The first flight is over and the time has passed for the spring feeding of our pets. This exercise is no less important than the fly-over, but somewhat different from the winter feeding. In winter, bees rest and it is highly undesirable to disturb them. Winter feeding is carried out only in exceptional cases of shortage of natural fodder base.
Feeding bees in the spring is not only intended to save from hunger, but also aimed at strengthening the laying of the uterus. This gives the opportunity for the early appearance of young bees and time for the family to gain strength for honey collection. Spring feeding is most often done using sugar syrup or honey. When necessary, give medicinal or stimulating mixtures.
Springtime is characterized by unstable weather. Often light frosts can hit at this time, especially in more northern regions. In this regard, the flight of bees for nectar and pollen is undesirable. Therefore, spring feeding is carried out using honey frames, as sugar syrup can provoke bees to look early.
Types and terms of feeding bees in spring
As it becomes clear the spring feeding of bees must be carried out with all care and attention, making a good reserve for high-quality collection in the future. The main goals of the spring feeding of bees are as follows:
- Prevention and treatment of detected diseases
- Stabilization of feed balance
- Stimulating the uterus for active lay
There are not so many varieties of liquid dressings that are most widely used in dressing. They are all based on sugar syrup. We emphasize once again that it is better to give this type of feeding to bees after good weather is established. Immediately after giving liquid feeding, the bees tend to fly to the collection.
There are three main types of liquid feed with sugar syrup:
- No additives of varying consistency;
- Including medicines and vitamins;
- Enriched with stimulants.
Almost all beekeepers do this kind of feeding in the spring. It is easy to prepare and does not require serious expenses. A syrup is prepared by dissolving granulated sugar in boiling water. By changing the amount of sugar to dissolve, you can achieve different thicknesses of the resulting syrup. This feeding should be given to bees warm.
To dispense feed, use the top or under the frame feeders. The amount of feed given out should be calculated so that the bees eat everything without leaving it in the feeders. An important point is the cleanliness of the dishes in which the feed is prepared and dispensed.
Features of different dressings
As mentioned above, the preparation of sugar syrup will not be difficult even for a novice beekeeper. However, in this business, as in all beekeeping, there are some nuances. The classic recipe for feeding syrup is to dilute sugar in boiling water in equal proportions. But be careful, the portions and thickness of the syrup will vary depending on the weather.
A sharp cold snap or strong wind adversely affect the bees, therefore, on such days, the density of the syrup is increased by the thick top dressing, which provokes the bees to fly less. The thick syrup should only be given to bees in cases of serious need.
Too liquid feed is also not very good as it takes a lot of energy for processing. If you abuse liquid syrup, then the family can be greatly weakened or even perish. Here it is worth sticking to the golden mean.
If honey is added to the syrup, then such a dressing will be much more productive and healthier than ordinary syrup. Honey promotes easier conversion of sugar into glucose. A large amount of honey is not required for such feeding. Usually, no more than forty grams of honey is taken per kilogram of sugar.
It is strictly forbidden to give spoiled syrup to bees. Burnt, fermented, or one that has been stored for a long time. Therefore, feeding should be prepared only in the amount that the bees are able to eat at one meal. It is also not recommended to give cooled syrup. Such feeding bees do not eat well and for better consumption it will have to be constantly heated.
Sugar syrup is easy to prepare and relatively cheap. However, in some cases, he is not able to fully solve the problem of restoring the strength of the bee family. In such cases, alternative options can be used. For example – protein dough. Sugar protein dough as an analogue of syrup – this is one of the best options for the quick recovery of bees weakened in winter.
The preparation of this type of feed is not particularly difficult. The same sugar syrup is taken as a basis. It is prepared by mixing one part of sugar with two parts of water. Additional ingredients are added to the prepared and cooled syrup in the following proportions:
- Dry brewer’s yeast – one part;
- Powdered milk – one part;
- Soy flour – three parts.
To achieve the maximum effect from such a feed, it is recommended to introduce pollen into its composition in a ratio of fifteen percent of the total weight of the feed.
If you need to increase the brood, another interesting alternative to plain sugar syrup can be used. It consists in feeding the bees with yeast. Yeast contains a lot of nutrients and vitamins, including easily processed protein.
The preparation of such a feed consists in the preparation of sugar syrup at the rate of one part of water and one part of sugar. Taking one liter of the resulting syrup, 250 grams of yeast is introduced into it.
Yeast for this purpose is used fresh bakery or dry beer. Brewer’s yeast is sold in the form of tablets and twenty-four tablets are needed for one liter of syrup. If you use dry baker’s yeast, then you will need four times less than fresh yeast. Before use, they must be poured with warm sweet water and left in a warm place for a day.
Having introduced yeast into the syrup, the mass is thoroughly stirred and ground, after which another four liters of syrup are added. Boil the resulting volume over low heat for several minutes. As a result, we get XNUMX% yeast feeding. It has a very significant effect on the increase in offspring.
Speaking about various types of sugar syrups, do not forget about this type of feed as – honey fed. This is of course not really sugar syrup, or rather, it is honey syrup. Honey, like sugar, is diluted with water and given to bees. Some beekeepers find this method economically disadvantageous. Meanwhile, it should be borne in mind that honey contains all the microelements and vitamins necessary for bees. To this we add the excellent digestibility of such a feed and the maximum approximation in composition to flower nectar.
The use of satiety helps to strengthen the immune system in bees and stimulate life processes in the body. If you need to quickly increase the number of bee colony and increase the productivity of egg-laying, fed is an excellent solution. In the well-fed, as in the sugar syrup, you can enter the necessary additives, including medications.
Depending on its concentration, honey nourishment has a different effect and is used where appropriate. In order for bees from different families to get used to each other faster, they are sprayed with liquid fed. You can stimulate the reproduction and emergence of bees using a medium consistency feed. Dense satiety is used directly as a feed.
When preparing fed with candied honey, it must be dissolved in a water bath. After that, you can add water in the required proportions. With regard to the proportions of water and slowness for satiety, three main recipes can be cited:
- Thick sated – honey in four parts, water one part;
- Liquid fed – honey one part, water two parts;
- The average satiety is one to one.
The average bee colony can eat from a liter to one and a half full at a time. Situ is usually given with the help of ceiling feeders. They are equipped with rafts to make it easy for the bees to sit down. In addition to the ceiling feeders, all traditional feeding means are also used.
Why use protein feed
Feeding with honey is the main type of food for bees. On average, one healthy bee colony takes about twenty-five kilograms of honey per winter. If the reserves left in the hives are not enough, then you can melt the old honey and give it to the bees.
However, in addition to feeding the bees with honey, protein-rich nutrition is no less important, especially in the spring, when egg-laying is active and young bees mature. Protein-rich feeding not only stimulates the uterus to lay eggs, but also helps to quickly “put on the wing” healthy and strong offspring.
For example, although yeast feed for bees is a good stimulant, it cannot always replace high-quality protein. The main types of protein feed include:
- Soy flour;
- Powdered milk.
It is worth noting that from the above list, only bee bread and pollen are protein foods natural for bees. The rest are substitutes, albeit of high quality, but it is still better to try to use products more familiar to bees.
With a lack or complete absence of bee bread, the uterus ceases to lay eggs. This in turn stops the growth and development of the entire family. For this reason, it is necessary to carefully monitor that there are frames with bee bread in the hives. If during the season the bees have prepared a fair amount of it, then some frames can be removed for storage.
Store bee bread by cutting it off the frames and wiping it through a sieve. From the resulting mass, small balls are formed, folded into jars and poured with honey. If necessary, the bee bread is melted and fed as a feed. Depending on the situation, it is allowed to dilute the bee bread with a water solution of sugar.
If feeding for bees in spring with bee bread presents difficulties due to its small amount or absence, then they resort to the help of the substitutes indicated above. However, if there is pollen in stocks, then first of all we feed with pollen. If you have pollen, you can use the following recipe. A kilogram of pollen is mixed and two hundred grams of honey is mixed with the addition of 150 milliliters of water.
Feeding bees with soy flour is also a good alternative to bees, which can be used to make such a supplement. Take pollen and flour in a ratio of three parts flour to one part pollen. From this composition, the dough is kneaded in sugar syrup.
Can be used for feeding and milk powder. For two hundred grams of which, a kilogram of sugar and eight hundred milliliters of boiling water are taken. Milk with sugar is dissolved in boiling water and passed through a sieve. Such feeding in large quantities should not be done because it sour very quickly.
Kandy feeding is feeding the bees with a special carbohydrate food of a pasty consistency. There are several recipes for this top dressing. One of them looks like this:
- Eighteen hundredths of a percent of water;
- Twenty six percent honey;
- Two hundredths of a percent acetic acid;
- Seventy-four percent powdered sugar.
Kandy with the use of honey is considered by beekeepers to be the best recipe for this top dressing.
Healing and stimulating feeding
Feeding bees, in addition to direct nutrition, can also perform the functions of stimulation and treatment. One example is feeding bees with coniferous extract. You can buy it in specialty stores or prepare it yourself.
The recipe for coniferous infusion for bees is quite simple. In spring, young shoots with a bright green color are cut from coniferous trees. They are often called “candles”. A bucket of such “candles” is poured with boiling water, infused for twelve hours, filtered and the extract is ready.
The dosage of the extract in complementary foods depends on the specific goals. You must be extremely careful with these indicators. The optimal dosage is considered to be a ratio of two and a half to four percent in relation to the weight of the complementary foods. The increase in concentration leads to increased mortality of the bees.
On the contrary, the exact dosage has a very beneficial effect on the condition of the bee colonies. Life expectancy, overall health and resistance to disease and parasites are increased.
In addition to coniferous extract, many beekeepers, during spring feeding, stimulate uterine worming with preparations with cobalt. Here, as well as with coniferous extract, you must be extremely careful when dosing. When using preparations with cobalt, an increase in the seeding of cells can be achieved by up to thirty percent. Carefully read the instructions for such drugs, which detail the permissible doses and method of administration.
How to feed in autumn and winter
In conclusion, we would like to briefly mention the autumn feeding of bees and winter feeding of bees. The methods for carrying out such dressings are similar to spring dressing. The main emphasis is on creating the most favorable conditions for wintering for bees in terms of nutrition. In addition, autumn feeding allows you to leave more honey for personal implementation.
Some beekeepers neglect the autumn and especially winter feeding of bees and it is completely in vain. Of course, bees should be disturbed in winter only if absolutely necessary, but it is also very important to monitor their condition. Including how they eat.
All these worries and troubles pay off a hundredfold with a good summer bribe in the apiary. After all, a family that eats well, develops quickly, gets sick less and, therefore, brings more honey to the hive. Bees are great workers, but the beekeeper also requires a lot of effort.