is the main ingredient in pollen supplements for honey bees,
and proteins are made up of amino acids.
honey provides energy for flight and for warming the hive,
proteins and other minor constituents in pollen provide the
essential nutrients for continued good health in older bees,
for reproduction, and the necessary building blocks for
development of young bees.
have determined the essential amino acids for bee health and
also the proportions of each which are ideal in a bee diet.
from different sources may contain greater or lesser amounts
of each amino acid and some proteins may be entirely
unsuitable for bee feed. Unless all the essential
amino acids are present and in approximately the correct
proportions, the bees will be unable to use the feed
ideal proportion of amino acids required by a hive of
bees probably varies with the season and the activities of
the bees, and with variations in what they are able to bring
in from the fields. Therefore, going to great expense
in attempting to match the needs with high precision is
probably unnecessary. Coming close -- within +/- 50%
is probably the best one can hope for. Surprisingly,
some brands of two common and inexpensive feeds, soy flour
and brewers yeast, come much closer than that.
Moreover, these two items contain well over 40% protein and
are well accepted by bees. These two components,
together with sufficient sugar and water to make a thick
paste or patty make a very successful and inexpensive diet.
protein necessarily better in a bee diet? Not
necessarily, what matters is what you pay for what protein
you get. What may be more important is knowing what else is
in the diet and whether those other ingredients are actually
good for bees.