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  1. #61
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Totnes, Devon, England
    Posts
    1,020

    Post

    That's a great wrap-up for this thread - thanks Gardenpro for the pragmatic Canadian common sense.
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Columbia, South Carolina USA
    Posts
    2,598

    Post

    Wow - have a houseguest and can't get to the computer and look at all the interesting things I missed out on. Anyhoo, waht I was going to say in the space reserved by my "whoops":

    “They are using it for
    the benefit of the brood. So have they actually
    consumed protein? “

    Yes they have. OK - it is a word thing, I suspect we all agree more than we disagree. The cow analogy is partially correct, much of what a cow eats will end up in the milk, but much goes into the cows own nitrogen usage. The difference is that bees more than a few days old use *none* of the nitrogen to repair their own tissues. They do “consume” it though, it is not the same substance when those same atoms leave in the form of secretions or poop (gut ballast as the bee scientists like to call it). They consume it and use it to made brood food – but it is consumed never-the-less.

    The steak and knife analogy is somewhat lacking in this context. If you used the knife to break down the meat, digest it, change it at a molecular level and then deliver it to a kid, then it would fit. In this instance wadding up some pollen and honey to feed out would make the mandibles analogous to the knife. But because the material we are discussing is eaten, digested and then used to make mandibular secretions, it is consumed and metabolized.

    Bees eat the pollen, break down the proteins to amino acids and re-form them in the glands. So while Jim is correct, technically they derive nothing from the nitrogen contained therein, and are expending some significant amount of calories to pull the whole thing off (thank god for nectar). They are, however, by common definition of the word, metabolizing the protein.

    From www.dictionary.com :
    1. The chemical processes occurring within a living cell or organism that are necessary for the maintenance of life. In metabolism some substances are broken down to yield energy for vital processes while other substances, necessary for life, are synthesized.
    2. The processing of a specific substance within the living body: water metabolism; iodine metabolism.

    Metabolism is not merely the rendering of materials for energy. In adult bees all of the ATP (energy) generating metabolism is carbohydrate metabolism. But processing fats, proteins, CHOs, mineral and water are also metabolic processes, vene if they do not result in a net increase in available energy. In fact, many metabolic processes require energy inputs.

    I agree with Jim 100% however that they are giving the vast majority of that nitrogen away, to the youngest brood and/or queen who converts it into . . . more brood.

    We are all talking about the same thing. I was being a little literal but I “get" what Jim meant - and probably so do most people.

    There is an excellent text on Nourishment and Evolution in Insect Societies. Eds James H. Hunt and Christine Nalepa. Tough to find, but good to ahve if you are nito these things. Won't necessarily make you a better beekeeper, but you can learn all sorts of interesting trivia about bees, wasps, ants and termites and why they eat what they eat the way they eat it.

    Oh-oh, I mentioned the "E" word . . . here we go again.

    In short - the vast, vast majority of nitrogen (protein synthesis, and tissue construction) metabolism in a honeybee colony is with the brood. Mature, adult bees, other than the queen use very little of that nitrogen within their own tissues, but do metabolize it so as to process it into appropriate foodstuffs for the queen and young larvae. Adult bees get their energy from CHOs exclusively. A rose by any other name . . .

    Keith

    PS: Is that red chowdah (shudder) or white?
    Bee Sting Honey - So Good, It Hurts!

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Post

    > PS: Is that red chowdah (shudder) or white?

    Red chowdah would not ever be called "chowdah",
    as anyone who could pronounce "chowdah" properly
    would know that it is ILLEGAL to put tomatoes
    in clam chowdah in the state of Massachusetts.

    Other places, it is not a criminal matter,
    it is just in extremely poor taste. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    ...and BoSox gonna do it again this year.
    Once my lifetime is not enough!

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Columbia, South Carolina USA
    Posts
    2,598

    Post

    I am glad to hear you say that. I would hate to see you arrested next time you crossed the MA boarder.

    BoSox? Tragically the white sox knocked them out of the race. One of my friends in Chicago was greeted with a barage of clean white sox when she went to work after the last game. It'd be funny if if it were not so very sad.

    Keith
    Bee Sting Honey - So Good, It Hurts!

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