What’s the secret for healthy and productive beehives?


Beekeeping is a profession that requires respect and proper care of our greatest assets, honey bees. That means understanding when it’s time to provide supplemental food. Failure to notice when these times are can result in:


  • Reduced vitality of the worker bees, which can result in fewer or complete stoppage of foraging flights. Fewer foraging flights mean they can’t gather enough pollen.
  • Cessation of breeding activities, especially brood rearing and maintenance of hive’s population.
  • Reduction of hive-cleaning activities.
  • Production of lower quality bees.
  • Reduced ability to defend against natural enemies.
  • Bees that are more prone to diseases.


Starvation leads to declining colonies and subsequent loss of financial livelihood


When you can identify the leaner times and provide the necessary nutrition and sustenance, you’re on your way to building a strong and productive apiculture business year round as well as stronger, healthier bees.


With the onset of climate change, professional beekeepers face more challenges than previous times. These include multiple periods of nectar and pollen shortages, which can devastate the hive. Because of these factors, beekeepers have to provide high quality, cost-effective nutrition for their bees.

bee on a flower



Need for carbohydrates



Carbohydrates are the main constituents of both honey and nectar. Carbohydrates from nectar, proteins from pollen and water comprise the diet of the bees from the beginning of their existence. Carbohydrates provide the needed energy for the bees and sugar from sugar beet is the dominant source of carbohydrates for this industry. bee on flower




Times when supplementation with feed Is vital


Precautionary Maintenance Feeding


In early spring there isn’t always a lot of nectar available and it’s not possible that bees will have excess from the winter. This is a good time to provide some syrup made with either invertase invertobee 50-C or invertobee-50PV.


Syrup made with invertase invertobee 50-C is a carbohydrate-rich food product that gives bees the raw energy they need to get tasks done. Alternatively, for lowering the cost, the syrup can also be inverted with invertase invertobee 50-W at higher temperature.


Products containing invertase help the bees reduce the energy required for processing food so that they can spend it on more vital tasks such as building the colony. Read more about here.


Feeding During Emergencies


There are two key times when it’s required to have emergency food supplies on hand. The first is when foraging hasn’t started. Having some dense syrup prepared with invertase Invertobee 66-W handy prevents both colony and production setbacks. Invertase invertobee 66-W also helps with the production of cells from wax (honeycombs), which is an additional source of profit for the beekeeper.


There are many cases when the beekeepers are far away from base. Supplementing with syrup is not easy for practical reasons in this case, so using sugar paste reduces the time interval required between successive visits to the apiary. Honeybees are supplied with 1-3kg of sugar paste made with invertase Invertobee-73-Z, which usually lasts for at least 1-2 weeks.


Use of invertase in sugar syrup or paste to achieve sugar inversion reduces feeding cost for three main reasons:

  • Inverted sugar syrup requires less energy to be assimilated by the bees. As a result they need to consume less feed.
  • Sugar paste remains soft until the end so the bees consume it all.
  • Since the bees consume all the paste, they are less likely to throw away pieces of paste outside of the hive, a phenomenon that causes physical and financial waste.


End of honey harvesting


After honey harvesting period ends, for example during summer time, if there is no nectar present, then the bees stop brood rearing and feeding then is required immediately. It is very important for the colony survival to have new bees produced before winter period. We should make sure also that the hives have feed stock for the winter.


invertobee: hives on a field


When Not To Feed


Bees shouldn’t be fed any sugar product just before or during the period of harvesting. Any external feeding at this point will result in adulterated honey and therefore will result in financial loss to your apiculture business.


Contingency planning is a part of any business model. It’s especially important in beekeeping because of nature’s increasing unpredictability. Taking the time to know when your apiaries will need the support is the best way to improve your year-round success.