In addition to feeding your bees a regular dose of sugar water, you’ll also want to supplement that with “bee vitamins” that’ll basically help them to stay healthy and get stronger.
We used a product called “Super DFM” which sounds more like an early 90’s rap group, but I digress.
I know what you’re thinking “but how do we make thousands of bees take a multi-vitamin?”. Good question. Having kids of our own I immediately thought of a tiny little oral syringe being used to force feed it to a massive line of waiting bees. Thankfully it was much easier than that.
The trick is to simply entice them to eat it themselves. And the best way to do that?
The idea is that you add the vitamins to some sugar and then leave it somewhere that the bees will be able to get at it. The bees will eat the sugar and in the process get their vitamins as well.
… + vitamins…
… = something that sort of a powdery fried egg.
Once you have the mixture together, the easiest way to get the bees to eat it is to sift the combination on top of the frames. We used a simple household sifter.
You’ll noticed that the mixture gets on some of the bees. While it’s recommended that you try to avoid that, the bees seemed to be ok. Not only did it encourage them to clean themselves off, it also had the added affect of sending what looked like white “ghost bees” flying around the hive.
It’s been a few weeks since we gave them their vitamins, and the tops of their frames are completely clean and the hives are doing well. Overall it was a pretty easy process.