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May 31, 2012

Romancing the Bee

I am an organic beekeeper. I don’t use any chemicals, and, to the extent possible, I let my bees be bees.

My first hive hasn’t eaten anything but honey in three years. I’m a firm believer that honey and pollen are what bees should eat, and that sugar syrup is inferior food.

Except for new packages.  I have been feeding my new Italian bees sugar syrup since I hived them on May 12th.

It would be nice to be able to say there is no need to ever feed your bees. The truth is, their survival sometimes depends on supplemental nourishment.

A package of bees in a brand new hive is starting from scratch. They don’t have any drawn comb and they don’t have any stored honey. Not feeding them is a recipe for failure.

I could feed my bees honey from my other hive, but I wouldn’t know for…

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