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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to this and learning a lot.
I would like to begin learning about the supplements that are being used successfully.
My local mentor suggests Honey B Healthy (he's a dealer for it).
I will resist the urge to ask "Which one is best" because I know how that will turn out.
Please let me know what several of the "popular" supplements are and I will begin from there.
I am maintaining my hives treatment free so I'm interested in all natural supplements.
Any advice on feeding (or not feeding) supplements is welcome.
Thank you.
 

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Your bees , your call ...many beekeepers swear how awesome the health of their hives are due to the super sauce , will can tell you they dont need it and yet their bees survive without scientific intervention. Bees move {nectar, syrup, hbh) around in the hive all the time. So if you want this in your hive and you think you need it in your honey, take a couple tablespoons along with the girls everyday .. what could it hurt might help you out also .
 

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What's wrong with the bees gathering nectar and pollen, that's what bees do. If you feel they need syrup the honey-b healthy will only promote robbing. If I have to feed I put in a little apple cider vinegar 2-4 tablespoons per gallon or lemon juice 2 tablespoons per gallon into my 2:1 (1-1/2 gallons water with 25 lbs. sugar) syrup. JMHO
 

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I am new to this and learning a lot.
I would like to begin learning about the supplements that are being used successfully.
My local mentor suggests Honey B Healthy (he's a dealer for it).
I will resist the urge to ask "Which one is best" because I know how that will turn out.
Please let me know what several of the "popular" supplements are and I will begin from there.
I am maintaining my hives treatment free so I'm interested in all natural supplements.
Any advice on feeding (or not feeding) supplements is welcome.
Thank you.
When it comes to your bees, only you will know what you want for them. As for diff supplements available, HBH, Wintergreen Grease Patties, and even Pollen SUB is available on the more natural side of things. But what you give them should be looked at and then ask yourself WHY am I giving this to them?

The reason I say that is simply because you MUST know why it is you are giving them the Supplements before you do so. For if you just give to them blindly without knowing why in the first place you will only cause yourself more problems later.

Take this scenario for instance: Say someone is going to give their hive HBH as they seem week and run down, low stores. Great reason, the bees will take it like nothing flatt and as evidence shows it will help some problems. BUT if you were just starting to see pollen come in via the bees in the spring and put a pollen SUB in for them to use, all you do instead of getting them to brood up is give the SHB something to eat instead.

So i will say it this way.. BEFORE you feed supplements to your bees (If you feel they actually need it), know for sure the reason behind feeding what it is, when to stop feeding it, and what happens if you don't stop feeding it when you should. Get yourself a good book and read up on it.
 

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I would avoid long term feeding of honeybeehealthy or lemon grass oil or wintergreen oil or oil of oregano or spearmint oil or any other additive. They all alter the bees gut bacteria and I never use them for any longer than necessary. But they all do have there uses.

I do not use honeybeehealthy but it is primarily made of various amounts of the above. Lemongrass oil is a wonderful aid when you are trying to get the bees to rapidly store sugar syrup but if you spill it outside the hive or leave large entrances in weak hives, It can exacerbate robbing. Wintergreen, oregano, thyme and spearmint oil can be successfully used to treat mites again in a controlled manner and not applied for long periods of time. Fatbeeman has a you tube channel with good information on this subject. I also suggest you check with what Mr. Michael Bush has to say.
 

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I am new to this and learning a lot.
I would like to begin learning about the supplements that are being used successfully.
My local mentor suggests Honey B Healthy (he's a dealer for it).
I will resist the urge to ask "Which one is best" because I know how that will turn out.
Please let me know what several of the "popular" supplements are and I will begin from there.
I am maintaining my hives treatment free so I'm interested in all natural supplements.
Any advice on feeding (or not feeding) supplements is welcome.
Thank you.
I generally don't use supplements. I do use HBH as a feeding stimulant when I want the bees to take syrup and for whatever reason they are reluctant to. I place little credence in the claims of supplement producers. I am not inclined to mess around with essential oils and such for health benefits. Sorry I don't fit the criteria of those you were looking to hear from. If you are interested in being Treatment Free all supplements should be off the table of consideration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Any advice on feeding (or not feeding) supplements is welcome.
Thank you.
Andrew... The only criteria that I asked for was honest opinion. So thank you.
So treatment free means no intervention whatsoever?
I'm not just itching to find snake oils and cure all's to buy. I am already leaning toward just letting Nature handle most of the work, I just wanted to get more familiar with the subject.
I was just wondering if there was some sort of leg-up to be gained.
I am familiar with M. Bush's take and subscribe to a lot of his outline. I will look up Fatbeeman.
Has there been anything published on the subject?
 

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The question you need to answer for yourself is are you using supplements to effect a change (treat) the colony? As far as TF goes there is a wide range of thought and no high court to judge the treatment free from the ordinary folks. The most I think you can do is not worry about other opinions and do what feels right to you. Is it your intention to avoid completely man conceived and made chemicals in your hive? What about synthetic recreations of naturally occurring substances? How about using naturally occurring substances in concentrations not found in nature? Or in forms not found in nature?

There can be a huge debate about the meaning of treatment free - at the end of the day what I think matters applies to me and my bees and not necessarily to another beekeeper. I prefer working live bees to dead ones and not having found a bee that will thrive without mite treatments in my area (location is very important!) I treat when mites by testing are found to be at unhealthy levels for the colony. I sample one or two hives in a yard and base my treatment decisions for that yard based on my samples.

I could tell you what I use for treatments but I encourage you instead to learn about the various options out there: the ease of use, expense, registration status, required safety precautions, withdrawal periods, reported effectiveness, unintended consequences, modes of action, what the pesticide is made of (and this is far from a complete list!) Randy Oliver has a great website - scientificbeekeeping.com - that looks at the varroa life cycle, testing, and the pros and cons of many treatment options, I recommend that you start there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've tripped across scientificbeekeeping.com but have yet to take the time to study it too much. There seems to be some info on nutrition that I'll spend some time with.
I really didn't mean to get off onto a discussion on how purely holistic a treatment free regimen should be. I was just trying to clarify the opinion that all supplements should be off of the table if I wished to do TF.

I'm still interested in hearing any opinions on the side of using nutritional supplements.
 

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I used HBH on one of my boxes when I captured a swarm, the bees that fell onto my tarp, went right into the box, I laid out for them.
I sprayed HBH on the frames and the inside, it was like they belonged there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks guys. So I guess this kind of stuff is better used as an occasional solution to particular issues rather than an on-going dietary supplement?
I will definitely be studying the fat bees sections of the scientific beekeeping site.
 
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