Impact of Supplemental Feed Type on Winter Survival of Honey Bee Colonies

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2011: $9,957.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2012
Region: Southern
State: North Carolina
Principal Investigator:
Barry Harris, Jr.
Silver Spoon Apiaries, Inc

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: corn
  • Animals: bees


  • Animal Production: feed/forage, feed additives, feed formulation, feed rations, livestock breeding, preventive practices, winter forage
  • Pest Management: prevention
  • Production Systems: holistic management

    Proposal summary:

    Experiment evaluates the effect of various supplemental feed types on the winter survivability of colonies, generally, and the incidence of Nosema C., specifically. We will test six feed types (67% liquid sucrose, HFCS 55 diluted by 10% with water, HFCS 42, 80/20 blend of HFCS 55 (diluted)/67% liquid sucrose, 80/20 blend of HFCS 42/67% liquid sucrose, and 50/50 blend of HFCS 55 (UN-diluted)/67% sucrose) as winter stores, each on ten colonies, measuring the colonies for winter survival and increase in Nosema C. incidence. Data to be analyzed using two baselines (67% liquid sucrose and HFCS Type 55 (undiluted)).

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Determine if winter inclusion of liquid sucrose with HFCS fed as supplemental bee feed for winter stores increases winter survivability and decreases incidence of Nosema C. Determine percentage of liquid sucrose necessary to effect economically viable improvement in winter survivability and incidence of Nosema C. Determine if beekeepers currently feeding only liquid sucrose could improve winter survivability and cut supplemental feed costs by adding HFCS as a source of monomial sugars.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.