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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Greenwood, Indiana
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: Probiotics as defense against nosema?

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Wow! Wow! You said that to Michael Bush?

    It hasn't shaken my respect ... All I can say is Wow!

    We live in an era of germaphobes who are dead set on sterilizing everything and in so doing have weakened their immune system to a point where they get sick easily. I admit, I don't know what introducing probiotics would do for a colony of bees. I think it is helpful for me but I am not sure it is the right thing to do for the colony. I do like the idea of adding healthy bees and bread to the hive as a way of introducing probiotics rather than a massive dose. I certainly wouldn't take the whole bottle of probiotic pills in one day for myself. I think dosage matters greatly.
    If it were I, I would think twice before giving probiotics to bees, but if I were going to, I'd give them whey from kefir and mix the whey with sugar. Don't ask me why, 'cause I don't know WHY since I don't know if bees need probiotics, let alone probiotics that humans need.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    320

    Default Re: Probiotics as defense against nosema?

    Well, I tried it and it didn't kill them, and it may have helped them. Noticed some brown splashes on the hive that might have been nosema. So I added about 1/4 capsule of Solaray Multidophilus 12 to a gallon of 1.5/1 syrup (with my usual chamomile/sage tea and sea salt). It has 20 billion micro organisms from 12 strains: b. lactis, b. bifidum, b. infantis, b. longum, l. acidophilud, l. brevis, l. bulgaricus, l. paracasei, l. planatarum, l. rhamnosus, l. salivarius, and streptococcus thermophilus.

    I did it twice, about 4 weeks ago and again about a week ago. I based it on this info:
    http://www.habeetat.eu/Images/Evans%...oney%20bee.pdf

    "We feel the evidence presented here also supports the potential of using nonpathogenic bacteria as probiotic diet additives to spur the immune responses of bees. First instars showed a substantial increase in abaecin transcript levels beginning 12 h after exposure to food containing the probiotic mix relative to controls. This increase reached a 20-fold difference after 48 h of feeding, whenlarvae were inthe third instar, indicating that the response can be maintained for the
    long term. Although caution should be taken in an yeld assays, the history of known bee pathologies suggests that these bacteria pose little risk for honey bee (or human) health and that they are good candidates as eld treatments for bee colonies. The probiotic bacterial spores used are readily available as veterinary and human dietary supplements, suggesting that it would be relatively easy to generate a supply of probiotic treatments for bees."

    and:

    Two probiotics, Biogen-N and Trilac, were used as supplements to pollen substitute in feeding honey bees, Apis mellifera. The probiotics were given either throughout the entire 14-day experiment or only for 2 days, just after bee emergence. The midgut of worker bees was colonized by bacteria present in probiotics, including Lactobacillus spp., Pediococcus acidilactici, Bifidobacterium bifidum and Enterococcus faecium. Advantages of probiotic supplementation include better bee survival and higher dry mass and crude fat level in comparison with bees fed with pollen substitute only."

    Although I can't find it now, I read another study that showed a very significant increase in Spring brood.

    My bees seem to be healthy and doing fine, and there have been no more signs of nosema. I'm hoping that I've treated the winter bee larvae and that this will help them winter better.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,071

    Default Re: Probiotics as defense against nosema?

    In my humble view, from all that I've read and presentations that I've heard, a colony has and cultivates all the biology that it needs provided the beekeeper doesn't come in and indiscriminately kill the native microbes with antibiotics or in this case, offset the natural balance with microbes from the outside.

    In the Treatment-Free Forum, we strive to learn how to keep bees without treatments whatsoever and not to find newer softer more 'natural' treatments. This whole thread is missing the point.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,384

    Default Re: Probiotics as defense against nosema?

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    I do like the idea of adding healthy bees and bread to the hive
    Bread? Did I miss what this is all about?
    Regards, Barry

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,232

    Default Re: Probiotics as defense against nosema?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    If you feed honey (correct pH etc.) and you don't use essential oils (anti microbial) or organic acids (dramatic shift in pH which kills most all microbes) or antibiotics (Fumidil will kill the fungi and Tylosin and TM will kill the bacteria) then you will get the things that should be living in a bee hive and in the bee gut and in the bee bread. The best way to innoculate a hive that is not doing well is to put a frame of bee bread and a frame of bees from a hive that is doing well. This should innoculate the hive that is not with the correct microbes.
    Here it is Barry post #31. Bee bread.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New York City, NY
    Posts
    4,317

    Default Re: Probiotics as defense against nosema?

    Well, I do use probiotics and kefir often enough (on myself). But, it isn't cheap.

    While you could call using probiotics environmentally responsible, I'm not sure that it's sustainable since you can't say which strains that you do put in your hives will persist.

    It's a different kind of treadmill. It could get expensive too.
    Last edited by WLC; 10-20-2011 at 06:27 PM.

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,384

    Default Re: Probiotics as defense against nosema?

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Bee bread.
    Oh, bee bread! There's talk of garlic, vinegar, I figured now it was bread's turn. Whole wheat of course.
    Gerber anyone?
    http://www.gerber.com/AllStages/prod...la_powder.aspx

    "IMMUNIPROTECT™ probiotic—B. lactis and nutrition to help strengthen a healthy immune system"
    Last edited by Barry; 10-21-2011 at 02:25 PM.
    Regards, Barry

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Probiotics as defense against nosema?

    While I agree that letting the bees set up the natural biological balance in the hive and trying to avoid disrupting it is best, I wonder if spritzing with a bit of probiotic (like kefir whey or something similar) mixed into the water when you install a new package of bees would be beneficial. Could it possibly give the weakened by stress bees a bit of a jump start towards building the right hive balance?

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Greenwood, Indiana
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: Probiotics as defense against nosema?

    My wife and I make our own kefir, and for several years we have each drank a large glass every day. There's no way that I would pay close to $100 for a package of bees and introduce the 42 various probiotics (bacterias and yeasts) in kefir to them. To actually do a safe scientific study would cost a lot of money.
    It's great for humans though, but we are mammals that start life with milk; kefir is a product made with milk.
    If anyone's interested in drink kefir, see: KEFIR http://users.sa.chariot.net.au/~dna/Makekefir.html (many pages of information)
    Watch all ten of this guy's presentations: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MELveoRjK8M

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