Honeybee nutrition?

Responsible beekeepers will do everything they can to ensure the health and survival of their bees.

Unfortunately for responsible beekeepers, most people are uninformed and have such a significant misunderstanding of many aspects of beekeeping that when they hear that Honey bees may have been fed sugar, they may be predisposed to form a negative opinion of that Apiary and its honey.

Negative opinions surrounding sugar feeding for the Honey bees winter survival comes from a significant misunderstanding of Honey bee science, a misunderstanding about food macro-nutrition, a failure to consider that different climates provide different challenges for honey bees, and a misconception that emergency feeding of sugar to Honeybees in the fall will taint the following summer’s honey crop.

Beekeeping is an environmentally essential form of food farming. Therefore, if our bees are unwell our local environment will suffer through low pollination, our honey production will be low and through poor honey sales we very quickly become unable to afford this very expensive service.

Honey bees originate from temperate climates that do not have the challenges that our colder seasons inflict on the Honey bees. The climate challenges in our local area lead to the absence of bio-available bee food sources during a significant portion of the year. Simply put, in our climate, there is not enough GOOD nectar during winter, early spring or fall to keep the bees nourished and healthy for the entire year.

Moreover, the nutritional composition of the honey produced by our local bees in late summer is not an ideal source of nutrition for them during the winter months. Summer honey is very tasty honey for humans, however for Honey bees it is low in nutritional value and difficult for them to digest.  Summer honey does not store well in a bee hive as a winter food source for them and can cause honey bee illness and even death during winter. This is one reason why beekeepers take all the summer honey from the bees. Contrary to the rhetoric of Vegans, Beekeepers do not take the honey out of greed but rather out of concern for the bees’ health and wellbeing and out of the necessity to replace this poor quality food with a better winter food source.

White processed sugar appropriately mixed with water, pollen rations and other bee health food additives provides a greater bio nutritional value for Honey bees than their own summer honey. Therefore, the feeding of sugar to Honey bees can be a necessity for their health and survival. Moreover the feeding of a sugar mixture to bees provides the beekeeper the ability to clinically calculate, regulate and monitor the bees’ hydration, nutrition and consumption. These observable controls are essential for a responsible beekeeper to monitor the bees’ health and wellbeing.

Honey bee nutrition facts:

  • Honey bees eat Honey to survive
  • The science of Beekeeping nutrition is complex.
  • Honey bees are not from colder climates
  • Honey bee food sources are scarce in this climate for most of the year.
  • Late summer honey is very difficult for bees to digest and is not ideal for them to consume as a winter food source.
  • Sugar mixed with water is an excellent food option for bees during colder months
  • Responsible beekeepers will do everything they can to maintain the health and wellbeing of their bees.
  • The Honey bees consume all of their sugar mixture over winter.
  • Summer honey is pure with no trace of sugar.