Journal of Apicultural Science

The quality of syrups used for bee feeding before winter and their suitability for bee wintering

Journal of Apicultural Science. Volume 50, Issue 1, Pages 5-14, ISSN (Print) 1643-4439
The quality of several inverted syrups was assessed: Bioinwert, Apiinvert, HI, GF56, GF85, GF56+GF85 and Pchelit. Variations in the quality of the syrups Bioinwert, Apiinvert and HI were determined in the experiments carried out in summer in the isolators after bees had deposited the food in the nucleus combs. Our tests showed that bees purified syrups. The sugar syrups Bioinwert A, Apiinvert A from 1999 and HI from 2001 had content of hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) 85.9, 32.7 and 1.43 mg/kg, respectively. HMF declined when bees processed those syrups and deposited in the combs. The content of HMF in syrups Bioinwert B, Apiinvert B, HI amounted to 16.1, 2.64 and 0, respectively. The content of HMF in sugar syrups GF 85, GF 56, GF 85+GF 56 used for feeding wintering bees was 5.8, 48.0, 27.7 mg/kg. No HMF was identified in Pchelit.
The food deposited in the nucleus combs by bees had more biological active components compared with the food fed to bees. Diastase activity does not exist in Bioinwert A from 1999 and 2000 nor does it in Apiinvert A from 1999. This component appears in Bioinwert B - 3.88 and 6.07 Gothe units and Apiinvert B - 6.69 Gothe units. Saccharose present in the syrups S (A) from 2000 and 2001 was 47.0% and 47.8%. Due to the effect of invertase present in the bee secretion, the syrups S (B) contained only 11.6 and 6.75 % of saccharose. Low invertase activity 2.18 and 16.9 IU was determined in Bioinwert A from 1999 and 2000, however the activity of this enzyme increased after processing of the syrups by bees - in the Bioinwert B from 1999 it amounted to 64.6 and 53.6 IU and in Apiinvert B to 41.9 UI.
The sugar syrups GF 56, GF 85, GF 56+GF 85 and Pchelit were used for feeding wintering bees. The highest food consumption 1.9 kg/comb was identified for bees fed on GF 56, however those colonies reared fewer brood. In spring crystallisation of GF 56 syrup was observed in few cells of the comb. The strength of the bee colonies after wintering on this syrup slightly declined from 5 points estimated in the autumn to 4.5 estimated in the spring. The best wintering of bee colonies was observed on syrups Pchelit and GF 56+GF 85. The number of brood after wintering in those bee colonies in spring was 220 and 162 in hundred cells; the food consumption in those colonies was 1.4 and 1.5 kg/comb, respectively. All bee colonies survivied through winter.
inverted sugar syrup, diastase, invertase, hydroxymethylfurfural, wintering of bee colonies
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