View Full Version : Rye Flour

03-17-2007, 04:30 PM
A friend said that she read about feeding the bees with rye flour??? Has anyone ever heard of this...

03-17-2007, 08:00 PM
I read about it in Langstroth's Hive and the Honey Bee. He talks about someone telling him they oberved bees rolling in rye flour and going back to the hive.

03-17-2007, 08:03 PM
makes good starter flour for sourdough

03-17-2007, 08:49 PM
I did a quick search for rye flour. The lowest protein level I found was 9% and the highest at 14%. Any bee feed should be above 20%. I am sure I could of missed something with a higher level but just pulled up a few. Here is one of the better ones...

Nutrition Information : Dark rye flour

Water (g/100g) 11.07
Food Energy (Calories) (kcal/100g) 324
Protein (g/100g) 14.03
Total Lipid (fat) (g/100g) 2.69
Ash (g/100g) 3.47
Carbohydrate (g/100g) 68.74
Total Dietary Fibre (g/100g) 22.6
Total Sugars (g/100g) 1.04
Calcium (mg/100g) 56
Iron (mg/100g) 6.45
Magnesium (mg/100g) 248
Phosphorus (mg/100g) 632
Potassium (mg/100g) 730
Sodium (mg/100g) 1
Zinc (mg/100g) 5.62
Copper(mg/100g) 0.75
Manganese (mg/100g) 6.73
Selenium (/100g) 35.7
Vitamin C (mg/100g) 0
Thiamin (mg/100g) 0.316
Riboflavin (mg/100g) 0.251
Niacin (mg/100g) 4.27
Pantothenic Acid (mg/100g) 1.456
Vitamin B6 (mg/100g) 0.443
Folate (g/100g) 60
Folic Acid (g/100g) 0
Food Folate (g/100g) 60
Folate (Dietary Folate Equivalents/100g) 60
Vitamin B12 (g/100g) 0
Vitamin A (g/100g) 11
Vitamin A (IU/100g) 1
Retinol (g/100g) 0
Vitamin E (g/100g) 1.41
Vitamin K (g/100g) 5.9
Alpha-carotene (g/100g) 0
Beta-carotene (g/100g) 7
Beta-crytoxanthin (g/100g) 0
Lycopene (g/100g) 0
Lutein & Zeazanthin (g/100g) 210
Saturated Fatty Acid (g/100g) 0.309
Monosaturated Fatty Acids (g/100g) 0.326
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (g/100g) 1.2

Your bees on rye flour would be the equivilent of being on an extreme diet, focused on losing wieght. They may eat it, but they would also be using their internal stores of protein to make up the difference. Not a good thing.

For a good understanding of the basics of what your bees require, please see the followng site...


Why does the site have extra dots???? I can't get rid of them.

03-17-2007, 08:59 PM
Still works.. ;)

Chef Isaac
03-17-2007, 09:06 PM
I second that Blue Grass!!!

Love those sourdough starters!

03-18-2007, 06:42 AM
I don't give my bees any feed other than pollen and sucrose......What is the porpose of a high protein supplement? Its not energy as protien is a really poor source when compared to sucrose; what am I missing here?

Yeah Chief....sourdough is another hobby of mine. I am not real good at it, but I have a sponge proofing right now......I make one loaf every weekend, so with practice might get better. The Rye comes in handy when I kill my starter.....it will revive it in a hurry.

03-18-2007, 07:53 AM
What is the porpose of a high protein supplement? Early spring buidup queen rearing/stimulating drone production, nucs and package providers and those wishing to stimulate early brood for splits, feeding early packages when collection of pollen cold be delayed or slowed due to at cold period, buildup in fall for high bee protein levels, etc. There are many reasons.

May I venture to say that near 99% of beekeepers do not trap pollen for purposes of feeding back to their colonies? I think thats pretty close to reality.

Beekeepers also keep bees in locations that if left to their own devices, bees would probably move to other locations where forage and conditions mat be more condusive. Some of these places may not have a good seasonal or yearly availability of required pollen. Some beekeepers live in areas that have a very short but strong flow, where feeding may be needed.

I guess its nice if everyone could collect additional pollen for times of need. Bluegrass, you do not mention if you collect your own or buy. If you buy, whats the nutritional values for that pollen. I know some big outfits that buy pollen, much of it from overseas(China), with no guaranteed analysis. Not all pollen is created equal. Some of it is downright bad for bees. Some actually think neonicotinoids and other chemicals could be a contributing factor to CCD. Its hard to think that neonicotinoids could be a factor without at least raising an eyebrow for that pollen coming from unknown or untested sources.

Wonder when the last time pollen from commercial origins, and places like china (who has a history of cheimical tainted honey among other things) were tested for chemical/pesticide analysis.

Anyways, I guess in a perfect world, assuming everyone would collect their own pollen would be nice. Reality says otherwise. I guess its nice to say that you collect your own. But you mention you only feed pollen and further the comment as to suggest you have no clue as to the purpose of high protein suppliment. Hope you visit beesource more often. The uses are many.

03-18-2007, 08:29 AM
I try not to buy what I can get for free... I collect my own pollen to feed for build up.... What I was trying to get at is why the 20% requirement? I didn't think I needed to buy a supplement and just wanted to be sure:)

03-18-2007, 08:47 AM
Go to http://honeybee.au

They have a good bit about feeding and nutrition.

See also from this same site


and the site listed above in the opening post.

Bees have an internal protein level. The higher the level, the more they can cope with stress, desease and other factors. When ingested protein goes below 20% in breakdown value, the bees start using internal reserves. (Protein in pollen should be factored after adjusting for amino acid levels.)