has been largely overlooked,does anyone else salt their hives?

  2. #2
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    I have had an occasional bee land gently and lick the sweat off of me. I have never tried salting them. I wonder, if they need salt if they also need other minerals in any significant amounts.

  3. #3
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    Mineral, Virginia
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    Yeah, but WHERE did it go, are you sure inside? I almost think some of them spend time as janitor bees; I see them pacing around the bottom board, picking stuff up and winging it off somewhere. I watched one tote a dead compatriot out the other day, take off and fly out of site with corps in foot.

  4. #4
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    I agree, if you didn't see them take it in the hive, or eat it, then who knows. But if they are eating it then perhaps they need it.

  5. #5
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    Oct 2001
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    Mason, MI, USA
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    Lightbulb

    In most recipes for grease pattys they call for some mineral salt mixed in. I wonder if this is to give the bees their 1 a day vitamin with minerals.
    Clint

    ------------------
    Clinton Bemrose
    just South of Lansing Michigan

  6. #6
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    Apr 2003
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    White Heath, IL, USA
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    Salt is used as a preservative in many different recipes. My guess is that if they have added salt into the grease patties that they may be trying to keep them from going bad quickly.

    Don't know for sure - just an alternative explanation.

  7. #7
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    the bees were definitely using at least some of it,bees would almost immediately go over and put their tounges on it.i didn't watch the whole period to see if some was carried away.i'd like to hear anyone else's results if they want to try it.

  8. #8
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    Elizabethtown,KY
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    In a pet store you could buy a little mineral "block" or doughnut for gerbils. They're about the size of a quarter and 1/2 inch thick.I wonder how this would do in a hive? You could keep it just inside the entrance out of the rain, yet visible to see if the bees go for it.
    D.

  9. #9
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    Ranchers around here put out salt/mineral blocks for the cows.These are sometimes close to the hives.I figure if it was something they needed they would land on them .I have watched from time to time but have never seen the bees on them.
    --Mike

  10. #10
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    Jun 2003
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    Las Cruces, NM USA
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    Gotta love that Google! I did a search for sugars in honey and came up with this little tidbit at : http://www.beesource.com/pov/usda/abjfeb1977.htm

    ....Piskovoi et al, (1964) found that common table salt, sodium chloride, in levels as low as .0125% in sugar syrup caused dysentary and mortality in caged bees............

    By the way, this article is an excellent source for what makes a good substitute feed in the place of natural honey.

    ------------------
    Linc

  11. #11
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    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    I still have my eye on that jokester. Got me good with the rock in a tree thing. Then the 3 thousand dollar beeystem. Perhaps credit was wrongly given on that(?).
    But now we have saltmining bees.....
    Question-If I put one of those apple flavored salt blocks, the kind that horses like, will I get apple flavored honey? How about other flavors?

  12. #12
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    Can't say it was salt but....
    Over this past weekend, it rained, like every other weekend. Anyways, I placed a half loaf of multigrain bread on a stand above my birdfeeder. After it rained the bread was of course all soggy. But it was also covered with bees collecting up the water and what ever else was in it. Sugar source? salt? Beats me.

  13. #13
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    Dec 2002
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    Aegina, Greece
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    Bees do need salt in very small quantities. It's better to put it on water, one teaspoon is enough. If your beeyard is next to sea you don't need to do that. Bees taking the salt that they need from there.

  14. #14
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    Mineral, Virginia
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    >> Bees do need salt in very small quantities. It's better to put it on water, one teaspoon is enough. If your beeyard is next to sea you don't need to do that. Bees taking the salt that they need from there.

    Is this based upon some research or consistently observed pattern? Experience related here is pointing to different data

  15. #15
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    May 2003
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    Sandhills NC
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    I have cows and we put minerals and salt blocks out for them, my bees are always on the minerals butI have never seen them on the salt blocks!

  16. #16
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    It seems reasonable that bees would need minerals And just because I never saw them on the blocks doesnt mean they didnt get on them as soon as I left!Some old terramycin recipes called for mixing with fine salt instead of sugar,but I never tried it.Some think its good for them ,but I havent seen any evidence for it.
    --Mike

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