Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tea for Bees

We're seeing honeybees on clearer, warmer parts of the day, but it's getting to be that time of year where we just have to hope there are enough bees in the colony to keep each other warm through the winter and that there's plenty of honey, too. We're pretty sure they have a good amount of honey, and Trish did decide to supplement their stores with a bit of bee tea.

Instead of just serving up plain old sugar water, Trish uses 1 part organic chamomile tea to 2 parts organic sugar. In the spring, it would be 1 to 1, but a thicker syrup is better this time of year because it requires less energy for the bees to convert the thicker syrup to honey. She also adds lemon to bring the pH of the sugar closer to the pH of honey. Then she adds a pinch of salt, which reduces the strain on their metabolism (according to Gunther Hauk). Finally, she adds a tablespoon of honey she saved from the beehive last year; this contains important enzymes for the bees.

Over the past week, the bees have consumed 1 pint of bee tea.

No comments:

Post a Comment