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Author Topic: Salt Licks?  (Read 1644 times)
Steel Tiger
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« on: April 05, 2013, 07:14:03 PM »

I've seen several videos of people using salt licks for their bees. One guy was using it as a failed attempt to keep his bees from visiting a neighbor's swimming pool. Do bees need other nutrients other than what they get from honey? If a salt block is beneficial, how would it best be given? Submerged in water so that the bees can drink the water or put in a dry area near the hive where the bees can find it if they want it?
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Jeanette
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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2013, 08:46:38 PM »

I've read about people using dry salt licks outside the hive, dissolving the salt in water and also someone who tried putting the salt directly into the hive. The writer who put salt in the hive added a warning - be careful because too much salt can be lethal.

Here is a link to a breakdown of the nutritional requirements of honey bees: http://www.honeybee.com.au/Library/pollen/nutrition.html
Strangely enough, there is no mention of salt / sodium.

The Australian government produced a report called "Fat bees, Skinny bees - a manual on honey bee nutrition for beekeepers" available online at: http://library.wur.nl/WebQuery/clc/1766764 (click the "Full Text" lik in the right hand column). It might be worth a read. I noticed that their supplement feeding recipes include salt.

I also found two scholarly articles on the Europe PubMed Central website but it looks like you will need to register to read the articles:
- Cholesterol and salt requirements for brood rearing by honeybees fed a pollen substitute. http://europepmc.org/abstract/AGR/IND81080515
- Salt-an important dietary supplement in honey bee nutrition? http://europepmc.org/abstract/AGR/IND21642127
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Jeanette
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Ken
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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2013, 09:50:11 PM »

Honey is the carbohydrate in the bee diet.Proteins come from the pollens on the bee bread.They may get other minerals from liquids they carry back to the hive.I have seen bees in water I wouldn't touch.
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kathyp
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« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2013, 10:50:16 PM »

mine suck water from mud around the salt and mineral blocks that are out for the horses.  that's their favorite place.
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« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2013, 03:54:19 AM »

.
I have tried to offer salted water and compare it to nonsalted.
I saw no difference in drinking.

Yes, no feeding recipe advice to add salt to syrup or to patty.

.beekeepers have all kind of tricks even if they do not know about basic facts of bee nutrition.
 
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Joe D
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« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2013, 09:59:10 AM »

Back when I had cows we had plain, sulphur, and mineral salt blocks, wonder which bees would like the best.   I have gotten 1# block for deer also, could just put one out and see if they wanted it.




Joe




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Steel Tiger
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« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2013, 10:25:29 AM »

Since it doesn't seem to harm the bees and in fact could possibly (even if not proven) provide essential minerals, I'll buy a small one. If the bees find it useful, great. If they never use it, I'm out $2.00.
 Maybe I'll try a few different ones placed in different areas and see if I can capture on video if bees use them and which they prefer if they do. Looks like a trip to the beach is in order to grab a few gallons of seawater.
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10framer
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« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2013, 12:32:44 PM »

they like to work around salt licks.  they'll also take the sweat off of your arm if you let them crawl around on you on a hot summer day.  i've got 6 or 7 mineral blocks around my place for deer i'm sure if i go out on a day like today i'll find bees on or around at least one of them.
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ScottAz
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« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2013, 06:07:13 PM »

I put out a huge block of salt last year ... Don't know if the bees do anything with it, but have seen deer tracks close by. Don't know if I'll replace the thing if/when the time comes. They're (the salt blocks) inexpensive enough; they just weigh a lot and I hate carrying heavy stuff out to the bee yard.... But anything to keep the bees happy!
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Joe D
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« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2013, 01:52:57 PM »

The big blocks are like 50# but you can get smaller ones in the 1# to 2# size, ScottAz.




Joe
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10framer
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« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2013, 10:02:22 PM »

i put out 6 for the deer a few weeks ago but i hauled them in the bucket of my front end loader.  they definitely aren't convenient to carry very far by hand.
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Carol
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« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2013, 11:31:29 AM »

Think I'll put out a few for the "deer" and hope it is something the bees will enjoy. I have a well that is sulphur water or so called by locals..I've seen bees at the overflow and I have a continual drip into a bird bath. They use that too. I never thought of the minerals that might be in it for them.
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Better.to.Bee.than.not
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« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2013, 12:51:20 PM »

they'll find the salt one way or the other, most ground in the US, if not all, has salt in it, and they drink the water, which gives it back to them,just like every other animal in the world....but above it was mentioned how they like to lick the sweat off of people to get it and thats one way to help them not do that, is by putting a salt block around so they get plenty. I have never heard of them taking to much from a salt block and harming themselves.... I live in michigan/detroit ...we have ALOT of salt here in our soil (detroit salt mines are huge) and the worlds largest limestone deposits. no problems that I know of.
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Arkwood
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« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2013, 03:54:28 PM »

I went through this for the first time a few weeks back. I purchased a nice salt block, never see a Bee on it but maybe once my hives really get going or in the summer I keep telling myself...

I think (IMO) or at least something to consider here. If your Bees show no interest in what you give them (Salt Blocks, 1.1 Sugar water etc...) it might just mean they are getting what they need from nature.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2013, 11:06:42 AM »

I have mineral blocks for my horses.  I've never seen a bee on them.
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Michael Bush
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derekm
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« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2013, 03:52:10 PM »

while you are experimenting try water at different temperatures...  remember a hot tub is warm... so is dirty water.
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If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?
Arkwood
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« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2013, 04:28:52 PM »

while you are experimenting try water at different temperatures...  remember a hot tub is warm... so is dirty water.


FatBeeMan seems to be respected in the community. Some advice he gives I use, like salt blocks that have not worked for me... so far.


FatBeeMan 1 Minute Tip - Salt licks for bees


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Better.to.Bee.than.not
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« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2013, 07:57:21 PM »

while you are experimenting try water at different temperatures...  remember a hot tub is warm... so is dirty water.

I think you just inadvertently said you are really dirty when you get in hot tubes.....
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Arkwood
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« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2013, 08:50:18 PM »

while you are experimenting try water at different temperatures...  remember a hot tub is warm... so is dirty water.

I think you just inadvertently said you are really dirty when you get in hot tubes.....

I'm not sure what he means, I just continued on pretending I got it
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derekm
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« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2013, 06:23:15 PM »

shallow turbid water absorbs the sunlight and warms up

bees like warm water.
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If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?
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