During long and harsh winters some bee colonies can starve to death. That's why it is important for the bees to fly out and forage for food at their first opportunity during the first warm day! The bees obtain all of their nutrition from a diverse mix of pollen and nectar.
Pollen is the only natural source of protein and lipids. Adult worker honey bees consume 3.4-4.3 mg of pollen per day.
Nectar, collected by foraging worker bees as a source of water and carbohydrates comes in the form of sucrose. Adult worker honey bees require 4 mg of utilizable sugars per day.
Water is needed to maintain cell osmosis, prepare liquid brood food, and to cool the hive through evaporation. A colony’s water needs is usually met by nectar foraging as it has high water content. But occasionally, on hot days or when nectar is limited, foragers will get water from streams or ponds.
Last updated March 15, 2017