Bee Scientifics

Winter Feeding

Winter has finally arrived here in central Victoria. Hopefully all this rain will make for excellent spring forage. During winter bees hunker in their hives and feed off the stored honey and bee bread. In much of Australia temperatures are warm enough to supplemental feed if stores fall short.

Sugar provides carbohydrates necessary to give bees fuel to keep the brood nest warm while pollen supplement keeps protein levels of nurse bees up. Protein, fats, and amino acids help immune function of adult bees and also help sustain brood food glands of nurse bees. Fat healthy nurse bees and a warm brood nest enable brood production through out winter.

Bees and plants enter into their expansion phase when daylight begins to increase after the winter solstice (June 22, 2019). If the right amount of carbohydrates and proteins are available, colonies will begin to grow instead of just maintain or even shrink.

In the United States, feeding a pollen patty during the warm days of late winter is common practice in both hobby and commercial beekeeping operations. This early feeding encourages colony growth and health.

To support bees and beekeeper, we developed a winter patty out of our bee build sausage base mix. We added extra sugar, fats, and oils to our bee build sausage mix to support the health of overwintering bees.

These pollen patties are individually wrapped and easy to feed. Simply score the grease paper and place on top of the top bars of the brood nest. Keep the pollen patty accessible to nurse bees to promote colony growth or to emergency feed in your bees run out of stores.

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