All I know is what I read a few years back. My brother has bee hives, we use the same produce for cattle, so I told him to put some in a little sugar water now and then. Since he is still giving me honey , I guess the little things are making it.
There are multiple threats to honey bees. They’ve just recently discovered another one. A tiny fly lays its eggs inside a bees abdomen. The larva grows there until multiple flys emerge alien like killing it’s host.
I just lost the my 3rd of 3 hives last week. Mine showed signs of starvation though. I thought I had left them enough honey last fall and had even suplemented them a couple weeks ago. But I found a dead hive. Nothing more discouraging than a hive full of dead bees. Now i get to start from square one next month.
I hope so! I wish you, your brother, and his bees well. :-)