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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've never really considered this, so I thought I'd post for other beekeepers' opinions and experience.

On my local Association forum, someone posted that they had lost 2 hives - starved out. From what I gather from the thread, this person had been feeding them (and I quote) "cough drops, candy canes, and grape jelly." This was feeding during the winter only, I believe.

My gut reaction is that processed people food is not good for anyone, least of all wild creatures, but I do not want to post based solely on my personal opinions. If anyone here has input, I'd be interested in hearing, and perhaps I can pass on some good information.
 

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All I can say is I wouldnt advise this for any hive. Sounds Like they are using the hive as a garbage disposal. I wouldnt want them foraging on these items. So why would one put them out or in there hive as feed.
 

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You might consider reporting this to the SPCAMM

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Apis Mellifera Mellifera :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I do not know this person, so I am going to assume he/she is new and inexperienced, and had the best intentions when the hives seemed light in the dead of winter.

My first advice would be to not take off as much honey. Other than that, what is appropriate to feed in the winter? I generally do not feed, and have never done so in freezing temps, so I don't know.
 

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Sometimes the bees will let you know if they want what you give them. My wife worked at a bakery and i had her bring home some buckets (5 gal.) to use here on the farm. (they gave them away) Well some of them had icing left in them that they put on rolls and donuts,(i thought free bee food) :thumbsup: and set the buckets out for them to clean up. The bees checked it out but never touched it :confused: makes you wonder if we should eat the stuff. :confused: Jack
 

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I have heard people mention cough drops for tracheal mites.. maybe candy canes for the pepperment... neither one a good idea. But grape jelly has me stumped on the Why factor
 

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Feeding fondant works. I read Jack's post and am not sure why it wasn't attractive to bees (maybe it was the flavouring or preservatives, or some other additive). I use the fondant that only contains sugar, glucose and water. I like it as well for the fact you can just place it over the inner cover hole and not open up your entire top to put it on. Check out the thread in beekeeping 101 titled candy boards for pictures. I have had some of my hives clean up already and are on their second patty.
 

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I can't figure out why they didn't go after the bakery icing :confused: . Like Perrybee, i've put HFC out on the picknic table (same place i put the icing) and a black cloud of bees show up within 5 min. I even scaped the icing out on a top cover and only yellow jackets and wasp show up. Jack
 

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Don't know about cough drops and candy canes but the grape jelly????maybe purple honey(just kidding) Jim
 

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Hobie writes:
"cough drops, candy canes, and grape jelly."

tecumseh:
I would venture a guess that the problem was not the products above but the lack of quantity of the products above or when or how it was fed.

years ago we fed bees hard rock candy from bomb shelters (this was packed in large metal cans) and the bees thrived on the stuff. it was in a location a bit more friendly to feeding bees in the winter than Hobie's location.
 

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Most candies contain corn starch, which will give them dysentery. That's something they don't need when it's too cold to fly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
All good info - thanks! Did not know that about corn starch. I will pass it along. I'd forgotten about the Mountain Camp method.
 

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mmmm, jelly! Ours is homemade so it's just juice, sugar, and pectin.... all are natural and would likely not hurt the bees, but it surely isn't the best thing for them either.
 

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LOL, yes it would be awful Iddee. The kids can't stay out of our jelly, even while it's in the pan they are tasting and sneaking some.
 

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I feel like crap when I eat a bunch of that stuff, so I wouldn't want to give that stuff to my hive. Just me, though...

I had read an article a couple months ago about a hive in New York that had red syrup in the frames. It turned out that the girls were feeding at a maraschino cherry factory.
 
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