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Online The15thMember

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Feeding Fruit
« on: September 18, 2023, 02:57:43 pm »
I was listening to a beekeeper give a talk online the other day, and he is one of those "never feed sugar syrup for any reason" people, and someone asked him, as I had hoped they would, what he would do if he had a starving colony.  His response was that he would (he didn't say "did") feed them fruit, like he'd cut open a watermelon and set it out for them.  Would something like that work for a starving colony in a dearth?  I'd never heard of anything like that before.   
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Offline animal

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Re: Feeding Fruit
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2023, 04:35:24 pm »
they like overripe peaches and figs, for sure.
maybe an "island"  cut-fruit  plate in a baking sheet full of oil to keep the ants at bay ? but wasps, stink bugs, and birds are still gonna come. Fruit juice still isn't really close to nectar, so I really don't see the point... and them liking it isn't really a test .. they like the sugar water just fine, after all. Don't see what it would hurt, though.

I've been wondering if feeding a mix of corn syrup and sugar water would be better than plain sugar water ... and decrease chance of crystallization in cold weather. ... and what about adding "bee vitamins" to the syrup?
« Last Edit: September 18, 2023, 05:15:18 pm by animal »
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Online The15thMember

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Re: Feeding Fruit
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2023, 05:12:57 pm »
they like overripe peaches and figs, for sure.
maybe an "island"  cut-fruit  plate in a baking sheet full of oil to keep the ants at bay ? but wasps, stink bugs, and birds are still gonna come. Fruit juice still isn't really close to nectar, so I really don't see the point... and them liking it isn't really a test .. they like the sugar water just fine, after all. Don't see what it would hurt, though.
I guess my question is if they will actually store fruit juice and how that juice will store in the hive.  Obviously this is way more expensive than syrup unless you happen to have an orchard of rotting fruit (in which case, you don't really need to feed the bees the fruit).  It's definitely not practical.   

I've been wondering if feeding a mix of corn syrup and sugar water would be better than plain sugar water ... to change the fructose/glucose ratio ... add corn syrup to increase glucose to be like nectar (50-50 instead of 60-40) and also decrease chance of crystallization in cold weather. ... and what about bee vitamins in the syrup?
Something to remember is, like we were talking about with pollen recently, that sugar percentage of flower nectar is an average.  Some flowers have mostly glucose, some have mostly fructose, and some are about equal parts.  Some have other sugars as well as those two.  I personally think that trying to get syrup to mimic nectar is missing the point of syrup.  It's emergency food.  It will never provide the bees with all their optimal nutrition, no matter what you put in it, but it will keep them alive long enough to get to real nectar or honey.  That's why it's best to not feed it unless it's necessary.  It's like cram in Lord of the Rings.  It's good for keeping you alive and as an exercise in chewing, not for making you the healthiest you can be.  Lembas will do that for you, but that's because it's made with elf magic.  :grin:
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Offline animal

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Re: Feeding Fruit
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2023, 05:56:40 pm »
right .. emergency food

and that's why I was mostly wondering ... what's the point of avoiding sugar (sucrose) ?

When you and others suggested I feed syrup and pollen substitute to build up my bee numbers, I did a lot of reading about nectars, pollen etc ... and after overthinking it ...
I just took your advice and gave them the sugar syrup and pollen substitute that you guys recommended. :wink:
Some of the "purist" beekeepers kinda remind me of "diet doctors", or even vegans :shocked:

well if lembas are ok, maybe Keebler products for the bees ? ... got some fudge stripes in the pantry, i think ...
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Online The15thMember

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Re: Feeding Fruit
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2023, 07:58:39 pm »
right .. emergency food

and that's why I was mostly wondering ... what's the point of avoiding sugar (sucrose) ?

Some of the "purist" beekeepers kinda remind me of "diet doctors", or even vegans :shocked:
I agree.  There are many times and places not to feed, but that doesn't mean there aren't any ever.

When you and others suggested I feed syrup and pollen substitute to build up my bee numbers, I did a lot of reading about nectars, pollen etc ... and after overthinking it ...

Oh good, I was wondering what was going on with your hive.  I don't want to get off topic here, but have you inspected them?  If so, go update your original thread and tell us how they looked.  :wink:

well if lembas are ok, maybe Keebler products for the bees ? ... got some fudge stripes in the pantry, i think ...
:|
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Feeding Fruit
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2023, 09:29:01 am »
I have a pear tree and once the fallen fruit gets chewed open by the yellow jackets the bees will gather the juice, but there isn't much blooming at the time.  I would not feed it on purpose as anything other than honey or sugar syrup will give the bees dysentery.
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Online The15thMember

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Re: Feeding Fruit
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2023, 03:33:55 pm »
I have a pear tree and once the fallen fruit gets chewed open by the yellow jackets the bees will gather the juice, but there isn't much blooming at the time.  I would not feed it on purpose as anything other than honey or sugar syrup will give the bees dysentery.
Thanks, Michael.  That makes sense.
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Feeding Fruit
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2023, 06:20:16 am »
Dysentery isn't a big deal when the bees are flying everyday, but if they store it and eat it in winter, it can be catastrophic.
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
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