How to properly feed bees

Among beekeepers, the practice of feeding bees is widespread. In this article we will talk about why this procedure is needed, how to make the right feeding, and also consider the advice of beekeepers.

What is feeding for bees for?

In case of forced long stay of bees in the hives during wintering, they must be provided with high-quality nutrition . In the absence of honey reserves in the hives, this can provoke diseases of the bee family, and under unfavorable conditions its complete extinction.

Find out what honey bees eat in nature.

Autumn top dressing is carried out to replenish fodder stocks with honey insects so that they can survive in any conditions.

At the end of winter, bees need to be fed in order to avoid the loss of part of the bee family due to lack of feed, to provide prevention and treatment of various diseases of these insects, and also to accelerate the growth of their families. These are key factors for getting good honey in the future.

When is the best time to feed

The main purpose of breeding bees is to obtain honey. Mass flowering of plants in different countries and regions occurs at different times, by this period the bee family should be as large and strong as possible.

85 days after the uterus begins to lay eggs, the greatest yield of working bees, having reached full maturity and ready for work, occurs. The beekeeper needs to additionally feed the bee family, focusing on flowering in his region.

Autumn dressing is carried out before the formation of nests for the winter when a lack of feed is detected. With a good winter feed supply, honey insects need to be fed in March after warming begins.

Important! The health of the swarm can be determined by eating them feed. If the bees are reluctant to eat, this means that they are not healthy. The first fly of honey insects is done after the outside temperature is at least + 10 ° C. After the insects return to the hives, it is necessary to examine their feces to see if the swarm is healthy. If a bee family is suspected of having an illness, it is necessary to give top dressing, in which drugs and stimulants will be added first.

How to cook top dressing

The most commonly used top dressings are yeast, honey and sugar syrup. Let's consider in detail how to cook each of them.

Sugar syrup

Sugar syrup is the easiest to make. To cook it, you need to follow a simple instruction:

  1. Pour 1 liter of water into the pan and bring it to a boil.
  2. Add 1 kg of sugar to boiled water.
  3. Stir the liquid until air bubbles rise from the bottom of the pan.
  4. Remove the container from the fire.
  5. After cooling, the syrup is ready to use.
Important! Sugar syrup for feeding bees is prepared only from white refined sugar. To obtain a nutrient mixture, you must strictly observe the proportions of the ingredients. Too liquid syrup will not have sufficient nutritional value, and thick honey-bearing insects will not be able to process.


Weak feeding is most needed in weak bee colonies that do not have a sufficient supply of honey, as well as families that have weakened during the wintering period. To prepare it, you should:

  1. Put 600 g of sugar in a saucepan and pour 600 ml of water.
  2. Bring water to a boil and boil for 2 minutes.
  3. Strain the hot syrup through cheesecloth.
  4. Separately, grind in a cup 50 g of fresh yeast with 2 tablespoons of sugar until creamy.
  5. Pour the mixture from yeast and sugar into strained syrup and stir.
  6. Bring the syrup to a boil and remove from heat.
  7. After cooling, the syrup is ready for use.

Yeast dressing should be prepared immediately before the distribution of insects. It quickly soups, therefore it is not suitable for long-term storage.


Honey is the closest to the natural feed of bees - honey, because it is prepared from a natural product. Most often it is used to feed the bee family in the fall or spring, but you can use it before wintering.

Did you know? A bee can smell a flower, being at a distance of 1 km from it. Depending on the goal that you plan to achieve after top dressing, there are several options for preparing honey full:

  1. Thick. She goes to replenish the feed of the bee family. To prepare it, mix honey and warm water in a ratio of 4: 1.
  2. Medium. It is given depending on how much sowing the bee family needs, as such top dressing helps to increase. To cook it, you need to take honey and stir it with warm water in a 1: 1 ratio.
  3. Liquid. It is used to stimulate the queen bee to lay eggs and information of bees from different families. The proportions of honey and boiled water should be 2: 4.

How to give top dressing

There are several schemes for additionally feeding bees; for this, various feeders are used. You will be interested to learn how to cook candi for bees with your own hands at home. Consider the most popular of them:

  • framework. They are placed in the hive on special protrusions on the upper slats, the length and height are framed, but the width of the feeder is slightly larger. The syrup is poured through a funnel, and inside the feeder there is a grate so that insects do not drown;

  • letkovye. They need to be installed on the arrival board, placing in them a container with top dressing with a volume of 1.5 l;

  • ceiling. They are rectangular containers with vertical partitions inside, which are placed in the hive. The nutritious syrup does not cool in them, since the bee family warms it well;

  • capacitive. In this case, take a volume of 1-1.5 liters, make holes in it and fix it over the hives. Poured syrup will protrude through the holes, luring the bees;

  • open. In a large open container placed small rafts made of walnut or straw shells, which are filled with syrup. You need to put them near the hives.

Beekeeper Tips

To get the most useful effect, feeding the bee family, it is recommended to listen to the advice of beekeepers:

  • Bees were often seen stealing from neighboring apiaries, so they need to be fed directly within the hive. Bee hives should be kept clean. Bees will not let strangers to the feeder if it is on their territory;
  • the liquid consistency of feeding will force the bees to get out of the hive and look for food, so it should be used when the weather is warm. In winter, the syrup should be thick so that honey bees quietly sit in the hives.

Learn about bee swarming and how to prevent it.

Fertilizers are used by many beekeepers for additional nutrition of the bee family. Adhering to all the recommendations and observing the correct proportions of its preparation, you can help the bees and get good and high-quality honey from them.

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