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Evaluating the effects of Feeding
Protein Patties to Honey Bees

NUTRITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS IN CHOOSING PROTEIN AND CARBOHYDRATE SOURCES FOR USE IN POLLEN SUBSTITUTES FOR HONEY BEE APIS-MELLIFERA.

Author, Editor, Inventor: LEHNER-Y {a}
Author Address: {a} BEE RES LAB, AGRIC RES SERV, USDA, UNIV WIS, MADISON, WI 53706, USA
Source: Journal-of-Apicultural-Research. 1983 (RECD. 1984); 22 (4): 242-248.
Publication Year: 1983 (RECD 1984)
Document Type: Article-
ISSN (International Standard Serial Number): 0021-8839

Abstract: Small colonies of honeybees (A. mellifera) were fed for 6 wk on diets of protein concentration increasing from 5-30% using soyflours and a Torula yeast product, the commonly available pollen substitutes. Either honey or sucrose was used in formulating the diets; sucrose enhanced protein utilization. While no statistical difference was found in brood production at different protein levels, the 5% level of protein may not be as good as the others. All tested supplements and pollen gave the same efficiency of protein utilization at all concentrations. The Torula yeast product sustained brood-rearing longer than the soyflours. Addition of proteolytic enzymes to soyflour diets had no effect on protein utilization. Colonies fed pollen raised more brood than those fed the test diets, and on the average produced populations about twice as large.

DISAPPEARING DISEASE 1. EFFECTS OF CERTAIN PROTEIN SOURCES GIVEN TO HONEY BEE COLONIES IN FLORIDA USA.

Author, Editor, Inventor: KULINCEVIC-J-M {a}; ROTHENBUHLER-W-C; RINDERER-T-E
Author Address: {a} DEP ENTOMOL, OHIO STATE UNIV, COLUMUBUS, OHIO 43210
Source: American-Bee-Journal. 1982; 122 (3): 189-191.
Publication Year: 1982
Document Type: Article-
ISSN (International Standard Serial Number): 0002-7626

Abstract: A commercial beekeeper's report of disappearing disease stimulated an investigation utilizing the diseased colonies. The effects on population growth and honey storage, of giving 1 comb of pollen, of feeding Fumidil-B and of feeding soybean flour with yeast and soybean flour alone were observed in an experiment involving 36 colonies of bees. Addition of 1 comb of pollen led to a significant gain in bees and the production of more honey. Fumidil-B had no effect. Feeding of expeller processed soybean flour, from a supply 3 or 4 yr old, especially without yeast, hindered population growth. Inadequate amounts of natural pollen along with feeding an inferior pollen substitute were 2 causes of this beekeeper's losses.
Update Code: 1983

EFFECT OF SUPPLEMENTAL FEEDING OF HONEY BEE APIS-MELLIFERA HYMENOPTERA APIDAE POPULATIONS AND THE ECONOMIC VALUE OF SUPPLEMENTAL FEEDING FOR PRODUCTION OF PACKAGE-BEES.

Author, Editor, Inventor: PENG-Y-S {a}; MARSTON-J-M; KAFTANOGLU-O
Author Address: {a} DEP ENTOMOL, UNIV CALIF, DAVIS, CALIF 95616
Source: Journal-of-Economic-Entomology. 1984; 77 (3): 632-636.
Publication Year: 1984
Document Type: Article-
ISSN (International Standard Serial Number): 0022-0493

Abstract: To determine the effect of feeding on A. mellifera L. populations and the economic value of feeding colonies for spring production of package-bees, a feeding experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of feeding time and feeding treatments on the A. mellifera population, and to compare the cost with the benefit of feeding. Colonies produced significantly more bees from fall feeding than from spring feeding or continuous feeding from fall to spring (P < 0.01; analysis of variance). Colonies fed with protein supplement containing 21% protein from Torula yeast and/or syrup also produced significantly more bees than unfed control colonies (P < 0.05; Duncan's multiple range test). Colonies fed with 1/3 the amount of protein supplement in the fall had the potential to yield high adult bee populations and a net gain in production of package-bees. Feeding sugar syrup in spring was less profitable than feeding protein supplement in fall.

Our Comments on the above:

  1. Looking at "NUTRITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS IN CHOOSING PROTEIN AND CARBOHYDRATE SOURCES FOR USE IN POLLEN SUBSTITUTES FOR HONEY BEE APIS-MELLIFERA", the first study above, I see that

    1. Pollen was considerably better than either torula yeast or soyflour, and that

    2. The yeast was better than the soy alone.

    3. Sucrose was better than honey (and I assume High Fructose Corn Syrup) for the sweetener portion of the patties

    4. Protein concentrations between 5 and 30% seemed to be equally efficient, but at 5%, the effect was falling off.

    5. It is safe to assume that twice as much patty was required at 10% than at 20%, to achieve the same result, however.

    6. Adding enzymes to the soy did not seem to help.

    They do not specify what sort of pollen, and we all know that pollen loses its value fairly quickly over several years of storage.  I have wondered about how the value of supplements deteriorates, and that is addressed in one of the next studies.
     

  2. "DISAPPEARING DISEASE 1. EFFECTS OF CERTAIN PROTEIN SOURCES GIVEN TO HONEY BEE COLONIES IN FLORIDA USA", demonstrates:

    1. That shortage of pollen can cause dwindling.

    2. Fumigillan did not help, so we can assume that nosema was not a prime contributor to decline.

    3. Old soy flour, fed alone, made matters worse.

    4. Bad pollen supplement was worse than nothing

    5. Adding yeast helped

    6. Feeding combs of pollen had a good effect

    This study raises questions that are not answered, but seems to indicate that old soy flour can be worse than nothing.  Nothing is learned here about fresh soy flour, and we are not told the age of the yeast or pollen.
     

  3. EFFECT OF SUPPLEMENTAL FEEDING OF HONEY BEE APIS-MELLIFERA HYMENOPTERA APIDAE POPULATIONS AND THE ECONOMIC VALUE OF SUPPLEMENTAL FEEDING FOR PRODUCTION OF PACKAGE-BEES was run in California -- I assume.  Although conditions and requirements there are different from Alberta, we can see that the effects of Fall feeding carry on until Spring.  In fact, to quote, " Colonies fed with 1/3 the amount of protein supplement in the fall had the potential to yield high adult bee populations and a net gain in production of package-bees. Feeding sugar syrup in spring was less profitable than feeding protein supplement in fall".  This seems to me to be very significant and indicates that we need to evaluate this effect in Alberta.

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