Giving Bees Sugar Water: Healthy or Hazardous?
Posted on September 13, 2018
Everybody knows that the Internet is filled with endless insight, but there's just as much information that's misleading or downright incorrect. One recent piece of 'wisdom' that's made its rounds on social media advises people to giving a honey bee a mix of sugar and water to help it recover if you find one in your home that's lost its way. While well-intentioned, this half-truth doesn't quite tell the full story.
"There's almost nothing more adorable than imagining yourself Disney princess-ing it up, ferrying some sugar water to a bee who's had a hard day, and watching it fly away knowing you've saved a tiny life. But, well, there's some bad news: This sweet advice could actually do more harm than good," writes James Loke Hale on Bustle.
Honey bees can fly up to 15 miles per hour, and it's not at all uncommon for them to become disoriented during flight and stop to rest. It may seem logical to give bees sugar water to revive them, but according to beekeeper Chris Wyatt from New South Wales, this is like feeding them "the equivalent of fast food." Yikes!
While it's not entirely unheard of for trained beekeepers to feed honey bees this sugary combination to help a colony as it's just starting off, it's not something that the inexperienced beekeeper should attempt.
The main reason this method isn't quite effective is because most sugars used are cheap syrups or other substitutes that aren't a natural part of honey bees' diets. In fact, the wrong type of sugar can cause bees to develop dysentery and start making tainted honey or bee pollen. For beekeepers trying to collect and distribute bulk honey for sale, this can mean significant financial losses as well.
Remember, bees are pollinators and are responsible for cross-pollination, which helps at least 30% of crops and 90% of wild plants thrive. If you're not a beekeeper, it's best to simply leave a tired bee alone and let it recover on its own. This is just one lesson of many beekeeping basics that everyone should know about. For more information about beekeeping for beginners or bulk honey for sale, contact GloryBee.