I meant to post this on Thanksgiving because it’s all about feasting, feeding and family but I’ve bee’n a little lazy lately, so unbee-like. To make up for it though, I guarantee at least one post a month until bee season resumes (early summer).
We like to spoil them with a special mix of herbal tea and sugar. Check out this delicious looking plethora of herbs: thyme, calendula, lavender, dandelion, peppermint, camomile. I like to let it soak for half an hour, then I take out the herbs and I add 12 cups of white sugar. (See two recipes below)
The “Motivator meal”
Ratio of sugar to water (or natural herbal tea): 1:1; thin liquid that resembles nectar
The meal is given in the spring to stimulate the queen’s production to round up a solid summer crew. In the fall (August, September and October), the queen becomes less enthusiastic about laying eggs but with a motivating drink (like a coffee for us), she will produce a strong winter folk (hopefully).
The “Survival meal”
Ratio of sugar to water (or natural herbal tea): 2:1, as thick of a liquid as possible
This survival kit meal is handed out in the early fall as well as in the spring. It is provided when the bees have nothing left to eat. The meals can be given for as long as the bees will consume them. Once it gets too cold, the bees will not digest it anymore or the liquid mix becomes sour (beeware: diahrrea). The same applies in the spring. After a winter, their honey storage supplies may be very low. A warm sugar syrup will do wonders.
Our bees love feeding time. Happy Syrupgiving!