Everyone knows that bees are very useful insects.
They are not only beneficial to people, producing delicious medicinal honey, but also actively contribute to the pollination of flowers. Let’s talk about what bees love, what foods are the basis of their diet, and what flowers attract these wonderful insects.
Surprisingly, the diet of small honeybees is very diverse. For a bee to be able to work properly, it needs to provide good nutrition. In summer, insects feed themselves by collecting pollen with nectar from plants. These two products are the basic component of the bee diet.
Pollen and nectar are rich in various chemical compounds, chief among which are proteins and carbohydrates for bees. They are what melliferous products are needed for the normal functioning of the endocrine system and the correct functioning of muscles. Absorbing nectar with pollen, the insect gathers strength for further medical research.
Nectar is an aromatic sugar liquid, which is emitted by the glands of flowering plants. Bees eat nectar by putting their proboscis in the middle of the flower. The content of carbohydrates in the nectar of different plants is different, so stripped workers fly from flower to flower. Nectar drops, which they love so much, serve as fuel for honey insects, giving them the necessary energy.
Pollen is also important for the life activity of bees. Apiaries’ residents eat pollen and together with it saturate their bodies not only with protein, but also with fats, sugar, and vitamins. All these substances allow honey makers to work productively, flying up to 6 thousand flowers a day.
To enrich the diet of bees, and thus increase their productivity, a beekeeper should take care of the diversity of plants around the apiary. Think of a combination of green spaces so that the flowering period does not stop from spring until late autumn. Some flowering plants are replaced by others, giving the little workers to choose the flowers they love. By the way, the variety of flowers will make the taste of honey richer.
What kind of flowers do bees like most? Try to make sure that the garden is dominated by plants specific to your area and climate. Exotic flowers, although they have an alluring scent, can be poisonous to insects.
The main factor for choosing a bee flower is the fragrance. Plants with special glands emit a pleasant scent to attract honey. So choose lilies, daffodils, jasmine, and other fragrant plants.
If you observe hard-working insects for a while, you will soon notice that they are very fond of bright colors. The juicy coloring of blossoming buds beckons like a beacon, indicating the abundance of sweet nectar. Honeybees are banned from red, so make sure that there are no plants with scarlet flowers around the apiary.
To enrich the honey with healing properties, plant plants near the hives, which are considered the most favorable for honey collection. This may be melissa, sage, oregano. These plants, in addition to their rich composition, have a lot of nectar.
Flying fragrant flowers, the bee is distinguished by agility and high speed. In one minute, the honeybee has time to pollinate about 10 flowers, while taking pollen and nectar. In its hind legs, a bee has special baskets. In each of them, 20 mg of pollen is placed on average. Having filled the baskets to the end, the bee carries the collected pollen to the hive, where it continues to work with it.
From pollen, the insects produce the so-called bee bread – Bee pollen. Bee pollen is an indispensable bee food, especially in winter. This substance serves as a basis for the nutrition of larvae: bees make royal jelly from Bee pollen, which they eat on their first days. The uterus themselves all their life eat only royal jelly. It gives them enough building protein and vitamins to produce offspring.
Once back after pollination, the bee begins to press pollen into one of the cells, while wetting the particles with saliva. Enzymes contained in the salivary glands promote fermentation. After a few weeks of fermentation, all the nutrients, proteins, and vitamins are released from the pollen. After that, honey and wax seal the cells.
The nectar collected by bees turns into honey during fermentation and moisture evaporation. Their trunk contains special saliva enzymes. Mixed with nectar, the saliva triggers complex chemical processes. It turns out that honey is a concentrate of nectar, and it is also the result of fermentation. In addition to the carbohydrates that provide energy to bees, honey contains small amounts of mineral salts, organic acids, and even protein.
Once most of the moisture has evaporated from the nectar, the honeycomb seals honeycomb with wax. Honey in this form can be stored as much as you want. This is how bees provide their family with honey for the entire wintering period. Honey is the main foodstuff of bees when the flowering period ends.
When sending bees for overwintering, make sure that the hive has enough food. With a good supply of honey and bee pollen, the bee family will winter safely and be ready for the new honey collection season. An average of 20 to 30 kg of honey (depending on the region) is needed for one bee family to spend the winter. The longer the cold period lasts, the more food the bees will need.
To grow a brood a single bee family needs two honeycombs with parchment. In addition to the bee product and Bee pollen, honeybees are fed sugar syrup and medical supplements. Syrup or sugar will be needed in case of lack of honey or if it is of poor quality. Yeast, dough, milk, and caramel can be substituted for natural food. These products can make up for the necessary amount of protein, but it is better if you find real honey for the honey makers.
In summer, nectar droplets contain enough water. But in winter, honey, more concentrated, can not quench the thirst of insects. Therefore, the hives are equipped with drinkers.