Brushy Mountain Bee Farm's Resources for Beekeeping, Candle Making, and Soap Making

Bee-Ginner's Guide
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Back to the Basics

Honey bees are susceptible to a range of pests and diseases that can easily devastate a honey bee colony if not monitored and properly treated. Weak, unhealthy colonies are the most vulnerable and least likely to recover. Malnutrition is one key factor that plays into the decline of colony health.

Imagine a shortage in nectar and pollen for the current population of bees. The amount of feed the nurse bees provide developing larva is limited, resulting in malnourished bees. You then have a newly emerged colony of malnourished bees caring for the next generation, who inevitably will end up undernourished as well. As the malnourishment trend continues, the colony will succumb more rapidly to parasitic mites and diseases.

Honey bees require an abundant amount of carbohydrates and proteins for adequate nutrition. Honey will supply the carbohydrates and pollen is the source for proteins. Beekeepers must be diligent in managing their colonies when nectar producing flowers are scarce or non-existent. Good nutrition in the Fall is the best defense against winter loss.

Since no single pollen source will have all the vitamins, minerals and proteins needed, bees must have a number of pollens available to them. Pollen is necessary to produce nutrients, like royal jelly, that is fed to growing brood, especially emerging queens. Pollen substitute, fresh pollen, or pollen patties can be fed to a colony that lack the needed nutrients.

A full size honey bee colony requires 60 lbs. to 80 lbs. of easily accessible honey to survive through winter. A colony will starve over winter if it lacks the accessible honey stores. Continuously feeding your colonies now with sugar syrup or high fructose corn syrup will allow them time to properly store the feed before colder temperatures are received. Include a feed stimulant with your syrup to build colony strength.

Such stimulants include:

Honey B Healthy: This feeding supplement is used in spring and winter to stimulate the immune system. This feed stimulant with essential oils prevents mold and fungus in sugar syrup, calms bees when used as a spray, builds colonies when fed during dearth and much more. The scent of spearmint and lemongrass will attract your bees to feed almost immediately.

Amino B Booster: A blend of free amino acids that assimilates rapidly and directly through the mid gut to the bee's hemolymph and hemocytes, then transported to the sites where protein is needed for bee growth. Amino B Booster provides your bees the nutrients they need when pollen is scarce or lacks the nutrients bees need.

Vitamin B Healthy: Helps provide needed nutrients vital for bee health especially when pollen sources are scarce or the pollen lacks the essential nutrients the bees need. Helps build strong healthy colonies for maximum honey production and pollination or can be used to help build up weak, over-winterized colonies, packages, nucs or swarms.

Super B Plus: This is a combination of all the essential ingredients found in Honey B Healthy, Amino B Booster, and Vitamin B Healthy.

Hive Alive: A feed to help bees maintain colony strength. Prevents syrup from fermenting and helps bees absorb the nutrients, proteins and sugars needed to increase brood production. Hive Alive strengthens the bees immune system to help manage intestinal issues and other diseases.