When I’ve had pieces of override or unbeaten fruit to dispose of I always find a piece places by the hive attracts the interest of some bees. In lieu of sugar water why not fresh fruit juice as a more natural alternative?
Hi Josh, I think a good reason for not feeding fruit juice to bees is because the old timers don’t do it.
One would think that if we’re going to feed our bees sugar/water, we’d use raw sugar. However raw sugar is not recommended for feeding to bees. Only white sugar is recommended & is best for the bees.
I wouldn’t mind betting that various fruit juices have been tried & experimented with in the past.
I agree with @JeffH. Another consideration is that fruit juice is largely fructose. Nectar is mainly sucrose, which bees then convert into glucose and fructose with their enzymes. Sugar water made with granulated sugar is also sucrose, so it is closer to their natural diet. I add vitamin C to my syrup, partly to make it even more like nectar, and partly to prevent mould growth. Fruit juice at room temperature will soon start to ferment or go mouldy, even though it has vitamin C in it. I think it just isn’t the right balance for bees.
Okay, perhaps not in lieu of but rather as supplement to? It’s not raw simple energy I’m thinking of because I’m in coastal Australia in mid Summer. The bees seem really appreciative of the odd slice of nectarine, mango and banana left by their hive. They must be getting something out of it.
I wouldn’t do it because in my experience ripe fruit attracts wasps. And the fewer wasps around the bee hives the better.
Doesn’t it attract SHB too?
I haven’t heard that but SHB can detect beehives from several kilometers away so I doubt the presence of fruit would make a big difference.
Look under the Biology section - I guess it doesn’t say specifically that the SHB are attracted to fruit but their relatives are…
i have been feeding my bees figs when I have some damaged by birds. I put them on the hive landing and the bees really like them and eat them all up. They actually chew and eat them… I don’t feel like it’s worry.