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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Hayden Lake, Idaho, USA
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    4

    Default Probiotics as defense against nosema?

    In a report on the joint conference of the ABF and AHPA recently held in Sacramento, published in the March issue of ABJ, there was mention of the fact that scientists at the USDA lab have identified 8 species of bacteria in a healthy bee gut. One of these is lactobacillis, unfortunately the only one specifically mentioned. The article went on to say that the use of antibiotics in the hive (which are used as a prophylactic against nosema) destroys these organisms.

    This is ironic, since we know that healthy intestinal flora is crucial to proper intestinal function!

    This has raised a question in my mind about the possibility of using probiotics as an additive to food patties as a possible natural defense against nosema.

    Has anyone else ever had this thought? Has anyone ever tried it?

    Would appreciate feedback and/or comments.
    Thanks.
    Baithe

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Totnes, Devon, England
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    1,019

    Default

    IMO the best natural defence against nosema is to provide the conditions in the hive that enable bees to thrive and nosema never to arise as a problem. I don't believe this can easily be done using framed hives.

    Nosema is aggravated by cool, damp conditions, especially during overwintering. The thermodynamics of framed hives almost inevitably cause these adverse conditions.

    Chemical treatments are not necessary if the hive is right.
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas, USA
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    This I find a fascinating proposal. I once scratched open my index finger, and somehow caught an MRSA infection so bad I was in the hospital for a week. This incident completely changed my perspective on chemical culture. Now not a day goes by that I don't ingest some form of live cultured food...most of it I culture myself.

    It's my very limited understanding that stored pollen undergoes some lactic-acid fermentation (by the lactobacilli), and I have always been curious what role this might play in the dynamic of the hive. Of course the pollen itself, before gathering, probably contains a plethora of endospores just waiting to be activated by bee saliva.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2007
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    Almeria, Andalucia, Spain
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    If these flora is as you say present in the bee gut naturally, why then give them more. If you don't give them anti-biotics to begin with then surely you will not be destroying these beneficial naturally occuring bacteria.

  5. #5
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    Jun 2005
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    Crown Point , (NW) Indiana
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    [...unfortunately the only one specifically mentioned.]

    Probably FORTUNATELY!

    Seems MAN reads one article and implies he has to tinker with it to make things BETTER. But nature is a BALANCE that man's feeble mind tends to not completely comprehend.

    MAN tries to make everything fit his understanding instead of being how it actually is.

    Even within this conversation, MAN is trying to force an improvement on digestion and infection with the ASSUMPTION that the digestive systems work the same for bees as it does in man.

    While we need bacteria to complete digestion of some food, the same is not true for bees. While some bacteria may hold beneficial properties by holding down some infections, more is not always better. In fact, while the bacteria maybe beneficial, it does not imply it is NECESSARY for their survival.

    The treatment of pollen with lacto-bacillus isn't for digestive improvement, but for long term storage. Fortunately, certain enzymes arise from the process that do greatly improve honeybee health.

    The best proactive natural defense you can provide your bees is making adequate quality forage available as much of the year as possible. In doing so, the bees limited immune system will cleanse much of the disease on its own. Good nutrition results in the fastest healing from disease or injury.

    The second necessary thing is as BuckBee said, keeping good husbandry practices like avoiding excessive cold, dampness, or draft (all issues of stress that compromise the immune system). Includes with keeping a quality environment is protection from parasites such as mites and beetles.
    Bees depend on YOU for their placement because YOU take that choice away from them by placing them where YOU want them. That's a lot of responsibility.

    Along with BuckBee's comment and my rant about human placement of colonies, is the matter of house keeping. By buying or capturing bees and putting them in boxes of YOUR choice, you have to be sure that you are providing a healthy home. I find very few people that know what it takes to properly sanitize equipment. Not every disease requires the same method, and no one method is universal for every disease (though a few come close).

    Read, study, observe and let nature do its thing.
    Intervene where you have created the responsibility to react.
    Stop assuming the bees need more chemicals from you to survive.

    I do not blindly comment on these issues.
    I too once did not understand and violated these conditions and suffered the consequences.
    But you too can learn and advance yourself into being a better beekeeper.
    Your bees will greatly appreciate it.
    There is always more than one way to skin a cat, that's of course if you're into eating cats.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    Crown Point , (NW) Indiana
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    [Now not a day goes by that I don't ingest some form of live cultured food...most of it I culture myself.]

    Geeze....Sounds like you are ready to open a GNC for bees?

    Perhaps I can open a BeeBucks next door and serve little Bee-mochas.
    Just what I think, bees need a caffine BUZZ.

    Wonder what they think they need?
    Guess I don't have to wonder, they gather what they need.
    There is always more than one way to skin a cat, that's of course if you're into eating cats.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Fort Worth, Texas, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by NW IN Beekeeper View Post
    [Now not a day goes by that I don't ingest some form of live cultured food...most of it I culture myself.]

    Geeze....Sounds like you are ready to open a GNC for bees?
    Not what I was implying at all. And since "most of it I culture myself," you'll never find me buying consumer trash in a GNC. What I did say very specifically is I've always been curious what role the lactic-acid fermentation of pollen plays in the hive. And of course the reason I'm curious is because fermentation is so important to me.

    May I ask, respectfully, where you've gained your knowledge and experience with bees and their connection to lactobacilli? If you know more, I would like to hear it.

  8. #8
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    Sep 2007
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    Fort Worth, Texas, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by NW IN Beekeeper View Post
    Perhaps I can open a BeeBucks next door and serve little Bee-mochas.
    Just what I think, bees need a caffine BUZZ.
    Did you miss the part where I said I'm against chemical culture?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Casper, Wy, USA
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    Hi Guys,

    I don't how probiotics works for bees, but I sure know what it has done for me. Search for kombucha here on beesource. It's not a benign substance, although it acts slowly, takes about a month for full effect.

    I've got the kombucha. Now, I need the bees.

    Regards
    Dennis
    Kombucha is a miracle. Water kefir is a very refreshing and satisfying. Milk kefir is very unique and I've quickly developed an acquired taste for it. Caspian sea yorgurt is a delight, although tricky to catch at just the right stage.
    I once wrangled bees. But now, knowing better, I just let them bee.
    http://talkingstick.me/category/bees/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas, USA
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    I make kefir on a daily basis. Kombucha I have not tried since I avoid caffeine. I also make my own suaerkraut, kimchi, koji, miso and koji pickles (and of course mead). I also like gardening bare-handed because it lets all the microbes in the soil get to know me a visa versa. It's all about an ethic of being patient and respectful with what I consume...no fast food for me.

    I have no idea whether bees need gut flora for digestion like many other creatures, but I have a feeling our microbial allies play a much larger role in the hive than simply extending the life of pollen. They are the most easily over-looked of creatures afterall.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Hayden Lake, Idaho, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by NW IN Beekeeper View Post
    [...unfortunately the only one specifically mentioned.]

    Probably FORTUNATELY!

    Seems MAN reads one article and implies he has to tinker with it to make things BETTER. But nature is a BALANCE that man's feeble mind tends to not completely comprehend.

    MAN tries to make everything fit his understanding instead of being how it actually is.

    Even within this conversation, MAN is trying to force an improvement on digestion and infection with the ASSUMPTION that the digestive systems work the same for bees as it does in man.

    While we need bacteria to complete digestion of some food, the same is not true for bees. While some bacteria may hold beneficial properties by holding down some infections, more is not always better. In fact, while the bacteria maybe beneficial, it does not imply it is NECESSARY for their survival.

    The treatment of pollen with lacto-bacillus isn't for digestive improvement, but for long term storage. Fortunately, certain enzymes arise from the process that do greatly improve honeybee health.

    The best proactive natural defense you can provide your bees is making adequate quality forage available as much of the year as possible. In doing so, the bees limited immune system will cleanse much of the disease on its own. Good nutrition results in the fastest healing from disease or injury.

    The second necessary thing is as BuckBee said, keeping good husbandry practices like avoiding excessive cold, dampness, or draft (all issues of stress that compromise the immune system). Includes with keeping a quality environment is protection from parasites such as mites and beetles.
    Bees depend on YOU for their placement because YOU take that choice away from them by placing them where YOU want them. That's a lot of responsibility.

    Along with BuckBee's comment and my rant about human placement of colonies, is the matter of house keeping. By buying or capturing bees and putting them in boxes of YOUR choice, you have to be sure that you are providing a healthy home. I find very few people that know what it takes to properly sanitize equipment. Not every disease requires the same method, and no one method is universal for every disease (though a few come close).

    Read, study, observe and let nature do its thing.
    Intervene where you have created the responsibility to react.
    Stop assuming the bees need more chemicals from you to survive.

    I do not blindly comment on these issues.
    I too once did not understand and violated these conditions and suffered the consequences.
    But you too can learn and advance yourself into being a better beekeeper.
    Your bees will greatly appreciate it.
    Whoa, friend. For the most part, I am in agreement with you. Certainly, as stewards of the earth, man has done a great deal from ignorance, rather than knowledge, and has seriously messed things up in the process. And I am doing exactly as you say - reading, studying, observing and asking questions. I'm just waiting for the snow to melt to plant clover and birdsfoot trefoil seeds for bee pasture. I don't actually have any bees yet, a complete novice, expecting my first packages in April. It is my intention to provide as natural an environment for them as possible, which is partly what prompted my question. One of my greatest concerns at the moment is that they will arrive before there is good pollen and nectar here, and so I'll have to feed them - something which completely goes against the grain to me.

    One thing I've gleaned from my studies is that many of the problems bees are currently faced with seem to be the result of irresponsible beekeeping practices, and I share your frustration. Nevertheless, the very premise of beekeeping in this country with any species other than native ones is artificial because by and large, kept bees are imported. By definition, they are not in their natural environment and will have struggles because of it.

    You were very quick to ASSUME that I had made ASSUMPTIONS based on reading one article, and accused me of proposing to 'tinker' with things. Not so. I'm only asking. I do think, however, that the question of probiotics in bee nutrition is valid, particularly in light of what you said about lactobacillis being used in the storage of pollen, and the process producing enzymes which are beneficial to bee health. That's very interesting. It begs the question - is there ENOUGH lactobacillis to provide the balance for optimal health? If not, will good husbandry practices be enough to tip the balance in favor of the bees? It seems unlikely that enough people are going to give up pesticides and insecticides soon enough to have a meaningful impact at the rate bees are dying on a global scale.

    You are absolutely right that we need to let nature do its thing. What must be remembered, though, is that MAN is also part of nature. In fact, nothing that has EVER been done has been outside the greater context of NATURE. It is within our potential - our nature - to properly intervene to correct our mistakes. It is axiomatic that if we are capable of getting it wrong, we're equally capable of getting it right. But let us act from love and knowledge, not anger and opinion.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,340

    Default

    Here some probiotics that live in honey bees I found when searching:

    Bifidobacterium animalis
    Bifidobacterium asteroides
    Bifidobacterium coryneforme
    Bifidobacterium cuniculi
    Bifidobacterium globosum
    Lactobacillus sp.
    Lactobacillus plantarum
    Lactobacillus bifidus
    Lactobacillus acidophilus

    Serratia
    Gluconacetobacter
    IFlavirus
    Bartonella sp.
    Gluconacetobacter sp.
    Simonsiella sp.
    Gammaproteobacteria (class)
    Pandora delphacis


    Dicistroviridae Iflavirus ?

    groups:
    Bacteriocin
    Enterococcusavium
    Betaproteobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria, Firmicutes and
    Actinobacteria
    Neisseria
    Simonsiella
    Saccharomycotina

    Possibly pathogens
    Entomophtorales/Entomphthoromycotina
    Mucorales/Mucoromycotina
    Mucor hiemalis

    didn't turn up on a search on this and honeybee, but turned up on a paper.
    Lactobacillus cellobiosum



    microflora of honeybees
    bacteria and fungi in the gut of honeybees


    http://www.ingentaconnect.com/conten...e?format=print


    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...b819e786e87ee0

    "Bifidobacterium (Gram-positive eubacteria), Lactobacillus (Gram-positive eubacteria), and Gluconacetobacter (Gram-negative a-proteobacteria); two sequences each clustered with Simonsiella (ß-proteobacteria) and Serratia (?-proteobacteria); and three sequences each clustered with Bartonella (a-proteobacteria). "

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...1faf4c34d5758d

    Oxytetracycline as a predisposing condition for chalkbrood in honeybee

    "Antibiotics, particularly oxytetracycline, have been discussed as a possible predisposing condition in the appearance of chalkbrood in the honeybee (Apis mellifera L.). Nevertheless, the scientific data to support this belief have been insufficient. We have developed a method to study the effects of this antibiotic as a predisposing factor under different circumstances. We conclude that oxytetracycline does not increase the risk of chalkbrood in susceptible worker brood in the short or mid-term."

    " ... use of antibiotics in the
    honeybee can upset the balance of intestinal microflora, favoring the ..."


    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/en...&dopt=Citation


    http://www.pollinator.org/Resources/...07_Science.pdf

    "The gut lumen contains the majority of microorganisms in most insects"

    http://web.uniud.it/eurbee/Proceedings/Diseases.pdf

    "During a study aimed to characterize the intestinal microflora of honeybee larvae
    and adults, we found that some lactic acid bacteria inhibit in vitro the growth of these
    pathogens. These bacteria, belong to the genus Lactobacillus, are normal inhabitants of
    the gut of honeybees and are GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe).
    Strains of this genus have been shown to have important metabolic and protective
    functions in the gastrointestinal tract, interfering with enteric pathogens and
    maintaining a healthy intestinal microflora."


    http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi...1997.tb12678.x

    "Emerging adult bees acquire intestinal microflora by food exchange with other bees in the colony and through consumption of pollen. Biochemical contributions of microorganisms to honey bees; the role of microorganisms in the conversion, enhancement, and preservation of pollen stored as bee bread in comb cells; and the production of antimycotic substances by molds and Bacillus spp. from honey bee colonies that are resistant to the fungal disease, chalkbrood, are discussed. An association of Bacillus spp. with bees including honey bees, stingless bees, and solitary bees from tropical and temperate zones appears to have evolved in which female bees inoculate food sources with these bacteria whose chemical products contribute to the elaboration and/or protection from spoilage of food that is stored in the nest."



    http://iussi.confex.com/iussi/2006/t...gram/P1982.HTM

    Age-dependent changes in intestinal microflora of honeybee

    "Remi Kasahara1, Jun Nakamura2, Yoshikazu Koizumi3, Ayako Mitsui3, and Masami Sasaki4. (1) Graduate School of Agriculture, Tamagawa University, Machida, Tokyo, 1948610, Japan, (2) Honeybee Science Research Center, Tamagawa University, Machida, Tokyo, Japan, (3) Environmental Engineering Center Co., Ltd., Machida, Tokyo, 1948610, Japan, (4) Laboratory of Entomology, Faculty of Agriculture, Tamagawa University, Machida, Tokyo, 1948610, Japan

    The intestinal microflora of honeybee was investigated by means of the PCR-DGGE (denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis) method based on the sequence-specific separation of PCR-derived rRNA gene amplicon, which have proven useful in analyses of wide ranged studies in microbial ecology. Entire intestinal contents of adult honeybees were removed with gut wall under sterile conditions and the whole genomic DNA was isolated. PCR was used to amplify 16S rRNA genes from the DNA with a set of bacterial specific GC-338F and universal primers. The former one contains a 40 base GC-rich sequence at the 5’-end. The result of DGGE profiles and the DNA sequence analyses confirmed that the intestinal microflora had already existed in the newly emerged workers (day 0), however, it was very simple at day 0 and consisted of only one or two common bacteria. The DNA sequence of one of those showed the homology to Lactobacillus alvei strain 1G2 with 97% similarity. Then the microflora tended to be complex with age, and in the foragers, the composition of bacteria was varied besides the several common ones. The age dependent changes in higher diversity of the intestinal microflora in foragers are probably due to the higher accessibility to the sources of bacteria, namely foods, nestmates, combs, and outside food sources. We discuss the effects of nutritional status and trophallaxis with other nestmates on the individual intestinal microflora, as well as the effects of season, location and food sources on the colony level intestinal microflora."



    http://aem.asm.org/cgi/content/full/70/10/6197

    "The genus Bifidobacterium includes gram-positive, pleomorphic, and strictly anaerobic bacteria, which are major constituents of the intestinal microflora of humans, of other warm-blooded animals, and even of honeybees"


    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/art...?&artid=154539

    "The other probe, BAN, was able to detect a group of Bifidobacterium species isolated exclusively from blood-warm animals and honeybees (B. animalis, B. asteroides, B. coryneforme, B. cuniculi, and B. globosum), as well as two species isolated from sewage of uncertain origin (B. minimum and B. subtile)"

    http://cmr.asm.org/cgi/content/full/19/1/12

    "It is the subject of some speculation and debate as to when organisms currently in the genus Hafnia were first isolated. In 1919, L. Bahr worked on a bacterium that he designated "Bacillus paratyphi-alvei," an organism reputedly pathogenic for bees but not mice or guinea pigs (121). One of Bahr's apparently authentic "Bacillus paratyphi-alvei" strains (referred to as "Paratyphus alvei") was subsequently characterized in 1954 as belonging to a new group of enteric bacteria for which Møller coined the name "Hafnia group" during a systematic investigation of amino acid decarboxylase patterns among members of the family Enterobacteriaceae (89). Some groups subsequently questioned the legitimacy of this name in light of the fact that Bahr's strains differed in some biochemical characteristics from those described by Møller. However, Møller considered that Bahr's strain should be regarded as the type species of Hafnia, and he suggested the name Hafnia alvei."


    "The specific epithet in the name Hafnia alvei is derived from the Latin noun alveus, meaning beehive, with "alvei" meaning "of a beehive." Ewing (33) questioned the epithet "alvei," stating that the name implied that these bacteria had something to do with bees or beehives although they did not. However, H. alvei has been recovered on occasion from the intestines of honeybees (Apis mellifera) as well as from honey, and several of these strains are included in the BCCM (Brussels, Belgium) collection (125)."


    Need to checkout:
    http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0geu70Znj...esIndBookG.htm

    www.geocities.com/beesind/BeesIndBookK.htm

    ibscore.dbs.umt.edu/journal/Articles_all/1999/groves.htm



    http://www.beeculture.com/content/Ne...Scientists.pdf

    "The bacterial sequences were those normally found in bees worldwide,
    analyzed by Nancy A. Moran, the Regents' professor of ecology and
    evolutionary biology, University of Arizona, and colleagues and Jay
    Evans, research entomologist, Bee Research Laboratory, U.S.
    Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service and
    colleagues."

    ""The bacteria found were the same as those found in two previous
    studies from two different parts of the world at two different times,"
    says CoxFoster.
    "They represent mutualistic or symbiotic relationships
    with the bees, similar to those of humans and the bacteria found in the
    human gut.""

    "Researchers including Lipkin and Diana CoxFoster,
    entomology
    professor at Pennsylvania State University, and colleagues have taken
    a new approach to investigating infectious disease outbreaks. To find
    the cause of CCD they used a rapid genome sequencing technique
    called pyrosequencing to catalogue the entire variety of
    microorganisms that honey bees harbor. After comparing their
    sequences with known sequences held in public databases, they
    identified symbiotic and pathogenic bacteria, fungi and viruses found
    in both healthy and CCDafflicted
    colonies."

    "While unquestionably it is important to identify the cause of CCD, this
    total genetic study of bees and their fellow travelers also may lead to a
    better understanding of other disease causing agents in the population
    and to an understanding of the beneficial organisms that reside within
    the bee."

    http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archiv...8/bees0898.htm

    "Helpful microbes that live in the hives, stored food, and bodies of healthy honey bees enhance many aspects of bee life. Some of the microorganisms produce antibiotics that might hold the key to protecting tomorrow's domesticated honey bees from one of their worst enemies --the harmful Ascosphaera apis fungus that causes chalkbrood disease."

    ""A natural organism that's already known to occur in hives of healthyhoney bees,"says Agricultural Research Service microbiologist Martha A. Gilliam, "should be easier than a synthetic chemical to register with the federal government as a biological control for chalkbrood."Gilliam is with the ARS Carl Hayden Bee Research Center in Tucson, Arizona."

    http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/pub..._NO_115=187749

    Title: ANTAGONISTIC INTERACTIONS BETWEEN HONEY BEE BACTERIAL SYMBIONTS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR DISEASE.

    "We survey colonies for additional resident bacteria species that directly inhibit the AFB bacterium. We report a large set of such bacteria and discuss how they might be involved in natural disease resistance. These beneficial bacteria also might be introduced to colonies as a means of controlling disease, providing a new tool for beekeepers in controlling this bacterium and reducing reliance on conventional antibiotics."

    "Technical Abstract: Insects harbor diverse bacterial symbionts, many of which have strong effects on insect survival and reproduction. Facultatively symbiotic bacteria can affect insect nutrition, immuno-competence, and susceptibility to disease agents. Honey bees and other social insects maintain a diverse microbial biome within which inhibitory and mutualistic interactions are expected."


    http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/pub..._NO_115=159450

    "Technical Abstract: Honey bee larvae of four ages were exposed through feeding to spores of both a natural pathogen, Paenibacillus larvae larvae and to spores of a diverse set of non-pathogenic bacteria. Larvae responded by upregulating transcription of the gene encoding the antimicrobial peptide abaecin, both when exposed to the actual pathogen and to the probiotic mix. 1st-instar larvae responded significantly to the presence of the probiotic mix within 12 hours after exposure, a time when they remain highly susceptible to bacterial invasion. This response was sustained for two successive larval instars, eventually becoming 21-fold higher in larvae exposed to probiotic spores versus control larvae. The probiotic mix is therefore presented as a potential surrogate for assaying the immune responses of different honey bee lineages. It is also proposed that a dietary exposure to probiotic bacteria might help honey bee larvae, and other life stages, survive attacks from pathogens."


    http://www.ias.ac.in/jbiosci/sep2006/293.pdf

    "These studies were carried out over three years and included different developmental stages. There
    were substantial qualitative as well quantitative differences in the microbial types depending on the
    species, developmental stage and the diet. Apis mellifera adults predominantly contained Lactobacilus
    wheras larval SSCP patterns had a predominance of bands corresponding to Salmonella enterica var typhi,
    uncultured Simonesiella and uncultured Serratia. This is presumably because the food source for forager
    bees (honey and nectar) has a low pH of approximately 3.9 and lactobacilli can tolerate this pH. The pH of
    larval gut is around 7 and is less favourable for Lactobacilli. On the other hand, the gut from the larvae of
    solitary bee O. bicornis showed SSCP patterns quite different from the other two species, which could be
    due to different social habit and also difference in development. The gut of this species opens during the
    early development of the larvae whereas for the other two species it opens much later, just before pupation.
    This would result in differences in physicochemical conditions and thus differences in the microbiota.
    Despite these differences, the bacteria from the three different bee species refl ected clusters of highly
    similar sequences even from specimens collected from different continents. Both larvae and adults of
    A. mellifera contained sequences related to uncultured species of Simonsiella, Serratia, L. crispatus and
    Gluconacetobacter. The bacteria could have either survived pupation or were inoculated through food
    and/or mouth-to-mouth contact. Interestingly, these sequences, found in all three bee species, were also
    reported in other two A. mellifera subspecies. The earlier study on A. mellifera sub-species in South Africa
    showed that out of 10 unique 16S rRNA sequences, bacteria from six genera were shared in both subspecies
    (Jeyaprakash et al 2003). Studies by Mohr and Tebbe (2006) retrieved 179 16S rRNA sequences, which
    represented 68 phylotypes. Among these, the overlap was very high for fi ve genera and these may represent
    bacterial species that are highly abundant and cosmopolitan, adapted to survival in the gut.
    In summary, it appears that insect guts are reservoirs for a large variety of microbes. Many are poorly
    characterized and considering the diversity of insects, there must be novel microbes awaiting discovery.
    Our understanding of the biology of insects will be incomplete without a comprehensive understanding
    of their gut microbes, as these have a signifi cant impact on various life processes of the hosts. While the
    roles of endosymbionts like Wolbachia and Buchnera are better understood, not much is known about the
    normal microbial community fl ora. Characterization of midgut microbes using molecular tools is the fi rst
    step in understanding their role in insect biology. Application of genomics and proteomics would further
    our understanding of their interaction. Genome sequencing projects of such bacteria are underway and
    they will eventually help in defi ning the minimal essential genes required for the bacteria to multiply
    and survive in insect gut. They will help in distinguishing transient from resident populations and in
    understanding interactions between bacteria and their host insects at molecular level."


    http://www.jesterbee.com/Beebread.html

    Probiotic protein feed for Honey Bees


    http://insects.suite101.com/article....ybee_parasites

    Spores of Microsporea range in size from about three to six micrometers (a micrometer, or micron, is one one-thousandth of a millimeter), the size of many intestinal bacteria. Nosema apis spores are four to six micrometers long and two to four micrometers wide. They are marvelous organisms, perfectly designed for invading the intestinal cells of their hosts.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Crown Point , (NW) Indiana
    Posts
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    M. Bush:

    You have a brand new member with three (3) posts that asks a question.
    In reply you throw a bunch of links and bunch of bacteria names.

    You explain none of the links nor the bacteria.

    It is plain rude to bury a new member (and the rest that care about the topic) in links and data that you do not explain.

    We might as well popped the words in a search engine ourselves.
    At least then the person has more options to chose what they feel they can comprehend, rather than feeling an obligation to your request to read your material which may not even apply to the original topic.

    Honestly I don't think you understand the difference between a gram positive and a gram negative bacteria, let alone the metabolic benefits of half the good bacteria you listed. I see this as you bluffing knowledge.

    You included fungi and infectious spores - those are not probiotic in nature - clearly a demonstrations that you are merely flooding us in an attempt to overwhelm and hope we stray from the topic.

    Don't pretend to know, it only hurts the beekeeping community and doesn't help your respect.
    There is always more than one way to skin a cat, that's of course if you're into eating cats.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas, USA
    Posts
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    Hmmm...somebody is definitely being rude around here. I personally will enjoy going through the links provided by Mr. Bush, and appreciate his posting them. I actually did several searches on this topic yesterday and could not yield many good results. And as I said before, I think Baithe makes a fascinating proposal for discussion.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Casper, Wy, USA
    Posts
    804

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    Hi Guys,

    Just some rambling thoughts.

    I know what including probiotics has done for me. And I know what it has done for others as well. I sure wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't experienced it for myself.

    Let's see. The last prescription drug(antibiotic) I took was in 1986. And the only thing I've had since then has been a few aspirin(less than a dozen). But introducing probiotics has significantly improved my health, in a half dozen different areas.

    Is there some magic compound in the kombucha? I think not. It's just alot of little things working together that enable one's body to get back on track. I think there's something endemic in the environment that messes up the delicate balances and relationships necessary for good health.

    Maybe some of those essential creatures need to be re-introduced, from time to time. And our agricultural/processing interfere with that process, making the use of probiotics so profoundly effective.

    If my health can get so far out of wack, I suspect a similar process could impact the honeybee's health. Honeybees are self-propelled, electrically charged, environmental samplers. And their broodnest is a chemical sink.

    As Michael's post show, things aren't at simple as they seem, even with a creature as simple as a honeybee. The use of probiotics probably wouldn't introduce anything new into the honeybee's environment. But it sure might restore a few things man might have inadvertently taken out.

    After my experience with small cell and then natural comb, I know how such seemly insignificant changes can significantly effect honeybee health. Inoculating a hive with probiotics would be exceedingly easy. It's a must do test for me.

    Regards
    Dennis
    Last edited by BWrangler; 03-05-2008 at 07:19 AM.
    I once wrangled bees. But now, knowing better, I just let them bee.
    http://talkingstick.me/category/bees/

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas, USA
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    I have to agree with Dennis' sentiments on this. Antibiotics are not the only thing antagonistic to microflora in our environment.

    Whether it's a good idea or not, the approach has already been patented:

    BIOLOGISTS `FIND CURE FOR HONEYBEES'; January 4, 2001; PA News; Emma Pearson

    Dr Brian Dancer and Stuart Prince of Cardiff University's School of
    Biosciences have, according to this story, discovered an antibiotic that
    occurs naturally in beehives and could cure diseases currently scourging the
    world's honeybee population.
    They were further cited as saying this complex kills the bacteria that cause
    both types of foulbrood disease that infects bees and their method has now
    been patented by the university with Dr Dancer quoted as saying, "We
    envisage that the spores of this 'natural' antibiotic will be fed to bees,
    providing them with a protective microflora that could act either
    prophylactically or as a treatment in disease outbreaks. Importantly,
    because the protective bacteria are unmodified and are naturally derived
    from the bee environment, such treatment can only serve to promote the
    healthy image of honey and other bee products."

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas, USA
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    224

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    Quote Originally Posted by NW IN Beekeeper View Post
    M. Bush:
    ...You included fungi and infectious spores - those are not probiotic in nature...
    The term "probiotics" from my understanding is a fairly new one, and more likely a marketing term than a scientific one. If "probiotics" relate only to bacteria, then I suppose you're technically correct. But I know without question certain mycological allies excrete compounds and create other competitive factors that can inhibit less-than-savory fungal guests. This sounds very pro-biotic to me.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Casper, Wy, USA
    Posts
    804

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    Hi Guys,

    I've put together a few thoughts about probiotics, bees and my personal experience at:

    www.bwrangler.com/bee/npro.htm

    Baithe, thanks for the idea. I wouldn't have put the two together by myself.

    Traditionally, beekeepers have looked for life forms that can put the hurt on hive pests. But it's a neat twist to look for those that put health and resilience into the bees.

    Regards
    Dennis
    I once wrangled bees. But now, knowing better, I just let them bee.
    http://talkingstick.me/category/bees/

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas, USA
    Posts
    224

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    Dennis,

    Thanks for putting together that page. I had also decided that I would seriously conduct some research and possibly experimentation into this matter using my more intuitive methods. I look forward to seeing more information appear on your site. I will likely also tack on a beekeeping page to my website...I will try to keep you all informed of my findings as well.

    It occurred to me we could think of this symbiosis in another way. It's really no different than companion planting in your vegetable garden. In other words, if you are going to place bees out of context (in a man-made shelter, in a location they might not otherwise choose on their own, etc.) why not place natural microbial companions in that same context? Or at the very least maybe we should take a serious look at accommodating microflora if not directly introducing them.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,340

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    >I see this as you bluffing knowledge.

    I am in the middle of trying to salvage a crashed computer. I simply posted my raw notes on the subject. I sorted through a LOT of links to come up with them and thought they might be a useful starting point for the discussion. I apologize. I will not share raw notes again.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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