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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Tip of the Thumb, Michigan
    Posts
    676

    Default Spent yeast cells = bee food?

    I have a friend who's a homebrewer. When he heard that I was looking for Brewer's Yeast to feed my bees, in patty form as a pollen substitute, he said, "Why buy it? I just put it down the drain! I'll set aside a bucket full for you the next time I rack."

    Of course I accepted, as the price was right (free)!

    My question is, will bees accept "beery" smelling, semi-alcoholic, spent yeast as a pollen substitute, or will they turn their nose up at it? The relative "wetness" of it shouldn't be a factor as I'm mixing it up with sugar to make patties. But, does anyone have first hand experience with feeding bees "trub" and how do they react to it?

    Thanks in advance,
    BDDS

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,045

    Default

    Your concerns are why I haven't tried it. Malt sugars might lend some dysentery I suppose, but in theory it should be similar. I don't know that anyone's sampled yeast post-ferment from a feed perspective. I suspect if they took it, it would be OK. Make sure he harvests from a secondary ferment that was racked shortly after the trub falls (like within a day after pitch).
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Jenison, MI
    Posts
    1,514

    Default

    I wouldn't try it unless the bees are able to fly freely (dysentary possiblilites), and by the time they are able to fly freely the maples will be blooming, and by then you don't need it.

    I don't think that it would be worth the trouble or the risk. You can get brewer's from the local farm coop for pretty cheap, not to mention pollen sub from dadant. Not worth risking the $60 worth of bees to save $5.

    But that is just my $.02
    Rick

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Tip of the Thumb, Michigan
    Posts
    676

    Default

    I'm also finding out that trub *MAY* contain abnormally high (and potentially lethal to bees) amounts of sodium. I'll keep everyone posted as to what I find.

    DS

  5. #5

    Default

    My bees have had no interest in any spent products of fermentation. I used to pick up grain, yeast, and filter material from the Duck Rabbit brewery, bees never flew near the stuff.

    If I were to put yeast into the hive in a "pollen patty" I'd want to heat it first to deactivate. Then again, mead in a comb?

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