The beneficial effects of feeding mahua (Bassia latifolia Roxb.) flower syrup to honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies during periods of dearth.
Ramesh P Singh and Sandeep K Upadhyay
In parts of India, honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies experience long periods of food dearth. Beekeepers traditionally feed sugar syrup during such times. Experiments showed that feeding colonies in dearth periods with a syrup made from an extract of the flowers of mahua (Bassia latifolia), which provides both sugar and protein, was a better alternative, resulting in increased honey and propolis production, increased brood production and multiplication of colonies, and increased larval weight, protein and fructose content, compared to feeding with sucrose syrup.