"Honey, bee healthy!"
Literally, this is what I tell my husband all the time. Make good food choices. Get your exercise. Get some fresh air. Drink more water. Do all the things that help your body function properly. He just rolls his eyes at me most of the time, but the principles are solid. And if those are good things for us, they're also good for our bees!
Coming off the calorie indulgent holidays, many of us are making plans to eat less sugar, but with arctic freezes and rain in our weather pattern right now, our bees need more sugar, not less. Consider adding some minerals to your regular sugar water. You may already add essential oils, etc... to your sugar water. Fantastic! If not, here's my mother-in-law's recipe (she's both frugal and a DIY-er!) for Honey B Healthy, a commercial additive to supplement what you feed to your bees. It got our colonies through several harsh winters in Tennessee, where it's just a teeny bit colder than here (-4 on Christmas Day!), but no matter where you live, making sure bees get good nutrients during the dearth is important.
Bee Healthy Recipe
5 C water or Chamomile Tea
5 C sugar
Bring water/tea to a boil. Add sugar and boil until it’s dissolved. Let cool.
15 drops spearmint oil
15 drops lemongrass oil
Stir to thoroughly mix.
If desired, for additional amino acids and minerals, add:
1 t Himalayan pink salt
1/8 t lecithin
1/4 t lemon juice
Stir to mix.
When feeding sugar water to bees add 1 C of Bee Healthy recipe per 1 gallon of sugar water.
Do you have any special recipes? Protein patties? A different version of Honey B Healthy? If so, please feel free to share here. The lovely thing about beekeeping is we're happy to share what works for us, and someone else may have a different take on it. So please, let us know what works for you!