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Author Topic: Dearth Feeding...  (Read 3245 times)
justgojumpit
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« on: November 01, 2004, 12:11:54 PM »

I have an idea for feeding my bees during a time of nectar dearth.  Near us, there is a small garden and produce store where i sell my honey.  The owner of the store decided that he would dest how far my bees would actually fly.  Now, there happened to be a nectar dearth at this time.  He cut open an old watermelon and laid the two halves outside behind his store.  By the end of the day, all that was left was the rinds.  my bees had completely emptied the watermelon.  My question to you is this:  Would it be ethical to feed the bees old sugary fruit during a time of nectar dearth and call the resulting product "watermelon honey" or "honeydew melon honey"  or "strawberry honey?"  I would use old produce from the supermarket, especially high-sugar fruits such as strawberries, melons, and the like.  This wouldn't be like selling sugar syrup as honey, but could i really call this honey or not?  Thanks,

justgojumpit
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Keeper of bees and builder of custom beekeeping equipment.
Beth Kirkley
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« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2004, 01:34:37 PM »

That is very interesting. The bees actually ate the watermelon? I have no comments or ideas on your basic questions. The whole idea of the bees eating the "fruit" boggles me. I had no idea bees would do that. Please! let us know how this trial goes - what they eat of the fruits you pick, how much they seem to be storing, and much later on - what the honey tastes like.

Beth
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« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2004, 02:19:34 PM »

Like Beth I've never heard of honey bees actually eating fruit. I know that jellowjackets will, but are you sure that honey bees did it?
I would also be interested in knowing what the honey would look and taste like.
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Jake B
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« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2004, 08:04:56 PM »

About two weeks ago I threw an old watermelon in my compost pile and a day or so later I took something else out there and the bees were all over it. I also had paper wasp and a few others on it as well. I was suprised also, but it was clean to the rind in a couple of days.
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Whether you think you can or think you can't-you are right.-Henry Ford
leominsterbeeman
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« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2004, 08:12:01 PM »

Well,  this isn't based on an scientific fact, only my opinion.   Technically, if the bees sucked the liquid from the melon (nectar) and processed it - it could be called honey - but I would think that what you would have is nectar with even a higher water content and then the bees would have to work harder to evaporate it into honey.  

Maybe they were just taking the water from the fruit back to the hive.    

If they ate the solid parts of the melon, then I don't think it would become honey, they would process it and it would become bee poop.
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golfpsycho
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« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2004, 09:44:03 PM »

I don't think they really eat the melon, but they will dehydrate it pretty good taking the sweet juices out of it.  THere were alot of discussion about bees damaging fruit to get the syrup from it.  I believe, they finally concluded that wasps, birds, etc will break the skin.. then the bees will suck it dry.  Bees don't damage healthy fruit.
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Anonymous
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« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2004, 12:07:03 PM »

According to the references that I read honey is the viscid fluid that insects produce from the nectar removed and processed from flowers. That to me is a pretty tight definition relative to whether the juice from a fruit falls into the proper category. However how could you tell the difference once you extracted the fluid from honeycomb?
It seems to me that once the bee ingests the fluid into their honey stomach, adds enzymes, places it into cells in the hive, evaporates the water out of it and caps it over, it must be honey.
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Finman
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« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2004, 04:20:09 PM »

Quote from: justgojumpit
Would it be ethical to feed the bees old sugary fruit during a time of nectar dearth and call the resulting product "watermelon honey" or "honeydew melon honey"  or "strawberry honey?"  I would use old produce from the supermarket, especially high-sugar fruits such as strawberries, melons, and the like.  This wouldn't be like selling sugar syrup as honey, but could i really call this honey or not?  Thanks,

justgojumpit


I have tried to feed strawberry + sugar and  blueberry+sugar , but bees did not take the "juice".

My idea was to consentrate juice with bees, but they did not want to co-operate with me.
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Lesli
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« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2004, 04:22:55 PM »

When one of my hives seemed lazy, I considered adding coffee.  Cheesy  I didn't, but I have to say that the idea of coffee-flavored honey is intriguing. (Can you tell I like coffee?)
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Lesli
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Finman
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« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2004, 05:08:50 PM »

Quote from: Lesli
When one of my hives seemed lazy, I considered adding coffee.  Cheesy  I didn't, but I have to say that the idea of coffee-flavored honey is intriguing. (Can you tell I like coffee?)


Save us from more details  Cheesy Cool  

Once I gived to my hive 12 % home wine, because they did not accept the queen. When they try to fly into they finger size entrance, it many went one inch askew  Cool

After a while they were again in condition, and found the queen. They did not accept her with clear head or in hangover rolleyes
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Lesli
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« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2004, 01:31:52 PM »

There was a study recently that showed bees are affected by alcohol much as we are. As I recall, it wasn't a study about bees, but bees were simply used as the test subject. Wish I could remember where I read it...

Apparently, a lot of bees simply flopped on their backs and couldn't turn back over while drunk. Hm. Familiar...

Anyway! I hope after you put the wine in their feed, you put in some aspirin!
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Lesli
http://beeyard.blogspot.com/
Anonymous
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« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2004, 01:52:32 PM »

I remember hearing about that study on the radio just recently. It seems that after the bees had imbibed to a certain point, they couldn't seem to find their way back to the hive until they had sobered up some.
Now THAT seems vaguely familiar.
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