Is it important to feed hungry bees protein?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    8

    Default Is it important to feed hungry bees protein?

    I have some beehives that are very low on honey this winter. Is it important to feed them some sort of pollen/protein, or is straight white sugar enough?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    1,207

    Default Re: Is it important to feed hungry bees protein?

    All I do in this situation is feed plain white sugar in some form - fondant preferred - or damp-set crystallised table sugar if fondant's not available.

    Feeding pollen or pollen substitute may stimulate colonies into early brood-rearing, and if they're seriously low on stores then that's not such a good idea ...
    Good luck
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,260

    Default Re: Is it important to feed hungry bees protein?

    You are two weeks post winter solstice. The queen typically starts producing at this time. I would place a winter patty on the hives in addition to the sugar. A winter patty is mostly sugar but has some protein in it, enough hopefully for the new brood to be fed. Rusty Burlew of www.honeybeesuite.com recommends pollen sub anytime after winter solstice. If you do feed pollen sub, make sure they have plenty of sugar too.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

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