Suitability of Starch Syrups for Winter Feeding of Honeybee Colonies

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Abstract

Three different starch syrups available on the Polish market for winter feeding of bees were evaluated for two consecutive beekeeping seasons (2012/2013 and 2013/2014). Sugar syrup and inverted sucrose syrup were used as the control. Winter feeding was conducted at two times: earlier and later in the season. After supplementation of winter feeding was stopped, we measured colony strength (number of combs covered by bees) and brood area. After overwintering (spring 2013 and 2014), we estimated the influence of these foods on: bee mortality during overwintering (number of dead bees in winter debris), food consumption, colony strength and brood area in spring (two measurements in three-week intervals), development dynamics and honey yield from spring flow. An analysis of the results for the parameters assessed before overwintering, after its end and during spring development did not show significant differences between bee colonies fed with different types of food. No relevant difficulties concerning food crystallisation were encountered. The analysed syrups turned out to be as suitable for winter feeding of bees as sugar and inverted sucrose syrups.

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Journal of Apicultural Science

The Journal of Research Institute of Horticulture and Apicultural Research Association

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