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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Posts
    303

    Default Putting Tea in Bee Tea

    I'm trying to adapt a bee tea recipe with the interest in providing feed to help bee health instead of just feeding sugar water to the bees in spring.

    My recipe is:

    In 1 gallon of water, add:

    2 cloves of garlic (minced)
    400 grams of Stinging Nettle
    8 dandelion flowers
    1 - 2 leaves of sage
    1 tsp chamomile tea

    Simmer the above at 160 degrees for 30 minutes then add 8 lbs of sugar.

    Cool to room temperature then add 3 Tbs ProHealth (HBH)

    Then I was thinking with all the heal effects of pekoe tea, to add a tea bag of pekoe tea (about 1 tsp) to the simmer mixture.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,505

    Default Re: Putting Tea in Bee Tea

    The only thing I would put in the sugar syrup is apple cider vinegar to preserve it and entice them to take it.

    A tiny amount of some essential oils might be OK as well (lemongrass, geramiun, etc).

    I really don't think a supply of tannins is going to do them any good, they don't eat tannins on their own, only pollen (sterols, protein, carbohydrates) and nectar (sucrose syrup with essential oils).

    White sugar and pollen is all they really need.

    Peter

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Aberdeen, Idaho
    Posts
    496

    Default Re: Putting Tea in Bee Tea

    Bluntly I think your nuts!
    Dave

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Evanston, Wyoming
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Putting Tea in Bee Tea

    I added a small amount of herbal tea to my heavy syrup last fall. Steeped in water before adding the sugar. This idea was suggested on a YouTube vid. (Everyone knows if it on the Internet, it must be true). I also added a small amount of apple cider vinegar . I was concerned as I had a split, not heavy with winter stores. I thought the micro nutrients found in an herbal (lemon chamomile), may simulate nectar better than straight processed sugar syrup.
    This seemed to work well as the ladies came through a cold winter well.
    Though they may have survived despite my action rather than because of it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Slidell, LA, USA
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: Putting Tea in Bee Tea

    I wonder if you would achieve basically the same thing by providing a water source with leaf litter or pine needles. Serves several purposes, the bees don't have to go as far to find a water source or a nearby pool, the leaf litter allows them to get to the water with fewer bees drowning and the slowly rotting organic matter will provide the tannins and microflora they naturally get from wild water sources.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,316

    Default Re: Putting Tea in Bee Tea

    And if you didn't make the tea for them would the bees make it for themselves?
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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