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Thread: Feeding honey

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Denton,Texas,USA
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    Default Feeding honey

    Just read an article suggesting feeding bees honey instead of sugar/water. Is honey a better option??

  2. #2
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    Jun 2010
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    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
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    Default Re: Feeding honey

    I think I would be sure the honey was from my own bees. -james

  3. #3
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    Jan 2011
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    Shirley, MA, USA
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    Default Re: Feeding honey

    My first winter I fed syrup until sub-freezing temperatures, and had an impressive display of yellow snow and dead bees late winter. I learned to make fondant this fall. It'd be an interesting option for me, taking a modest harvest from a Langstroth hive and giving it to a struggling TBH hive next to it, but I don't know how to feed honey to a top bar hive. Or even a Langstroth, for that matter. What did the article suggest?

  4. #4
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    Nov 2011
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    Default Re: Feeding honey

    The article simple had you place a tub of honey under an existing comb with a stick in the bottom to keep bees from drowning.

  5. #5
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    Jan 2011
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    Shirley, MA, USA
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    Default Re: Feeding honey

    A thin covering of wood chips might be safer. Mine seem to have a talent for drowning. Underneath comb won't work in cold weather in my climate, but you've got me thinking about thin can lids placed on top for emergency feeding. Maybe they'll get one as a Christmas present to test it. It just won't hold much.

    Doesn't seem like anyone's got an answer to your question about whether it's better, though. I'd say the common-sense answer is that honey almost certainly is more nutritious, but sugar is easier to handle, and cheaper compared to honey profits. If you're a honey producer, sugar. If you're a hobbyist-aesthetics-bee friend, supplemental honey if you've got it. The point I'd bet no one can make is that there's hard, scientific evidence that the nutrition factor matters over a winter season. I wouldn't use the secretly-from-China stuff at my grocery store, but I think I'd use farm stand honey from local, credible beekeepers. And no, I've no idea what I'm talking about.

    Another point which is definitely beyond my experience-- for spring feeding, the nectar-like syrup stimulates brood. Don't know if honey would do that. So maybe syrup for a boost in spring, and if you've got the resources, honey for emergency bulking up in fall?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Feeding honey

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulC View Post
    Just read an article suggesting feeding bees honey instead of sugar/water. Is honey a better option??
    Not feeding at all. Why do you think they need feeding? Because of the drought and heat?

    Sugar syrup would be my feed of choice. For a cpl reasons. Two of which is, if you already took the honey from them, all the work you did to make it useable to you. And the other, feeding sugar syrup is more easily done and less messy. Arguably it is also more digestable for them and causes less disentery.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

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