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  1. #261

    Default Re: rethinking bee nutrition

    There is plenty of scientific research on microbes and honeybees.

    You might read this one as a start: http://www.plosone.org/article/info:...one.0032962#s3

    There is a short but interesting summary of the current state of research in the book>> Honey Bee Colony Health: Challenges and Sustainable Solutions (Contemporary Topics in Entomology (CRC))

  2. #262
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    Default Re: rethinking bee nutrition

    I've read the first paper, but I haven't had to chance to order the book yet. I'm debating if I want it on my shelf, or if I should stick to gathering electronic copies of papers into various folders.

    I do like the work being done by Vasquez, et al. .

    A large part of my 'rethinking' revolves around the Honeybee microbiota, probiotics, and my own interest in how I can improve my own bee feed using fermentation and food grade 'substrates/reactants'.

  3. #263
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    Default Re: rethinking bee nutrition

    Bernhard,
    Thanks for the description. It's more complicated than I suspected.
    Walt

  4. #264
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    Default Re: rethinking bee nutrition

    Walt, if the beekeepers who use deeps or double deeps add a shallow with comb under the stack in early Spring so the bees can fill it with bee bread for the Fall brood rearing, that should hopefully help them improve their overwintering? So the bees go into Winter only with the stores in their fatbodies, none in the hive? At what point might it be useful to add more pollen sub/bee bread/pollen to the hive to make sure they go into Spring strong? Would freezing a few frames of bee bread in Spring and returning it to the brood nest either in late Fall or maybe in January/February when we checkerboard help in case they have used up their fat stores by then? Or do they use fresh pollen for the Spring broodrearing?

    Bernard, from your post it does sound like WLC is on the right track with his fermentation to improve nutrient availability. letting the LAB convert the unfermented food into a much higher quality food. But it sounds like it might be preferable to inoculate the feed with bee bread over honey? Is the microbe load significantly different in honey or nectar than in pollen and bee bread? Or do they just serve different purposes? Based on your knowledge do you believe it would be possible to create a fermented supplement based on bee bread that would enhance bee nutrition when they need it?

    There are so many of you on this forum with different areas of expertise that could provide various pieces of the puzzle and help gain a more complete picture and practical solutions to the huge challenges our bees are facing. Thank you for sharing that knowledge with each other and allowing us hobbyist/laypersons to watch it unfold--it is fascinating!

  5. #265
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    Default Re: rethinking bee nutrition

    Quote Originally Posted by thenance007 View Post
    There are so many of you on this forum with different areas of expertise that could provide various pieces of the puzzle and help gain a more complete picture and practical solutions to the huge challenges our bees are facing. Thank you for sharing that knowledge with each other and allowing us hobbyist/laypersons to watch it unfold--it is fascinating!
    very well said 007! many thanks to all for contributing.

    i have read that the last rounds of worker brood reared in the fall are fed jelly that is several times richer than that fed in the spring and summer. this special food (almost as good as what a queen cell gets) results in the larger fat bodies and allows for the longevity that the wintering bees need.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  6. #266
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    Default Re: rethinking bee nutrition

    " Fungi also are working the bee bread all the time. Especially Aspergillus niger and Penicillium. The fungi produce sterols, antibiotics, fatty acids and enzymes. Fatty acids are needed for immune system, enzymes for breaking down food and some toxins. (Guess what fungicides do to bee bread fermentation...)" Bernhard

    Michael Bush has been trying to get beekeepers to understand this for a long time:

    "There are many microflora that live in the bees and in the colony. These vary from fungi to bacteria to yeasts. Many are necessary for the digestion of pollen or the maintenance of a healthy digestive tract by crowding out pathogens that would otherwise take over. Even seemingly benign ones and sometimes even mildly pathogenic ones often serve a beneficial purpose by supplanting otherwise deadly ones. . .

    How much do we upset the balance of this rich ecosystem when applying anti-bacterials such as tylan or terramycin and anti-fungals such as Fumidil? Even essential oils and organic acids have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal effects. Then we kill off many of the mites and insects with acaracides.

    After totally unbalancing this complex society of diverse organisms with no regard for benefit or not and contaminating the wax that we reuse and put in the hives as foundation, we are surprised to find that the bees are failing. Under such circumstances I would be surprised to find them flourishing!"


    I realize Michael would probably say we shouldn't mess with their microflora at all, and in an ideal world, I would agree. But in the real world, it isn't likely that we can convince everyone to just stop all treatments. Just like taking probiotics after a round of antibiotics to get our digestive flora back in sync, I see this line of investigation as something that could potentially help the bees rebuild their flora, making them and their hive healthier. There is much research and consensus at the scientific level showing the benefits of microbes and fermentation in the hive, yet that research hasn't been translated into helping our hives--the scientists keep churning out research and the beekeepers keep doing what they were taught works.

    What this thread seems to have evolved into is an attempt to take those theories and create a practical strategy useful for every beekeeper, big and small for enhancing our bees' nutrition and hive environment using microbes and fermentation. Kudos to everyone contributing, and if you have just been watching in the background and have an idea that might help (you know who you are!), please join in--surely lots of us have tried things that either have helped or not, so eliminating bad strategies is just as useful as offering good ones!

  7. #267
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    Default Re: rethinking bee nutrition

    The problem with getting a balanced discussion on this topic is that the folks who feed a lot of good quality sub to their bees are so doggone busy shaking packs, selling nucs or putting on supers that they don't have the time to contribute to the discussion.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  8. #268
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    Default Re: rethinking bee nutrition

    this was on the commercial thread,

    02-07-2013, 06:02 AM #39 Keith Jarrett
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    Location:Amador County, Calif
    Posts:2,777 Re: Fumagilian-B
    Originally Posted by borada bee doc
    Anyone with research backed ideas, on the concept of nosema treatment, to help sort this out?

    YES, "ok ok ok Jimmy, I will make this short"

    We have a micro-flora builder in our sub which competes with the nosema spores. NUTRA-BEE feed supplements
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  9. #269
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    Default Re: rethinking bee nutrition

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    so doggone busy shaking packs, selling nucs or putting on supers
    & buying breakfeast.
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  10. #270
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    Default Re: rethinking bee nutrition

    There's a bunch of work showing that certain Honeybee gut microbes can crowd out AFB, EFB, and Nosema. The same microbes can probably do the same with trypanosomes as well.

    If you use antibiotics, rather than probiotics, it can certainly become an issue.

    This article helps to explain why I cultured LAB with 1:1 syrup and whole milk:

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%...l.pone.0033188

    The milk provides starter nutrients for the LAB. It does work when the syrup/milk are inoculated with raw honey as well. Yes, I think that bee bread will work too.
    Last edited by WLC; 05-26-2013 at 03:24 PM.

  11. #271
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    Default Re: rethinking bee nutrition

    It would seem that not only are the good microbes important inside the bee's gut and honey crop, but also in their hive. I assume that the nosema, AFB, EFB, and viruses that infect/weaken the hive are present on the comb whether they grow there or are spread by the bees. The bees clean out the cells prior to the queen laying eggs in it. Wouldn't it make sense that spraying the empty comb with a light probiotic sugar solution might improve the balance, helping outcompete/reduce populations of the bad microbes and act as a protective biofilm? Additionally in cleaning it off, the bees would also be inoculated. I'm thinking of a one time or annual (after treatments?) treatment or as boxes are added to the stack. I've done it and it certainly didn't seem to hurt my hive--have no way of knowing how much it helped but they are healthy and booming.

  12. #272
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    Default Re: rethinking bee nutrition

    tn007: I think that your approach is a reasonable one. Now if we could only ID LAB that eat/inhibit viruses.

  13. #273
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    Default Re: rethinking bee nutrition

    Nancy,
    Adding an empty below the broodnest doesn't help. First year, added a shallow of foundation - ignored. Second year, added a shallow of drawn comb - they put some feed pollen in the upper edge, less than an inch. Not what I was looking for. In the third year, when a shallow of brood was moved down, suddenly had what I wanted - a box filled with bee bread, and more remarkably, on all colonies of mixed genetics. Had found a way that was common to their basic instincts. And I'm not natuarally lucky.

    It seemed apparent to me that there was no deliberate storing of pollen in the fall for winter brood rearing. What pollen they had at broodnest closeout was some residual feed pollen left over from fall brood rearing - open cells and bright colors. That put me on the path to finding a way to offset the effects of Lang hive design.

    CCD and renewed interest in nutrition brought out the description of the role of vitellogenin. I thought that solved the puzzle of no deliberate fall storage of pollen. Maybe not.

    Im a little sceptical of Bernhard's report of trapped or hidden bee bread in the overhead capped honey. When we sold honey, we often took honey from directly above the broodnest. We swapped the partial or unfinished frames from the top of the stack for their capped wintering honey, leaving enough to feed them through the summer doldrums. I think that if there were any bee bread in those frames, it would have come to our attention. Maybe not, but we handled a lot of drawn comb frames prior to the next season use.

    Walt

  14. #274
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    Default Re: rethinking bee nutrition

    WLC:
    Maybe Olive Leaf Extract? It is apparently a great antibiotic, antifungal and antiviral that doesn't kill beneficial bacteria:

    http://www.about-olive-leaf-extract....ntivirals.html
    "Olive leaf can inhibit or destroy a wide range of harmful bacteria, fungi and yeasts while allowing beneficial bacteria to multiply. This has been found in various experiments, some of which can be done at home.

    For example, by adding olive leaf extract to a range of different yoghurt cultures, it can be seen that the formation of yoghurt is not hindered, meaning the bacteria used in the culture were not harmed."

    "In short, olive leaf extract ingredients block a virus' life cycle, stop it multiplying then call up immune cells to demolish it. It will likely do this to a greater or lesser degree to any viral infection, and so offers much hope to those who wish to avoid infections or those who need help in combating them."

    The website also explains how to extract it and make tinctures. What do you think?

  15. #275
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    Default Re: rethinking bee nutrition

    walt, what is was the timing with respect to the onset of main flow that you typically move the shallow of brood to the bottom?

    i.e. would it be too late at the end of main flow, say at honey harvest?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  16. #276
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    Default Re: rethinking bee nutrition

    Haven't tried it that late in the season and would not guess at the results. It seemed importent to do it early in the buildup while pollen is plentiful. We tried to get it done, weather permitting, about two weeks after checkerboarding. When CBed, brood just seems to jump into and through those shallows (less honey to consume). When seasons were predictable, (early 90s) we CBed in late Feb. and early Mar. was broodnest explosion time. This spring, brood nest expansion was stagnent in Mar.

    Walt

    There was a beek in CAL who reported that he placed a medium of drawn comb under his brood boxes for dead-air space in the fall. His bees filled it with pollen. Would not expect that to happen, here, but who knows?

  17. #277
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    Default Re: rethinking bee nutrition

    After doing some reading in the CRC book I'm confused. Anyone care to see if they can help straighten me out?

    In the fall in our area bees gather a great deal of pollen, primarily Golden Rod & Aster. In order for the bees to use (digest) it the pollen first needs to be converted to bee bread. Is that correct? If I read correctly the pollen is initially mixed with honey to start the fermentation process by the forager. How long does it take to make bee bread? {As a followup: If a colony does not have stored pollen reserves and/or bee bread in the spring, how long does it take them to "process" fresh pollen collected - say from Red Maple}

    So if I see a frame of multi-colored pollen in the fall, what exactly am I looking at? Pollen that the bees are storing with the intent of converting to bee bread at a later time? How long is pollen stored in this way viable? (As a followup: if I find a frame of stored pollen in a spring dead out (not observably from a brood disease), is there benefit in giving that to another colony?) How long is bee bread good for?

    Academic papers often are hard for me to understand and to comprehend them I need to ask questions in terms/concepts I know.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  18. #278
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    Default Re: rethinking bee nutrition

    tn007:

    I'm not sure why you would need to use an olive leaf tincture/extract in your hives.

    I use food/feed grade supplements/treatments only. I don't think that olive leaf fits the description because I don't know what's in it, or if I'd want it to get into the honey even though I don't consume city honey myself.

  19. #279
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    Default Re: rethinking bee nutrition

    WLC, I have no intention of using olive leaf in my hives--don't feel a need for it. But for beeks who treat and lose hives to the viruses spread by varroa, it might be another tool--one of few that tackle viruses. I wouldn't even consider using it when honey supers are on as I understand the taste is bitter. Don't have a clue whether you would incorporate it in feed or spray it on comb. There are a number of essential oils that are useful, and when I read about olive leaf's properties it made me wonder if it might have a use. There are people who use grapefruit leaf and other leaves (mesquite?) in their smokers as a varroa treatment, and olive leaf seems to have similar properties.

  20. #280
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    Default Re: rethinking bee nutrition

    Good questions, Andrew.

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