In the spring, the sunlight, rising temperatures and available flower pollen provide incentive and drive for rapid growth in bee populations. An abundance of food is needed in order to stock up for the winter. In the early spring, nature does not usually provide a nectar harvest. If food is not abundant, it is a good measure to provide ambrosia® bee food syrup as a precaution.
If the population is suffering from hunger, the bees will already be listless and falling into the channels. An immediate measure is to provide 0,5 litres of ambrosia® bee food syrup at body temperature near the hive. The bees will be mobile again after just 2 hours. An emergency situation always results in a developmental setback, so an economic impact cannot be ruled out. If you notice food shortages among individual populations in late winter, remove the empty honeycombs around the borders up to where the bees are hibernating and fill the gaps with feed honeycombs from better-stocked populations in the same location. Alternatively, you will need to feed them with warmed ambrosia® bee food syrup overnight in feed bags. It is important to provide a food supply of at least 5 kg (corresponds to three full honeycombs).
In the early spring, before preparing the honey is attached and in favorable weather, it is essential to supplement the feed with 2-3 liters of ambrosia® bee food syrup.
Providing ambrosia® bee food fondant in the practical 2,5-kg single-serving packages can help bees through the critical phase until harvest time.
Feeding nucleus colonies
Nucs provide a guarantee and back up for the coming season. Brood comb colonies are formed at the start of the rape seed or dandelion blossoming season so Mother Nature can help provide them with plenty of food and pollen. However, the weather often does not play along, for instance if rainy or cold periods reduce harvesting and flying opportunities.
If there is a yield, you do not need to feed the nucs. Otherwise, they should be provided with a single-serving package of ambrosia® bee food fondant every 8 to 10 days. It is less work, and the steady flow of food helps the young population develop quickly. With appropriate care and growth, the nucs should have two 20-DN frames or Zander combs by the end of July. Supplemental feeding with ambrosia® bee food fondant takes place starting at the end of July. Only well-stocked nucs with a vital queen can guarantee successful hibernation and full capacity in the next season.
Breeding queen bees
3 to 6 weeks before the start of breeding, the attendants are bred and hatched. First, a good pollen yield from dandelion, rape seed or similar plants must have given the bee populations a large breeding area. The optimal breeding of attendants is one of the most important requirements to ensure good acceptance and upkeep of the best breeding material.
Stocking up the winter supply – 3 options
Depending on the type of operation and the beekeeper’s needs, the following options are available:
Option 1: ambrosia® bee food fondant
Provide an entire package of 15 kg Pakets ambrosia® bee food fondant. To do so, remove the cover of the package and place it upside down so the removal surface is directly on the frame over the bee area. Cover with an empty frame and lid. After 10 to 14 days, when the fondant is consumed, add another half package. Together with the 3 kg honey supply left behind, that gives the population their full allotment, so they are ready for winter by mid-August. Any later supplemental feedings should only use ambrosia® bee food syrup. The major benefit of this option is the long-lasting food supply for the bees and labor efficiency for you. No food is spilled, which also reduces the risk of robbing. This results in well-cared-for, uncontaminated and well-developed winter bees.
Option 2: ambrosia® bee food fondant and syrup
First, a full package is provided as described above; fondant feeding creates physiologically better quality winter bees than liquid feeding. In late August to early September, the remaining amount is supplemented with 8 to 10 liters of ambrosia® bee food syrup.
Option 3: exclusively ambrosia® bee food syrup
The rule of thumb: large servings for large populations, small servings for small populations. The syrup’s benefits come from its optimal composition and the ease with which bees can process it when they are fed later due to heather or pine yields.
Late winter feeding takes place from mid-September to mid October. Feeding the bees 17 litres of syrup helps easily bridge the time to the early harvest. Tests with sugar water and ambrosia® bee food syrup showed that populations fed with syrup were able to finish preparing and capping their winter feed 3 to 6 days sooner.