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Willow Aphid Honeydew & Bees


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I might be wrong but I think honeydews tend to have higher amount of solids. This means the bees have to do number twos more often. This isn't normally a problem in New Zealand where you do get the odd fine warm day during winter( but not spring apparently). I have a friend in Canada who lost 40% of his hives one year when they overwintered on honey dew. I have certainly seen bees winter very well on BlackBerry honey dew.

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in germany honeydew was considered a big issue too.

it was said that the build of solids in their gut causes them to :crap: in the hive if they can't fly out and lead to nosema. one of the honeydew is extremly late, looks similar to douglas fir. comes on in october, would be april in southern hemisphere.

the bees work themselves down collecting it but don't get any pollen with it. so they are stuffed even before winter.

if they are carnis they turn black cos they loose their hair. the honey is black with a hint of green and is used for lung disease treatment. very much sought after.

used to be sold for over 20$ 30 years ago already. but as i said, the bees are usually a write off.

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  • 5 months later...
Wasps may impact honey - environment | Stuff.co.nz

 

This article contains the brief claim that:

 

"Bees can't fully digest the sugar in honeydew, and if it forms a big portion of their diet they can become malnourished or even die."

 

Is this true in general or does the statement only relate to willow dew ?

 

 

The sugar in GWA honeydew honey is melezitose, undigestible by the honeybee, they will clean it out cells in the spring. This crystalline sugar blocks filters during extraction. In my home extraction I end up with quite a thick layer of the melezitose sugar in my bowl.

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The sugar in GWA honeydew honey is melezitose, undigestible by the honeybee, they will clean it out cells in the spring. This crystalline sugar blocks filters during extraction. In my home extraction I end up with quite a thick layer of the melezitose sugar in my bowl.

How do wasps go with GWA honeydew? Not good I hope.

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How do wasps go with GWA honeydew? Not good I hope.

The wasps thrive on the sugars (some glucose, fructose and sucrose) from the willow sap do get through and the wasps love them. We found the largest Asian paper wasp nest I have ever seen (10 cm in diameter, single layer) attached to a roadside rock adjacent to GWA infested willow tree. So far this year we have seen very little activity but it is going to depend on how hot and dry late February and March are. In the Gisborne area we are getting the occasional rain which washes off the honeydew and removes the food source for honeybees, bumble bees and wasps alike.

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