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feed the bees sugar, or not?

 
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freebee
House Bee


Joined: 09 Dec 2015
Posts: 23
Location: The Neterlands, Leeuwarden

PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 6:17 pm    Post subject: feed the bees sugar, or not? Reply with quote

Here's an interesting thought.
I'm doing a course beekeeping, and last week we had a discussion about feeding bees sugar.
In the Netherlands they tested (in labconditions) how long bees will live when you feed them sugar, honey or fructose.
Guess what, they lived 37 days on honey, 31 days on fructose and 57 days on sugar.
Unfortunalety some beekeepers think now that feeding bees sugar is much better than let them have the honey, and that was not the conclusion, since many factors outside a lab are playing a role.
But still.... our environment is very polluted, there is plastic in milk and honey, to name something, and who nows what more, like chemicals.
Sugar however is pretty "clean", because of the proces.
So in our world it might not be so bad to feed the bees sugar.
What are your thoughts about it, I'm very curious.
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Tavascarow
Silver Bee


Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Posts: 962
Location: UK Cornwall Snozzle

PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is historical evidence that feeding sugar for overwintering will indeed help the bees live longer, as there are less impurities in pure sucrose which means the bees have to void their bowels less often, particularly when compared to dark honeys & honey made from honeydew. (Wedmore: A manual of beekeeping).
But pure sugar is lacking in the trace elements & enzymes that honey gives.
Having bees that live longer doesn't necessarily mean they are better bees.
There may be things in honey bees require to produce communication pheromones. Or some other subtle need that we have yet to discover.
I'd like to see a comparable analysis of brood food made from honey & that made from pure sugar.
I suspect there will be subtle differences.
The longer I've kept bees the more I believe they know best so only feed sugar to shook swarms & very small cast swarms to give them a head start.
& for other colonies only in an emergency.
Smile
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freebee
House Bee


Joined: 09 Dec 2015
Posts: 23
Location: The Neterlands, Leeuwarden

PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for your reply, I agree
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