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Feed Supplements and Additives for Bees


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Yeah I can see your point as regards to loss of forage habitat but if your hives are building at a good steady rate, hive health is fine and there is no significant drop in the build up rate why would you feel the need to supplement feed them. I could see the point maybe where hives are out on farms etc where foraging can be very limited but in some towns where there is a massive range of foraging due to home gardens and reserves etc it seems like an unnecessary added cost. With some commercial beeks already spending tens of thousands of dollars on mite control, I am pretty sure that spending money to supplement feed based on the fact that someone says you should is a cost that you should only add to your budget if really necessary.

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Hi there I'm Wayne from Agrisea. I just wanted to clarify a few things regarding our Bee Nutrition product. We do have all 10 of the Amino Acids required for bee health for some reason they were mi

I'm curious why there doesn't seem to be a more complete profile of what bees require nutritionally and companies providing the feed?

 

I've been involved in the broiler chicken industry in the past and they have it pretty down pat. Exactly what combination of protein, carb, fat, etc. are needed at each stage of the chicken's life is known precisely, exactly how much of each amino acid is required, etc. You can download tables for the Ross and Cobb breeds off the web.

 

Granted it's simpler having uniform flocks of chickens performing the same function, broiler layer, meat chicken etc. but I'm surprised that there doesn't seem to be the same parallel in bees. I.e. a breeder maintains a line, where the grandparent stock (in this case breeder queens) are exported and detailed management guides including nutrition are provided for their offspring.

 

Is it that bee breeding and management is simply too complex to reduce to this type of uniformity?

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I'm curious why there doesn't seem to be a more complete profile of what bees require... Is it that bee breeding and management is simply too complex

That's a good question, and that lack of knowledge has been recognised for the last 40 years. I think there are two strands here. Certainly bee's diets are more complex that you might at first think. All and every nectar has different properties, all the pollens, and the conditions that produce them vary endlessly. And yes, open mating in a diploid/haploid system mediated by epigenetic factors is complex and poorly understood. I think the real reason though is that bees have never been a valuable creature, it's input into food production has been largely unrecognised, and its contribution to GDP ignored. There has never been enough money generated within or from external investment to pay for the right research; bee research has been for curiosity, as a model for other systems, or out of misinformed sympathy.

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There has never been enough money generated within or from external investment to pay for the right research; bee research has been for curiosity, as a model for other systems, or out of misinformed sympathy.

 

I'm still a layman but reading through some of the breeding research it seems that the scholars cannot agree whether; selective breeding for dominant or recessive genes, AI for extreme polyandry with 60+ genetically diverse drones or a combination of the two is the best method to deal with issues like varroa - or even just raise higher quality queens.

 

Looks like pre varroa breeders selected for honey production and gentleness, and then added some new genes when shot brood occurred. It worries me when I see the issues the Americans have with their breeding, as they seem to have a lot more sub species, more queen breeders and less restrictive import regs.

 

As far as I can tell we don't even use one of our three breeds the AMM...

 

I haven't read much research on bee nutrition, seems it may be a similar story.

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That's a good question, and that lack of knowledge has been recognised for the last 40 years. I think there are two strands here. Certainly bee's diets are more complex that you might at first think. All and every nectar has different properties, all the pollens, and the conditions that produce them vary endlessly. And yes, open mating in a diploid/haploid system mediated by epigenetic factors is complex and poorly understood. I think the real reason though is that bees have never been a valuable creature, it's input into food production has been largely unrecognised, and its contribution to GDP ignored. There has never been enough money generated within or from external investment to pay for the right research; bee research has been for curiosity, as a model for other systems, or out of misinformed sympathy.

I think your second point is more on the money than your first point. Complexity of natural food doesn't mean a lot. Diversity of what cows, horses, sheep on anything else originally ate is not that important - nutritional requirement is. What we really need to know is what do bees need, at various stages of development. Then we can make sure we feed it to them.

 

There are a lot of naive keepers out there that believe that " bees have been around for thousands of years without us feeding them, therefore we'll never need to". Wake up - people have modified almost 100% of their habitat. Just like all other farmed animals, supplementary (not replacement!) feeding will become important.

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There are a lot of naive keepers out there that believe that " bees have been around for thousands of years without us feeding them, therefore we'll never need to". Wake up - people have modified almost 100% of their habitat. Just like all other farmed animals, supplementary (not replacement!) feeding will become important.

 

Like dairy cows won't survive without palm kernel ?

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Like dairy cows won't survive without palm kernel ?

Actually, in some ways, yes. So we stock farms with more animals than we can feed, then when we run out of food, we have to truck something in for them.

 

The only difference is that when you poke PKE into a cow, milk comes out. When you put sugar into a bee, you get frames filled with (wait for it) sugar.

 

I think it is easy for a hobbiest with 1 cow to look at a large farmer disparagingly and question why on earth they would go to the extent of feeding cows silage, pke, molasses, mineral blocks, folder beet etc etc. Probably the same for bees.

 

Disclaimer - I'm clearly not a dairy farmer, so I apologise to all the farmers reading the above :lol

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i can't say i like the perspective much having to feed bees like pigs and i could even imagine that the latest problems with rising gut parasites has at least indirect something to do with it.

but i try to keep an open mind to supplements.

a supplement that turns pine tree pollen into a useful pollen source could be a real winner.

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I am trialling some hive alive feeding it to mark hives and not to the controls. So far no visual difference but it is supposed to have more effect when used in autumn so I will keep going. I have no doubt at all that overstocking is having a serious effect on bee health but even areas that are not overstocked are not as healthy as they used to be especially in late winter and early spring. It is harder to keep hives live, Queens don't last as long and brood is on average more patchy.I don't believe it's breeding, we have never had better bees and as for AMM they were nasty, unproductive and extremely vulnerable to new diseases like chalk brood. Nosema cerania or varroa seem the most likely culprits or perhaps a combination of both. I've been beekeeping for over 40 years and I'm still producing good crops. Every season is different but I have become convinced that bee health is slowly getting worse every year. Bees are at the stage now where if you do one thing wrong you can lose them whereas in the past you probably would have got away with it. The number of hives dying from both PPB and ABS seem to be increasing alarmingly.

We are in deep stook.

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John, I am saying what you know, that to have any scientific value your research should have some degree of blinding, or else your perceptions will be affected by the mark on the hive. That means you do not know the code.

That's single blind (no, Yesbut, not using an eye patch on one eye), someone else feeds the hives so you don't know whether they get the magic ingredient or not. Or some other cunning way with active or placebo feeds identical, etc. etc. You assess them. That's about all we can do in this situation.

So, impressions is what most people get, not valid data.

Sorry.

 

Your post really puts it in a nutshell, and why many people are desperate to do something, anything.

 

Thank goodness I am a hobby bee keeper.

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Hi Guys, Just following up on your recent posts on HiveAlive.

The nutritional breakdown and thymol percentages have always been displayed on our bottles. We do not make any vitamin/amino acid claims and therefore see no reason to include a breakdown of these. We did not focus on amino acids as the amount needed to have a positive effect on the bees would have made the cost and size of bottle impractical. The seaweed bio-actives we use in our product are extracted using a patented process to ensure they are not compromised. For more information on benefits of seaweeds in the animal industry you might find the references below interesting.

More recently there has been research in France showing the benefits of seaweed extracts against Nosema ceranae, see references below.

Regarding the need for feed supplements, before Varroa and Nosema ceranae there may not have been a need but now with these serious diseases constantly weakening the bees I think they need all the help they can get.

If there is any further information that you need I would be delighted to help.

 

Fleurence, J. (1999). Seaweed proteins: biochemical, nutritional aspects and potential uses. Trends in Food Science & Technology, 10(1), 25–28. doi:10.1016/S0924-2244(99)00015-1

Kovač, D; Simeunović, J; Babić, O (2013) Algae in food and feed. Journal of the Institute of Food Technology in Novi Sad Volume 40, Issue 1 PAGES 21-32 UDK 582.26:641.1

Løvstad Holdt & Stefan Kraan, Bioactive compounds in seaweed : functional food applications and legislation. (2010) / J Appl Phycol DOI 10.1007/s10811-010-9632-5

Mayer, A., & Hamann, M. (2004). Marine Pharmacology in 2000: Marine compounds with antibacterial, anticoagulant, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antimalarial, antiplatelet, antituberculosis, and antiviral activities; affecting the cardiovascular, immune, and nervous systems and other miscellaneous mechanisms of action. Marine Biotechnology 6, 37–52. doi:10.1007/s10126-003-0007-7

Roussel, M; Villay, A; Delbac, F; Michaud, P; Laroche, C; Roriz, D; Alaoui, H. E; Diogon, M (2015) Antimicrosporidian activity of sulphated polysaccharides from algae and their potential to control honeybee nosemosis, Carbohydrate Polymers (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.carbpol.2015.07.022

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@HiveAlive I'm delighted to have your response. It's a great advantage to be able to hear directly from those developing products for the industry. I will investigate some of your references; in the area I live in there is considerable interest in the potential of seaweed-based products, one that springs to mind involves pathogen control for the kiwifruit industry.

 

I found this remark interesting;"We did not focus on amino acids as the amount needed to have a positive effect on the bees would have made the cost and size of bottle impractical." I guess not everyone would agree with that. ;)

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I use seaweed brew tried some last year and the hives did me well is it in my head pass but the extra honey of one hive paid for a 20 lit to feed to my other hives and will feed again in spring. Can't say much more than that sorry I don't feed many hives .

This year I'm doing some haves and have nots to get a better picture

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From the website. Good for a laugh at least.

A NEW ERA IN BEEKEEPING!!!! PROBEE41

PROBEE41

HERBAL SOLUTION

100% NATURAL

YOUR BEES WILL BE DISEASE-FREE,

YOUR HONEY WILL BE RESIDUE-FREE,

YOUR HONEY YIELD WILL BE HIGH,

IT IS EASY TO USE.

IT IS PRODUCED FROM THE HYDROLATES AND OILS OF MEDICAL AND AROMATIC PLANTS.

IT DOES NOT LEAVE ANY RESIDUES IN HONEY; IT IS USED THROUGHOUT THE HONEY SEASON; IT DOES NOT CONTAIN ANY CHEMICAL OR SYNTHETIC SUBSTANCES; IT HAS NO SIDE EFFECTS; PROBEE41 ENHANCES THE PERFORMANCE OF YOUR BEES, SUPPORTS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM, PROTECTS YOUR BEES AGAINST DISEASES, PREVENTS BEE DEATHS, STRENGTHENS YOUR BEES AGAINST POISONING, THEREBY REDUCING DEATHS. PROBEE41 TRANQUILIZES YOR BEES. IT REDUCES PLUNDERS.

 

YOU CARRY OUT APPLICATION TO 2.400 BOARDS WITH 1 LT. PROBEE41. PROBEE41 PROTECTS BOTH YOUR AND YOUR BEES’ HEALTH AND DOES NOT CAUSE ANY BAD EFFECTS AT THE TIME OF APPLICATION. WHEN USED PERMANENTLY, IT PREVENTS YOUR BEES FROM BEING AFFECTED AS A RESULT OF SUDDEN HEAT CHANGES. AS IT STRENGTHENS YOUR BEES, THEY WILL NOT SUFFER FROM THE DISEASES WHICH YOU FACE DURING EVERY SEASON, THEREBY ENABLING YOU TO AVOID FROM ANY UNNECESSARY EXPENSES. IT INCREASES THE NUMBER OF COLONIES BY PROMOTING THE EGG LAYING PERFORMANCE OF THE QUEEN. YOU MAY INCREASE THE NUMBER OF COLONIES JUST BY INCURRING BEEHIVE COSTS. PROBEE41 REDEEMS YOUR EXPENSES BY INCREASING THE NUMBER OF YOUR BEES WHICH EXISTS AT THE BEGINNING OF THE SEASON UP TWO OR THREE TIMES MORE AT THE APPROPRIATE NECTAR FLOW. IT ENABLES YOU TO RECEIVE A GREAT AMOUNT OF BEE OUTPUT.

 

THANKS TO THE NATURAL VITAMINS AND PROTEINS IT CONTAINS, YOU WILL AVOID SUCH EXPENSES WHICH YOU INCUR ON YOUR BEES. WHEN YOU USE PROBEE41, THE COLOR OF YOUR BEE WILL BE BRIGHTER AND MORE VIVID. PROBEE41 ENCOURAGES ORGANIC PRODUCTION TO PRODUCE HONEY, POLLEN, BEE GUM, ROYAL JELLY.

 

YOU MAY CARRY OUT APPLICATION WITHOUT TAKING ANY RISK OF RESIDUE IN HONEY FLOW. YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF YOUR BEE. YOUR BEE WILL WORK SO EFFICIENTLY AND BE SO HEALTHY THAT YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN BEFORE. IT WILL INCREASE PRODUCTION AND YOUR PROFITABILITY IN KARAKOVAN HONEY. YOU WILL NOT ENCOUNTER WINGLESS BEE.

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