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Brewer’s yeast or baker’s yeast for bees?

Here’s a question that pops up this time of year: “Can I substitute baker’s yeast for brewer’s yeast when I’m making pollen substitute?” Truth is, I don’t know what the “official” answer is, but here’s my take on the best yeast for bees. Both baker’s yeast and brewer’s yeast are the same species, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, […] Read more

A hive population wake-up call

Overwintered colonies that starve usually do so in early spring, just before the first nectar flows. In the northern climates, colonies may starve as late as April, even though everything appears green and lush. Part of the reason is that many pollen plants bloom before nectar plants. Here in the Pacific Northwest, red alders flower […] Read more

Hydroxymethylfurfural in sugar syrup

Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) is a naturally-occurring organic acid with the formula C6H6O3. It is often formed during the dehydration of sugars, especially fructose, and is known to be toxic to honey bees. Much has been written during the past few years about the occurrence of HMF in high-fructose corn syrup* (HFCS), but that is certainly not […] Read more