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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,107

    Default Sugar water & Pollen substitute only

    Can good queens be raised on only sugar water and pollen substitute: no honey or pollen?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Spanaway, WA
    Posts
    138

    Default Re: Sugar water & Pollen substitute only

    I'd guess no. The chapter on nutrition in the hive and honey bee cites a few articles that mention that workers raised only on substitute are short lived. Unless there has been some true (not just marketing) advancement recently I'm inclined to believe that a queen won't be healthy either.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,347

    Default Re: Sugar water & Pollen substitute only

    Raising bees, workers, drones, or queens on only sugar syrup and pollen substitutes may be an issue, but the one major problem I see with the premise, is how to keep the bees from augmenting that diet with natural forage.

    They would have to be confined, or be in a very severe and extended drought; if the former, then there are going to be more serious problems to deal with than trying to raise queens; and if the latter, then supplemental feeding is going to be the only way you are going to be able to get the bees to raise any queen cells.

    BTW, queens are mostly fed with royal jelly, and queen larvae are fed nothing but royal jelly; not: sugar syrup, pollen, pollen substitute, nectar, or even honey. And only honey will not easily inspire the bees to behave as if there were fresh nectar readily available, unless plenty of fresh water was also available.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,107

    Default Re: Sugar water & Pollen substitute only

    Thanks Joseph. I want to try to raise a few queens even though it is late in the year. We are in a serious dearth right now and rainy weather as well. They'll bring in very little nectar. I have serious problems with robbing even with reduced entrances/robbing screens. Small hive beetles are abundant. That's why I want to put in very little honey and feed sugar syrup. I'll only confine them for a few days.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,120

    Default Re: Sugar water & Pollen substitute only

    >Can good queens be raised on only sugar water and pollen substitute: no honey or pollen?

    There is plenty of evidence that long lived worker bee cannot. I think it's safe to assume it applies to queens as well.

    Here is Jay Smith's opinion:

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesbetterq...n%20and%20Bees
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,065

    Default Re: Sugar water & Pollen substitute only

    Another reason to keep a super of assorted stores in a freezer. Every bee keeper should have one.

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