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Honey bee nutrition

and supplementary
feeding
DAI/178, July 2000
Doug Somerville
Apiary Officer
Goulburn

INTRODUCTION When the nectar is initially collected, it is


stored in the honey sac of the returning field bee.
This agnote is written to give beekeepers an An enzyme called invertase is added to the nectar
overview of honeybee nutritional requirements while in the bees honey sac. Invertase converts
and the role of various carbohydrate and protein the nectar, primarily a sucrose solution, to a
supplements in the management of honeybee mainly laevulose and dextrose solution.
colonies. The ripening nectar is then stored in the bees-
wax cells where the moisture content is reduced
The honey bee (Apis mellifera) collects a number to 1318% by the manipulation and fanning of
of substances to ensure its survival. the house bees. When honey is ripe, bees cap the
nectar, which the adult bees convert into honey cells with beeswax.
and store in beeswax cells Stored honey is the colonys major carbohydrate
pollen, which provides most of the protein, or energy source. Honey is consumed by the
amino acids, fats, vitamins and mineral require- colony to maintain brood temperatures, to
ments of a bees diet enable workers to fly and for any activity by
any individual bee requiring energy when fresh
water, which bees collect to help in maintaining nectar is not available.
the temperature and humidity of the hive and
diluting stored honey to consume The performance of bees is truly astonishing.
propolis, which is a naturally occurring glue- The fuel consumption of a flying bee is about
like substance that bees use in sealing cracks mg honey per kilometre, or 3 million km to
and crevices in the hive to assist in temperature the litre. In providing one kilogram of surplus
regulation of the hive and to maintain colony honey for market, the colony has had to consume
hygiene. something like a further 8 kg to keep itself going
and the foraging bee has probably covered a total
Honey bee nutrition is principally concerned flight path equal to six orbits round the earth
with the quality and quantity of nectar and pollen at a fuel consumption of about 25 g of
collected and stored. honey for each orbit.
Honey A Comprehensive Survey
NECTAR/HONEY Edited by Eva Crane (1975)
Nectar is secreted by glands at the base of the The presence of stored honey or fresh nectar is
flowers, known as nectaries. Field bees collect essential for the colonys survival. Without this,
nectar from blossom in the field. At this stage, the colony will starve, as often happens in late
the nectar has a high level of sucrose sugar with winter and early spring.
some laevulose and dextrose and a high moisture The presence of fresh nectar will stimulate the
content, with traces of other substances such as colony to expand its brood nest. The population
minerals, vitamins, pigments, aromatic in the hive will grow, which will ensure a strong
substances, organic acids and nitrogen hive capable of collecting even more nectar and
compounds. converting it to honey.
Bees convert this nectar into honey in a series Strong hives are the essence of successful
of steps. beekeeping.

1
POLLEN No complete study has been conducted into the
role that fats, vitamins and minerals play in
Pollen is the major source of protein for honey
honey bee nutrition. Deficiencies or imbalances
bees. It is largely used to feed developing larvae
may well exist.
and young bees to provide structural elements
For this reason, it is desirable that bees have
of muscles, glands and other tissues. It is also
access to more than one floral source of pollen
used in the production of royal jelly, which is a
so as to balance any shortfalls a particular floral
speciality food produced by worker bees that is
species may have.
fed to the queen, developing queen larvae, and
worker larvae up to 72 hours of age.
COLONY POPULATIONS
When a colony is actively breeding, or during
periods of heavy wax production (such as during Economic honey production levels can only be
a heavy honey flow), the demand for pollen is achieved with colonies containing a population
high. Wax glands use a lot of protein and a lack of at least 4550,000 adult bees and 3645,000
of pollen or pollen with low nutritional values developing bees in the brood cycle [Kleinschmidt,
will have significant management implications. 1986].
Pollen is the male germ of a flower. Field bees To achieve these levels, colonies require good
collect pollen from anthers of flowers and attach stimulating quantities of nectar and pollen.
the grains to their back legs, which act as pollen The level of body protein also appears to be
baskets. In the process of collecting pollen, bees directly associated with longevity. Bees with
inadvertently carry out the function of pollination high levels of body protein live longer than bees
of the various plants they visit. with lower body protein levels. The longer a bee
Pollen is made up of various substances, lives, the more opportunity it has to collect
including proteins, fats, lipids, carbohydrates, greater quantities of nectar/honey.
vitamins, minerals and many others. Thus, attention to the nutritional status of bees
A major factor which has been found to limit will assist in modifying normal population
rapid increase in colony population is the fluctuations and enable the beekeeper to
insufficient supply of suitable pollen. A pollen maximise production.
with less than 20% crude protein cannot satisfy a
colonys requirements for optimum production. MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES
The protein component of pollen is composed
The ability of the beekeeper to manipulate
of a series of amino acids. DeGroot (1953)
nutritional conditions in the hive by moving
identified a number of amino acids that are
the hive to alternative floral sources or by
essential for the normal growth and development
supplementing or substituting protein or
of bees (see the table below).
carbohydrates will make the difference between
harvesting average honey crops and harvesting
Ideal ratio excellent honey crops. The greater the hive
from de Groot population, the more honey it will store, given a
Amino acid (g per 16g N) suitable nectar flow.
Threonine 3 Beekeepers have traditionally approached
Valine 4 the various floral species with a variety of
Methionine 1.5 management practices. For example, species
Leucine 4.5 such as Ironbark and Yellow box produce some
Iso-leucine 4 of Australias finest honey crops, but they are
Phenylalanine 2.5 seriously deficient as a pollen source for honey
Lysine 3 bees. This usually means that hives working
Histidine 1.5 these honey flows will decline both the
Arginine 3 population of the colony and the length of time
Tryptophan 1 an individual bee lives. Thus, the potential for
the hive to collect and ripen nectar and to store
honey diminishes.
Bees can compensate to some extent for pollens This has been overcome by sourcing build
with lower than desirable levels of amino acids conditions prior to these expected honey flows.
by consuming more pollen, and if the pollens Build conditions are those which will supply
have protein of high value, bees can excrete the the hive with a stimulating nectar supply and
surplus amino acids. With low value pollens bees quantities of good quality pollen. These same
cannot physically consume enough pollen to conditions are also sourced after a honey flow or
make up the requirements of what is considered if colonies show signs of decline during the
as a desirable level of amino acids. Thus, both target honey flow, the bees may be moved to
the quality and quantity of pollen collected by build conditions again. Otherwise, if left too long
honey bees are equally important. on low nutritional levels, particularly pollen, the

2
colony will take too long to recover to take feeding one litre of syrup per day per colony in
advantage of any further honey flows. the morning resulted in a greater amount of
Knowing the crude protein and amino acid pollen being collected by bees.
profiles of sources of pollen will enable the If it is not consumed immediately, feeding
commercial beekeeper to make more informed sugar syrup requires bees to process the syrup by
decisions on what actions they are able to take to reducing the moisture content and storing it in
maintain high nutritional and population levels in combs.
their apiaries.
HONEY
SUBSTITUTES AND SUPPLEMENTS Feeding honey to a hive in some circumstances
To stimulate brood rearing, beekeepers have a is possible, although bees do not seem to do as
choice: they can either move hives onto breeding well on honey compared to sugar syrup. It may
conditions prior to major honey flows, taking be better financially for the beekeeper to sell the
advantage of various flowering species, or they honey and buy sugar. If honey has candied in
can artificially stimulate their hives with combs then these combs can be stored and given
supplementary feeding. to colonies as required.
This is largely an economic decision as there Feeding honey to a hive is not desirable if the
are costs associated with both moving bees and aim is to stimulate the hive. The colony will
feeding substitutes and supplements. The term reduce the brood area, the bees will become
supplements suggests that there is already some more defensive and robbing activity will
naturally occurring pollen and/or nectar in the increase.
area for the bees and the beekeeper is making There are risks associated with feeding honey
up the shortfall by feeding the hive strategic to colonies, the main one being the possible
supplements. Supplements should contain the spread of American foulbrood. AFB spores are
nutritional components that are deficient in the readily transferred in honey, so you must know
field as well as make up the required volume a the source of any honey you are feeding to bees
colony may consume. and be mindful that AFB spores will persist in
Substitutes suggests that either nectar or honey and elsewhere for 35 years or more. It is
pollen, or both, are completely deficient in the important that the honey should not contain any
field. Honey or nectar substitutes are usually in bee disease organisms.
the form of sugar, preferably as sugar syrup.
Large quantities of thick syrup are suitable for TYPE AND CONCENTRATION
feeding to bees to store for winter, whereas small
quantities of thin syrup fed regularly stimulates White cane sugar (sucrose) is the most readily
the colony to expand the brood area. If the available sugar substitute for fresh nectar. It may
purpose is to stimulate the colony and increase be fed dry or in a syrup form.
population numbers , then attention to the protein Feeding other types of sugar may cause
components of the diet is also essential. digestive problems. The attractiveness to honey
Protein supplements come in a variety of forms. bees of different sugars varies. In an Israeli
Some beekeepers trap pollen in the field and experiment (published in 1996) involving
store for feedback to their hives at a later date. sucrose, glucose, fructose and invert sugar, fed to
Protein supplements fed to bees should contain hives of the same strength and under similar
at least 5% bee-collected pollen to make the conditions, sucrose and invert sugar were found
mixtures more attractive to the bees. to be the more attractive sugars for honey bees.
Feeding high-fructose corn syrup is popular in
CARBOHYDRATE SUPPLEMENTS North America, mainly due to its low price.
At times beekeepers have been able to obtain
If a colony is critically short of stored honey or waste sugar from sweet factories or other sources
requires stimulation, feeding sugar syrup to hives but the problem with these sources is that
will either keep the hive alive (as in winter) or additives to the sugar may be toxic to your bees.
stimulate the colony to rear more brood. White cane sugar probably remains the safest
In many cases feeding sugar syrup to a hive and most reliable nectar substitute for honey bees.
will increase the number of field bees foraging The concentration and quantity are equally
for pollen. This may be of benefit in crop important. For colony stimulation in spring or
pollination situations where bees collecting when queen rearing, feed small quantities (12 L)
pollen are more efficient pollinators than nectar every few days of a 1:1 concentration of sugar
collecting bees. Some crops do not provide and water by volume. To provide stores for
significant quantities of nectar, and stimulation winter, a colony should be fed in the autumn
from sugar syrup may significantly increase the with quantities of 5 to 10 litres on a regular basis
overall pollination efficiency of a colony of bees. (weekly) until the colony has sufficient
A three-year trial in New Zealand indicated that processed sugar stored.

3
three litres but this may be useful in a queen-
For winter stores a ratio of 2 parts sugar to 1 part
water is used to provide a dense syrup. Do not rearing apiary where stimulation of the hive is
feed a sugar syrup mix thinner than a 1:1 ratio as desired. Unfortunately, the colony is exposed for
bees have to do too much work to retrieve the the frame feeder to be filled; this may be very
sugar and the process may actually damage the harmful to a colony of bees during cool or cold
colony. weather. An existing frame must be removed to
place the division board feeder into the hive.
SUGAR FEEDERS Timber shavings, a wire screen or twigs should
be placed in the feeder to prevent bees being
There are a number of methods of feeding sugar
drowned while taking up the sugar syrup.
to a colony.
Sugar fed in a dry form can be used in an Top feeder
emergency. The sugar is heaped, perhaps kg to Top feeders come in a variety of designs and
1 kg, on the inner mat of a hive. The amount sizes and are probably the main method of
depends on the strength of the colony, as it does feeding quantities of sugar syrup to a hive.
in all supplementary feeding situations. This Various size buckets or jars with small holes in
method has been used through winter when the the lids are inverted over the top frames or a hole
colony is running short of stored honey and it in the lid of a hive. An empty hive body can be
would be detrimental for the beekeeper to placed on the hive and jars or buckets placed in
interfere with the colony. this hive body. The lid of the hive is placed on
The amount of honey stored in the hive over the feeders. If syrup
the hive may be determined by feeding is conducted on a regular
tilting the beehive forward. If the basis some beekeepers cut a 510
hive is excessively light, lift the Feeding sugar in
cm diameter hole in the middle of a
lid and place the dry sugar on the
syrup form is the lid to enable easier feeding of
inner mat. Check within a week to most popular and colonies. Specially made top box
determine whether the colony probably most feeders can also be constructed to
requires further sugar supplies.
The disadvantage of this method
effective method feed larger quantities of syrup to
bees. Syrup can also be placed in
is the dry sugar can be scattered various sized plastic bags, punctured
around the hive and lost to the bees. This with a number of small nail holes, and placed on
method works best when conditions are humid. the top bars. This is also a useful method for
Feeding sugar in syrup form is the most feeding syrup on an occasional basis.
popular and probably most effective method. Bulk feeding
There are a multitude of different types of sugar
Outdoor feeding in bulk containers has been
syrup feeders and the exact detail depends on
used in emergency situations (such as in
what materials the beekeeper has and which
drought) to save the beekeeper time. This
commercial feeders are available.
practice is not recommended during standard
Bottom board feeder management procedures for a number of reasons.
A bottom board feeder or Alexander feeder Exposing syrup to hungry colonies incites
replaces part of the bottom board. The bottom robbing. This will make hives become defensive
board is slid forward and a tray containing sugar and bees aggressive.
syrup is replaced in the gap provided. This feeder Stronger colonies that may have sufficient stores
is dependent on purpose-built feeders and loose may collect larger quantities of syrup than weaker
bottom boards. This method is not widely used colonies that require the sugar.
and only small quantities of sugar syrup can be By feeding syrup in an open feeder you may
supplied at each feeding. well be feeding the neighbours beehives as well
Boardman feeder as your own.
A jar placed on a special feeding frame at the
entrance of a hive has been popular but has some PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTS
major restrictions. These containers are often The need to feed bee-collected pollen or protein
referred to as Boardman feeders. They are only supplements will depend a lot on the amount of
useful for very small quantities of sugar syrup brood in the hive, the amount of stored pollen,
in a situation where stimulation of a colony is current and future nectar and pollen conditions
required. They should be refilled each day if and demands to be placed on the hives.
used. These feeders may encourage robbing due If hives are critically short of pollen and either
to their location at the hive entrance. have a large brood nest or are expanding their
Division board feeder brood nests, then the beekeeper needs to consider
Division board feeders are purpose-made frames the various options available to avoid a reduction
that will hold syrup. They may hold only one to in bee population numbers due to shorter lived

4
bees. This ultimately results in weaker colonies large surplus and placing these combs back into
that are not suitable for working honey flows or colonies during periods of dearth. Storing the
crop pollination. combs can become a problem due to waxmoth
One option is to physically move the apiaries and mice damage. It is advisable to store pollen
onto a naturally occurring pollen source. If this frames in a freezer or cold room.
is not feasible due to the cost and inconvenience Alternatively, pollen traps can be placed on
of moving the bees or because a suitable pollen a beehive where the bees are forced to enter
source is not available, then feeding pollen or though a series of screens that scrape the pollen
protein substitutes may need to be considered. off the back legs of the returning field bees and
Prolonged feeding of protein supplements will the pollen is caught in a collection tray
result in short-lived bees. Two generations of underneath. The pollen is then stored by either
brood can be satisfactorily obtained before this freezing or drying the pollen. Some
situation develops. Feeding beekeepers store the pollen by
supplements or pollen should keeping the pollen in buckets,
begin approximately 6 weeks
prior to an expected natural
Prolonged feeding of pouring just enough honey over
protein supplements the pollen to soak the pollen, then
source of pollen being available. will result in short-lived sealing the bucket until required.
Various sources of information bees
suggest that feeding a protein Trapping pollen during the
swarming season has been shown to
supplement will decrease the reduce the swarming incidence of
amount of foraging for pollen by colonies.
field bees. On the other hand, it has also been
stated that when a natural source of pollen becomes Bees are more attracted to pollen fed back
available then consumption of pollen substitutes to the colony than to supplements and will
diminishes. There may well be a combination of consume them more readily.
these two factors occurring concurrently. Pollens with high nutritional values should be
The presence of drone brood has been one trapped in preference to pollen with lower
measure of the colonys nutritional status, since values. If the nutritional value is high enough,
drone brood appears during periods of ample pollen is quite often fed directly back to a hive
pollen availability and is reduced when pollen is when required without the addition of other
in short supply. substances.

POLLEN AS A SUPPLEMENT
Naturally-collected pollen is the best source of CAUTION
protein for honey bee nutritional requirements
As with honey, pollen can carry and transmit
but this pollen can vary in protein according to bee diseases. If trapping and storing pollen
the floral source. Protein levels vary from 6% to yourself, check that hives are disease free;
40%; the minimum protein level required for if you are buying pollen, use only pollen that
honey bees is 20%. If the aim is rapid breeding has been sterilised by gamma irradiation.
and expansion of the hive population to work a
heavy honey flow, crude protein levels of 2530%
are required. The balance of amino acids is also
important, as discussed earlier. Thus a single Other substances may be considered if sufficient
naturally occurring pollen may be deficient in collected pollen is not available. For example,
one or more components required for honey bee pollen can be purchased from beekeeper supplies
nutrition. for this purpose. The cost of trapping and storing
Adequate nutritional requirements are met when or buying pollen can be quite high, but other
the colony is collecting pollen from a number of substances may be used solely as a substitute for
different floral sources and sufficient quantity is pollen or as a supplement with pollen. Including
maintained. One colony over a 12-month period at least 5% pollen into any recipe for feeding
will consume 2550 kg of pollen, depending on bees protein supplements is highly recommended
the size of the colony and the availability of to increase the attractiveness of the mix to the
pollen. colony and to stimulate the hypopharyngeal
Storing pollen in combs to feed back to colonies glands of worker bees. Fresh or stored pollen
at a later date has been practised for many years. stimulates the hypopharyngeal glands of older
This involves removing combs of pollen from nurse bees to produce royal jelly for feeding to
hives during periods when the colony is storing a young developing larvae and the queen bee.

5
POLLEN SUBSTITUTES
A number of different substances have been trialed,
by many researchers and beekeepers, looking at One colony over a 12-month
many factors. period will consume 2040 kg
Attractiveness to bees. If the bees are not
of pollen, depending on the
attracted or are repelled by the material it is of size of the colony and the
little value, although this can often be overcome availability of pollen
by the addition of sugar or irradiated honey or
pollen.
Availability. Some substances have proven to
be useful supplements but their availability is
unreliable.
the cheaper supplements. It is most important to
Cost. If the cost of the components is excessive, store soya flour in a cold room to prevent the oil
then feeding supplements may well not be an component from going rancid.
economic proposition.
Canola and sunflower flour
Nutritional values. The substance must have
Canola and sunflower flour must also be treated
protein and amino acids at the desired levels to
to remove their high oil contents. The protein
achieve honey bee nutritional requirements.
contents are not as high as soya flour and they
Toxic substances. High levels of some substances are said to be not as attractive to the bees.
such as oil, salt and starch have been blamed Sunflower flour minimises what bees eat as it
for killing bees. It is counter-productive to be has repellent properties. It is best to avoid this
feeding colonies substances that may well kill ingredient in protein supplements.
bees and brood. Substances with high levels of
crude protein are also toxic to honey bees. Sorghum and triticale flour
Sorghum and triticale flour have been found to
As research continues, costs of substances change, be highly attractive to bees but they are not
nutritional values vary, and the availability of recommended as the dominant ingredient in a
those substances fluctuates, so do the recom- mix due to their very low crude protein levels.
mendations for recipes for mixing and preparing
protein substitutes. Substitutes need to include Torula yeast
ingredients that balance honey bee nutritional This is generally more attractive to bees than
requirements to avoid high levels of toxic soya flour although the nutritional quality of the
substances. yeast varies according to the origin. Protein
Some of the ingredients considered include levels around 50% and fat contents at 7% are
soya flour, canola flour, linseed flour, sunflower quite acceptable. The amino acids are not at
flour, torula yeast, brewers yeast, bakers yeast, acceptable levels, thus torula yeast on its own is
vitamin and mineral supplements, fish meal, peanut unsatisfactory.
flour, skim milk powder, powdered casein, sodium Brewers yeast and bakers yeast:
caseinate, lactalbumin, pollard.
All ingredients, including flour, must be fine- These yeasts are more attractive than soya flour,
milled to a particle size of under 500 microns. their protein levels are around 50% and generally
The nutritional values of the various substances they provide a more balanced set of amino acids
vary significantly. than torula yeast. Bakers yeast is more expensive
than torula yeast and brewers yeast.
Soya flour
Vitamin and mineral supplements
Soya flour has been used and recommended by
many sources, but not all soya flours are equal. These have been added to recipes at 13% of the
The flour must be expeller processed to remove mix but the benefit of this addition is not fully
its high oil content (15%). Solvent-extracted understood as little research has been conducted
flour will have residues toxic to the bees. Using in this area of honey bee nutrition.
high-fat soya flour is not a problem if the final
mixture of ingredients has a fat level of around This is not a complete list of all substances that
7% or lower. have been used or are in use for feeding to bees. It
Protein levels for soya flour have been recorded is a list of ingredients that have been considered
at 50%. It is deficient in one amino acid, and used by a few researchers and beekeepers in
tryptophan. Soya flour on its own is not very recent times.
attractive to bees and the processing of the flour To mix large batches of protein supplements,
is not always up to the standard required to safely the availability, quality and cost of each
use for feeding colonies of bees, but it is one of ingredient must be considered.

6
MIXING AND FEEDING POLLEN AND Hives with a high requirement for a supplement
SUBSTITUTES may not be able to collect sufficient supplement.
Inclement weather may prevent or reduce flight
Whether you are feeding bees for maintenance
and you may well be providing a free lunch to
or for breeding is a prime consideration when
all the other bee colonies within flying distance
determining the quantity of supplements to feed
of your apiary.
to each hive.
Feeding in a cake or patty form allows a more
There is a wide range of opinions on the
accurate amount to be fed to each hive according
quantity that should be fed to a hive, although
to their requirements.
a quantity of 500 grams per hive per week is
Methods of mixing vary according to each
probably considered adequate for a strong colony
operation, the amount to be mixed, and equip-
in most circumstances. A smaller colony covering
ment available. Large volumes of supplement
3 frames may only require 100 grams every two
can be mixed with an industrial dough mixer.
weeks. Mix all the dry ingredients thoroughly and then
Once feeding has begun it may well be detri- add water until a thick dough is created. Measure
mental for the hive if subsequent supplies of protein out into 400 to 500 gram patties, placing them
supplements are not available to the developing between sheets of greaseproof paper. Patties can
bees. An expanding brood nest stimulated by the be stored in the freezer until required.
addition of protein supplements continues to The patties should be placed directly on top of
require a source of protein until a natural source the brood nest and under the queen excluders to
of pollen is available in the field. allow easy access.
Food for the bees can be in the form of cakes
or patties or loose in a powder form. RECIPES
Pollen on its own can be fed to a hive in a
powered form without any additional substances. There are a multitude of different recipes
Usually to extend the pollen it is mixed with available but the following provides a general
other substances such as soya flour or torula guide:
yeast or both. The minimum quantity of pollen pollen 5% plus
should be 5% of the mix. sugar 2050%
Pure icing sugar or white sugar is added to yeast (torula) 2050%
make the mixture more attractive to bees. flour (soya) 2050%
The quantity of sugar may represent 50% of vitamin supplement 13%
the dry mix depending on the bees
requirements and the relative attractiveness of Increasing the amount of pollen and sugar will
the mix. Using sugar as an ingredient in patties make the supplement more attractive to the bees.
will cause the patty to set like concrete. If sugar One of the main failures of feeding supplements
is used, ensure a 70:30 sugar to water ratio. This in the past has been a general lack of attractive-
will inhibit mould growth on the patties once ness to the bees.
mixed. Honey may be substituted for the sugar Cost and availability of ingredients will largely
but again, be mindful of the risk of spreading determine what combination of ingredients you
bee diseases through honey. Ideally the honey use.
should be sterilised by gamma irradiation. It is important that you do not concentrate on
Patties made with honey stay more pliable and cheap ingredients it is better to consider the
are easier for the bees to consume. most effective ingredients that will provide the
If pollen patties are being made but not being honey bee nutritional requirements at the lowest
fed immediately to honey bee colonies, they unit cost.
must be stored correctly to prevent deterioration Commercial supplements
of the ingredients. A food preservative may be Buying prepared patties or protein cakes may
added at the time of mixing to help alleviate this well be an attractive proposition. Many of the
problem and/or the patties should be stored in a commercially available protein supplements have
freezer. proven to be attractive to bees and provide adequate
Feeding dry mixes can be done by measuring honey bee nutritional requirements, and their
the required amount and placing it on the inner availability is reliable. You also do not have the
cover of each hive. Another method is by problem of buying all the necessary ingredients
providing an external bulk feeding station where and finding a suitable mixing machine.
bees fly and gather their requirements, this They may be considerably more expensive, but
method may save labour. Although there is no you only need to buy the quantity that you will
control over the quantity each colony collects. use at any one time.

7
CONCLUSION REFERENCES
Circumstances under which feeding supplements Crane, Eva (1975). Honey a comprehensive
benefits colonies vary from location to location. survey. International Bee Research Association.
There is still a lot not understood concerning
honey bee nutritional requirements under various DeGroot (1953). Protein and amino acid
management circumstances. Feeding sugar syrup requirements of the honey bee, in Physiol.
has been proven to be highly beneficial in Comparata et Oecolog.
stimulating colonies and particularly keeping Kleinschmidt, GS (1986). Research papers,
colonies alive. The feeding of sugar syrup is QAC. Laws, Qld.
practised widely in many beekeeping countries,
whereas feeding pollen substitutes is not as Edited by William E Smith
widely practised. There will be a range of July 2000
circumstances where protein supplement costs Approval no. PL(ILP)4
Agdex 481/53
versus returns will be your major consideration. This agnote was previous published
Try leaving 10% of the hives in an apiary as DAI/43, March 1998
without supplements to gauge the return on your
investment in this activity. After a few years of State of New South Wales
feeding supplements you should gain an NSW Agriculture (2000)
appreciation of the circumstances in which you
will benefit by investing in protein supplements Disclaimer
and when not to feed supplements. The information contained in this publication is based
on knowledge and understanding at the time of writing
Paying attention to honey bee nutrition is just
(July 2000). However, because of advances in
one of the more important aspects of successful knowledge, users are reminded of the need to ensure
beekeeping. Ensuring that hives are populated by that information upon which they rely is up to date and
young productive queen bees is equally as to check currency of the information with the
important as paying attention to the management appropriate officer of New South Wales Department of
of honey bee nutritional requirements. Agriculture or the users independent adviser.

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