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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,774

    Default Crystallized honey good or bad for bees?

    What do people think about crystallized honey as food for bees? I am wondering if there is a benefit for the bees that some honey crystallizes in the comb. I have heard some say that it is the last honey the bees will use which implies that it is an insurance policy. Certainly the bees cannot have a taste preference.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Rowley, MA
    Posts
    253

    Default Re: Crystallized honey good or bad for bees?

    I would have thought it was used last because it is harder for them to use?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,656

    Default Re: Crystallized honey good or bad for bees?

    I'm fairly certain that honey bees have no notion of "insurance" or actuarial science . On the other hand, bee's "taste" preferences have been well documented.

    If the bees show a preference outside the hive (see Wisdom of the Hive by Thomas Seeley) I wouldn't be surprised if they show a preference for certain cells of honey in the hive.

    I have never read of there being a benefit to having crystallized honey...
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,925

    Default Re: Crystallized honey good or bad for bees?

    I was under the impression it was hard for them to process and eat as well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,852

    Default Re: Crystallized honey good or bad for bees?

    processing crystalized honey cant be any harder for them than candy boards or granulated sugar dumped on the top bars in winter months.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Rowley, MA
    Posts
    253

    Default Re: Crystallized honey good or bad for bees?

    which are foods they use when the honey is gone no ?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Default Re: Crystallized honey good or bad for bees?

    Often the quick crystalizing honeys such as Aster have a higher ash and of course solids content so are harder for bees to process and digest, especially in the winter months. In the early days we most often saw disentary in the yards with big aster flows. Having said that, uch of the honey we have here crystallizes quickly and most of the hives use it w/o issues. I don't know about bees having taste buds but they always pick the most potent nectar. I know when we put bees on Buckwheat if anything else is in bloom they'll fly over a mega bloom of buckwheat to get to clover.

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