WHAT IS BEE FOOD?
What is bee food?
Through pollination, honey bees play an important role in providing food resources for humans and animals, as well as biological diversity in natural and agricultural ecosystems. Also, honey, royal jelly, pollen, beeswax, propolis and bee venom are valuable bee products. Like other microorganisms, this insect needs water and food sources, and nectar and pollen are among the favorite food sources of bees. Flower nectar and honey stored in the hive provide carbohydrates for this insect, while pollen provides protein, lipids, vitamins and mineral components of their diet. Honey bees get the energy they need to fly by breaking down carbohydrates and must always have some stored carbohydrates. The nutritional needs of the bee colony change depending on the different seasons of the year.
During the winter season, due to the lack of flowers in nature and the cold weather, which causes inactivity and lack of flight power in this creature, the bee becomes a consuming and vulnerable creature. High numbers of deaths of bee colonies during the winter season have been reported in many countries, and these losses are often related to the lack of adequate nutrition. In this season, the bee feeds on sugar (honey) and protein (pollen) reserves that it has stored in nature’s nectar-rich seasons. Since the artificial feeding of bees is inevitable for reasons such as providing winter food and compensating for the lack of honey in the hive and stimulating the queen to lay eggs, beekeepers need alternatives for the lack of flower nectar and honey. Regarding the history of using winter nutrition, it should be said that since many years ago, beekeepers made sweet dough by mixing honey with powdered sugar, which only contained carbohydrate compounds. Feeding bees in this traditional way has problems such as the high cost of manpower and time-consuming work. Today, sweet paste is not only a substitute for bee nutrition, but by using sweet paste enriched with natural resources, the physiological and physical characteristics of bees can be strengthened and the final product, which is honey, can be transformed from food to medicine.