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beeman

Shortage of pollen

With the winter having dragged on so long everything seems to be weeks behind. Plants, trees that would normally be in flower and giving our Bees a really important supply of pollen, seem way behind. This will have serious repercussions with the early brood, that rely on pollen as a protein sourse.

My Bees have been flying well for the last two days, but are only coming back with tiny pollen loads.

All have been given some thick sugar syrup, just as an insurance untill there is enough income to be had.This is always a bad time of year for Bees starving, especially after a long winter.
Captain_Dingbat

Is there a ratio of sugar to water you stick to?
beeman

Normally spring feed would be 1kg sugar to 2ltr water, a stimulative feed. But because of the long winter I have used 2kg sugar to 1ltr water.This ratio is normally used as their winter feed.
bodger

Our daffs are just about to open, I'd say that they are at least a month behind.
Normesby

Its good that you are able to subsidise their intake beeman, hopefully with the sun that 'seems' to be wanting to shine the flowers will start to pop.
I wonder what effect the weather and long winter will have on wild insects ?
Captain_Dingbat

There were a few midges out last evening, so my shetland is now having his special herbs in his feed and being drenched in 'Ditch the Itch' fly spray as he suffers with sweet itch, poor little bleeder....
Normesby

I noticed a few midges about yesterday too.....
freckle

Beeman-OH has also been told another school of thought that if you supplement too much early on the queen will start filling up the brood as she assumes there is a plentiful food supply (or words to that effect-I'm not au fait with all the terms etc!!). What are your thoughts?
beeman

A lot of Beekeepers go down that route,as they are looking to build up a strong workforce to take full advantage of the winter oil seed rape crop, remember "many hands make light work" as you could say.The downside of this is, you really need to be on top of your swarm control, as a powerfull colony will most likely want to swarm on the rape.

I have only given feed to make sure my colonies do'nt starve. Remember if feeding to stimulate, you also need to give pollen in one form or another, ie  frozen from your own hives or artificial.
all interesting stuff if your into bees
freckle

OH (through a hangover haze!!) says thanks for clarifying that!!
freckle

Bees very active today when OH fed them and bringing in a fair bit of pollen.

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