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Author Topic: Is it important to feed hungry bees protein?  (Read 353 times)

Offline TheFuzz

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Is it important to feed hungry bees protein?
« on: July 07, 2019, 04:11:02 am »
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?

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Is it important to feed hungry bees protein?
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2019, 07:47:55 am »
The bees themselves can survive the winter with honey only. They use pollen to provide protein to raise brood. Normally they store pollen in the fall so that when they begin the build up in the early spring they have protein available. Depending on your weather conditions they will raise small amounts of brood during the winter to make up for losses. I would not worry about adding pollen substitutes during winter. Here winter solstice is when they start building up. I do not add pollen. Usually in the early spring there is still a lot of pollen packed in my hives.
Jim Altmiller

Offline TheFuzz

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Re: Is it important to feed hungry bees protein?
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2019, 12:18:12 am »
I think them creating excess brood is why they're so low on honey to begin with, I don't wish to encourage them to do that again especially considering they seemed to have a decent amount of pollen last time I checked, they were just very low on honey.

Thanks for the information.

Offline eltalia

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Re: Is it important to feed hungry bees protein?
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2019, 06:06:33 am »
They simply are not going to do that "raise excess brood", even if
 you were pumping lollywater (syrup) into them. As Jim is saying,
 they will work out an equilibrium from what's available and what is
in the future.
As Bamboo has advised, get through a full inspection to allow you
to *know* know.

Cheers...

Bill

Offline ed/La.

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Re: Is it important to feed hungry bees protein?
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2019, 09:29:57 am »
I like to feed pollen substitute and sugar syrup a month or so before the spring flow.

Offline TheFuzz

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Re: Is it important to feed hungry bees protein?
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2019, 07:53:36 pm »
Well, these hives had 2.5 supers full of honey in summer, then 3-4 months later they barely had a few frames of honey left.

Offline eltalia

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Re: Is it important to feed hungry bees protein?
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2019, 08:15:29 pm »
Well, these hives had 2.5 supers full of honey in summer, then 3-4 months later they barely had a few frames of honey left.
And...?... nothing at all unusual in extended dearths.
It is *why* bees store when they can. There were/are frames left, so no
panic. It is time to panic when you see every frame mined clean of caps
and cells carrying less than 50% of fill. That's 'close' to starvation
happening sometime soon.

In relation to your question feeding protein at that time is the absolute last
thing a b'keep would try on, it is the opposite that is required so as to
preserve stores for a viable number of bees. As soon as a dearth shows
endurance you reduce numbers even further than what bees already would
have begun to do.
Help?

Bill