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  1. #1
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    Feb 2003
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    I have been doing a good bit of thinking about "single source" pollination, poor nutrition, and CCD.

    In the site http://www.honeybee.com.au/Library/p...nutrition.html

    It states on page 3, that bees can have low body protein of less than 30% (Kleinschmidt 1988). When bees have low body protein they will live a short time, suffer from deseases like European brood deseases(EBD) and nosema, and will be very poor honey producers. (all noted in CCD bee samples)

    This article also includes a section on body-protein in relationship to stress. And it also references "dwindling desease". This comes in part from studies of nutrition and low body protein.

    I would really question if single source pollen, which many times are poor quality, added stress in migratory practices, and a lack in "quality" supplemental feeding, may be doing the main damage in regards to CCD.

    I think a protein analysis of the dead, dying, and healthy bee samples would be worthwhile.

    I also wish some independant lab could test the actual amino acids and other levels for the supplements being marketed.

    [size="1"][ February 15, 2007, 07:28 AM: Message edited by: BjornBee ][/size]

  2. #2
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    Mar 2005
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    Erin, NY /Florence SC
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    Excellent observations Bjorn! This information certainly ties in with the symptoms of what we are seeing.

    I would add that in these possible scenerio's there must be a mitigating circumstance which might involve the timing of moves for specific target pollination moves/stresses. As well as the weather related to those moves we should look at/chart blooming of specific low pollen value plants or potential weather impact which would have limited the access to normally higher quality pollens. I would think that a shortage of quality pollen at any time of the season could have a significant impact at any time after the season especially if bees have gathered and stored lower protein pollens in place of high quality pollen which happened in our area during the rainy golendrod season.

    Bjorn, I know the researchers are looking at many possibilites, I hope you get this passed along. It's one of the few perspectives I've seen that make sense. Feeding high quality pollen substitute appears to be a substantially positive impact and would seem to be a good insurance policy, with other actions, to add a degree of prevention or treatment if found early enough.

  3. #3
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    Apr 2005
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    College Station, Texas
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    informative like bjorn. thanks...

  4. #4
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    Jul 2005
    Location
    Perkasie, PA
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    I think that there is also question as to wether or not many of our colonies receive the right mix of essential fatty acids. The requirements for honeybees have only been defined by a few papers. Additionally, many plants, such as soy contain antinutritional factors and some authors feel that the feeding of supplements beyond 2 brood cycles might be counterproductive.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Pineville Missouri
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    222

    Post

    WOW great post by bjorn even I could understand it. Thanks

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
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    Aspera wrote,
    beyond 2 brood cycles might be counterproductive.

    I start feeding pollen sub the first week in Sept strait threw Jan, which is about 20-30 pounds of sub. Here are some pics of my hives taken in Jan this year.

    http://www.honeybeeworld.com/mis/pol...ault.htm#keith

    I think some are running around the county trying to catch the wind on this one.
    Keith
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
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    5,159

    Post

    "File Not Found", Keith. Trying to catch that file was like chasing the wind.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
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    Bill,
    Try honeybeeworld.com

    Then click on pollen feeding and scroll down
    Keith
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    Aspera,
    I would agree with your feeding two cycle of bees comment, especially if my own gut feeling about the quality of pollen substitutes are correct.

    Joel,
    I had this paper (above website) in my hands a couple weeks back, given to me by a beesource member. I think I was looking at amino acids levels and thinking what commercial beekeepers have in common that they would be losing hives like they are. I had been focused on amino acid levels and formulating thoughts on "single source pollen", and the potential damage from a single source of pollen such as almond/pumpkins/etc.

    I was going back through the papers and was quite surprised to read almost a copy footprint of what I have been reading in regards to CCD. I had visited with Dennis on Monday and he had commented on the surprising levels of EFB found thus far in the samples. EFB unto itself is hard to detect and diagnose. It must of been very clear to the researchers twenty years ago to state the relationship between low body proteins, and the observations of EFB, among other things.

    I wonder what the amino acid and protein levels are for pollen from major crops such as almonds, apple, pumpkins, etc. Anyone have papers or research?

    [size="1"][ February 15, 2007, 06:22 PM: Message edited by: BjornBee ][/size]

  10. #10
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    Jul 2005
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    Perkasie, PA
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    Sorry to keep referencing it, but its really, really good:

    http://www.rirdc.gov.au/reports/HBE/05-054sum.html


    click on the link that says "download" and the document goes into great detail about AA requirements, common Aussie pollens etc

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Perkasie, PA
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    Looks good Keith! Is that without any natural pollen? What do you use for substitute?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
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    1,320

    Post

    Keith, what is the make and model number of the unit that you use to blend your patties? I think you said it was purchased at Home Depot machine.

    Jean-Marc

  13. #13
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    Feb 2003
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    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    Aspera, Everytime I see that site, I need more ink or paper. I really want to download a hard copy. Good reading.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
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    Good Link Aspera, Thanks, I added it to my favorites. Certainly one positive from CCD is we are getting educated about bee nutrition, poosibly not a priority in the past but a certain tool for success in the future.

    Keith, I can't open the link?

    Are you requeening on a yearly basis? Are you supplementing HFCS also and does it appear this is removing the off season stress of surviving dearth and clustering experianced by dwindling colonies?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
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    Aspera & Jean-Marc,

    Aspera, there is 15% pollen in the mix, 50# of brewers yeast (sprayed dryed), heaping gallon of bee pollen, 7-8 gallons of syrup 77% solids. Start feeding BEFORE the pollen flows end.

    Jean-Marc, Chushlan 150 mortor mixer, you will have to do some small changes, rise the lip up about six inches so to keep pollen sub from spilling over, and spot weld the mixing arm in place, also add one arm on top. the price is about $1000.00 but it does a nice job. I can mix 1500 pounds of mix in 90 minutes.

    P.S. been doing this way for twenty years or so, been alot of johnny come lately here on pollen feeding. Good luck to all
    Keith
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Monte Vista, CO 81144
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    244

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    Excellent post Bjorn,

    There is a large number of bigtime bee keepers that agree that nutrition has a large part to do with it, but it cant be all. The individual cases are so wide spread, some of the bees were on excellent multi floral source honey flows while others were not so good, but all bees suffer from the same symtoms. Also in the case of malnutrition the bees that do recover tend to rob with vengance and will often bee seen gathering salt and minerals from compost piles or trash. In the case of CCD the bees don't rob, infact it's hard to get them to take honey out of a feeder can.
    I agree with all points that you brought up and as usual the over all problem is probably due to several factors, stress is the straw that broke...ect.

    thanks again for great info,

    Keep us posted Aspera.

    SH

  17. #17
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    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    Simply, Thank you. Not debating, just adding to...

    >>>The individual cases are so wide spread, some of the bees were on excellent multi floral source honey flows while others were not so good, but all bees suffer from the same symtoms.

    I am seeking to define or locate what defines a good floral source and a bad. In thinking about commercial pollinators, are not all of them to some degree, limiting the nutritional diversity when they place bees on single source pollen, such as almonds, apple, pumpkins, etc. There is not a single beekeeper I know who comes back from vine crops without weak bees, light bees, and poorly overwintered bees. Of all the things that commercial beekeepers have in common for the big boys, is there placement of bees on large fields of single source pollen plants.

    >>>Also in the case of malnutrition the bees that do recover tend to rob with vengance and will often bee seen gathering salt and minerals from compost piles or trash.

    Tells me that bees require a wide source for their nutritional needs. They may need additional sources due to beekeeper management. But it tends to make me think that bees do best when nutritional diversity is available to them. I know farmers who use high density pollination farming such as almonds and other crops, do everything in their power to limit any competition and outside influence.

    >>>In the case of CCD the bees don't rob, infact it's hard to get them to take honey out of a feeder can.

    Sick bees don't do alot of things they normally do. They don't forage, they don't cluster properly, etc. Does not surprise me a bit that bees once afflicted or have crossed the line of no return, fail to feed from feeders.

    Sure the final full picture will show a relationship between many variables and many ingredients into the CCD picture. I just think many beekeepers look at pollen coming in, or think because their bees are working a certain crop, and assume that their bees are getting what they require to maintain good health. Seems the two reports from the aussies really make you take notice.

    I knew that poor quality pollen could effect brood developement, etc. I did not know that protein levels within the bees themselves could sway back and forth between 70% and 30%. And at that lower level, dwindling, EFB, and other symptoms can show. It could answer why so many bees die so quick. Poorly raised brood cycles on poor pollen, additional feeding whan fall cycles increase (Many said fall forage conditions were very bad last year.), all relying on possibly the same poor pollen stored earlier from field crops. And, except for the people like Kieth, I question the quality of pollen substitute and patties that we feed bees.

    Just as (almost)all hives killed get blamed on v-mites, I am sure the same is not true about CCD and my thoughts on single source pollen. The very fact we have so much going on within beekeeping today, with viral, mites, etc., makes the combination of factors very broad.

    I only wish I could locate a study as good as the aussies produced, detailing pollen sources and relationship between bees health for bees in the states.

    Some have noted that this CCD has been seen on a limited scale for years. But for the fact we had some poor forage condition last year, was this the final straw?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Monte Vista, CO 81144
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    244

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    Point well taken. I am still feeding my printer to get the above mentioned aussie report to read on my way to Cali. Thanks for all the research and links. Yours is the first explaination that falls, somewhat, inline with what we have been seeing. Sounds like you guys in PA are on top of it and perhaps you have a population density that reverberate the problem a bit better than out here.

    SH

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Terre Haute, Indiana
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    240

    Post

    Has anyone with CCD attempted to feed the smaller colonies pollen subs?
    If someone is reading who KNOWS they are losing hives trys this it could be proven or disproved real quick.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    Sarge,
    In the first site I mentioned, bees were able to rebound from low protein levels. This took 6 to 8 weeks of buildup with "low stress" conditions. See the report under the "Low Stress" heading.

    The report does not indicate if they had hives fully recover once a hive has passed a certain point. Whether a hive responds to supplemental feeding, and whether the hive does not responds, is little proof of what the actual intial cause could of been. So whether a colony improves or continues to die off, why would one or the other indicate proof of the intial trigger in the first place? I don't think coming to a conclusion by association, really works.

    From what I have heard, 6 weeks is way to long to test any response to feeding. I have heard that hives are literally crashing within days. And once they get to that point, feed is ignored anyways.

    And any testing as you suggest would have to be done with verified pollen subs. Not something as simple as throwing in some patty and coming to conclusions as easy as you make it sound.

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