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Reasons for Feeding Honey Bees

Honey bees will need feeding on some occasions, partly due to natural circumstances and partly due to the desire of the beekeeper for a larger number of foraging bees to collect a honey crop from nectar sources that the bees normal rythm is not tuned to.

In UK oilseed rape (canola) falls into this category. This is a delicately balenced problem as it can often happen that the bees are built up in numbers and then the weather turns cool and the bees are unable to visit the crop and in any case under these conditions the crop itself does not yield much nectar.

This results in the beekeeper using feed to build them up and then having to continue feeding just to keep the artificially enlarged colony alive.

It is also common in UK for a 'June gap' to occur and some large colonies will need heavy feeding as a result.

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Written... 19 December 2001
Revised... 09 March 2002