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frost
biodymanic approaches to feeding & varroa treatement

My understanding is that under Biodynamics, ideally you wouldnt need to feed your bees, you would leave them with enough honey to feed themselves. However if you do feed them then the standard recipe is organic white sugar + water + their own honey + chamomile tea + trace of salt. My notes are at the apiary so I'll post up exact proportions when I next pull them out.

I was recently asked what biodynamic approaches to varroa treatment are. Does anyone have any info on this?

Bees and Honey
Hi Frost, Scroll

Hi Frost,
Scroll down through this, Varroa treatment is covered
http://www.biodynamic.org.uk/fileadmin/user_upload/Documents/Bees/bee_FA...
The members here are a mine of information
http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/bdbees/
This is interesting
http://www.biodynamic.org.uk/farming-amp-gardening/bees.html

Best of Luck Richie

Richie

frost
Hi Richie Thanks for that

Hi Richie
Thanks for that link, actually I was recently in touch with Michael and he gave me permission to post the FAQ on the site here, so I will do so shortly.
Mike

frost
Here's the relevent extract

Here's the relevent extract from the FAQ

Feeding – the best thing is if the bees can over winter with their own honey without any feeding – there is no question that this is best but it is not always possible. If feeding is necessary to supplement the stored food in the hive, we need a sugar solution. You have to use organically grown crystallised white sugar (not brown or dark sugar). I put 3 kg of sugar into 2 litres of water (or in proportion to the amount you need). To the sugar we add 10% of our own honey (to 9 kg of sugar you add 1 kg of honey); to this mixture we add some chamomile tea and a very little pinch of salt. You only need a small amount of these substances – if I prepare 100 litres of sugar liquid in this way (this would be nearly 75 kg of sugar and 7.5 kg of honey together with 50 litres of water) I would use one or two litres of a strong chamomile tea and maybe a teaspoon of salt (sea salt). This mixture is suitable for feeding new colonies and nuclei as well as for autumn feed. It helps the bees to convert the sugar solution to a honey like substance.

Some notes:
I've read elsewhere that the chamomile tea might act like an enzyme and "invert" the sugar, but that if so it would need to be kept at a cool temp, which isn't consistent with some versions of this recipe (not Michael's above), which talk about boiling the tea etc. Also I saw a comment that this recipe is based on a recipe from the local beekeeper who was listening to and asking questions at Rudolf Steiner's bee lectures, so it may in fact just be local Swiss practice rather than anything from Steiner.