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Feeding increases mortality?


I came across this article today, and it has me thinking. I’d be interested to hear what you all make of it. The first comment to the article raises some very good points as well.


  1. Some of the Honey fed back did not come from that hive - for me an absolute no no
  2. Feeding back stickies - that did not come from that hive - again for me an absolute no no
  3. Feeding HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) when you consider this is probably, or more than likely is from GM crops which have been treated with Neonicitinoids and whatever else poisons they throw at them - Again for me an absolute no no

Yes I do feed sugar syrup - no it is not boiled just dissolved in boiled water and never reheated - if there is no nectar - the bees either eat or die so I will feed them

What they don’t mention is that these bees may be going into winter and we don’t know if they were treated with varroa-cides/treatments, or if the bees had sufficient pollen to bring them not just through the winter but able to feed the new spring bees.

I think the information is Valid to a point - but not the whole story, Natural bee keeping was mentioned so possibly these bees were over run with virus’ or disease and were not treated.

Personally I think the study is incomplete.
Bearing in mind this guy has a BS in computing (I have a BSc honors in computing also), I think the data is not flawed but incomplete.


This information was gathered from beekeepers all across the country, with the very small percentage of beekeepers doing treatment free practices I have to assume the vast majority of them are traditional beekeepers. I believe the author is coming from a treatment free point of view but I doubt that represents anything but the minority in the actual surveys conducted.

It does seem like trading honey and brood between hives is a very common practice, at least in what I have heard and read.


That is crucial to the study as far as I can see - Many colonies were lost this year in the states - but we don’t know how many were treated for Varroa.

There are studies now saying it is not the varroa per say killing the bees but the virus’ they transmit or that the varroa are weakening the bees and certain genes are switched off/on due to poor health - similar to aides in Humans - aides affects the immune system and prevents the body fighting off disease


This is what our National Bee Unit are doing, I’m in the pilot scheme - I have to return my data after 1 April 2016

“We are doing this by launching an annual National Beehive Count from the winter of 2016/17 onwards. The idea is to estimate the number of beehives going into winter dormancy. In order to work out the best way of estimating the number of bee hives (colonies) in the UK, a smaller, pilot count is taking place during the winter of 2015/16. For the pilot, we propose to use the information on beehives numbers held on BeeBase and other sources to derive our estimate of the national count.”


Either way it is likely a non-issue. From talking to treatment free people recently their results mimic or are slightly better then the national average. So treated or not it shouldn’t matter for the loss results.


I think the conclusions drawn from this survey are flawed as there are so many variables in regard to the other conditions of the colonies.
The size and strength of the colonies.
The health of the colonies.
The hive type.
Amount of insulation.
Locality of the colonies.
The skill of the beekeeper.
To name but a few.
So any conclusions are invalid.


Hi Adam, I’m constantly shifting frames of honey & brood around from hive to hive. My stickies certainly don’t go back in the same hives. It would be a nightmare for me to even try.

It’s how I manage my hives.

A bloke wants me to deliver a colony of bees to him & while I’m there check on his 2 existing hives. They’re not doing very well because of SHB & other issues. I’m going to phone him to see if he wants me to bring 2 or 3 frames of brood for each hive to help boost their numbers & possibly save them.

See, more mixing of frames. It’s almost impossible to avoid it.