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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.

    Default Re: Honeybee Dietary Needs

    Ian, you might get valuable information by planting canola in an old barrel(holes in bottom) in gravel. Water it daily, then stop. When it shows signs of stress, collect pollen from it to compare to your fields.

    Crazy Roland

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Campbell River, BC, CA

    Default Re: Honeybee Dietary Needs

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    I'm sure I sound foolish asking these questions
    Sounds 'foolish like a fox' to me. If you were doing turkeys, you would feed for a target weight, on a target date, about 2 weeks before thanksgiving. With your short but intense flow, it makes sense to feed your bees to target a population level in the hive, by a date that co-incides with the canola bloom.

    I think it just looks like a bit of a mindset change. Instead of treating the early season as a bunch of work and drudgery to prepare bees for harvesting a honey crop, you are starting to look at the bees as the first crop, and then honey as your second cut. And the next logical extension will be when you start asking, how to monetize the first cut, while maintaining the revenue from the second cut.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Salem, Oregon

    Default Re: Honeybee Dietary Needs

    I have learned a few things from Dr. Ramesh Sagili, our honey bee researcher at Oregon State University.
    If I have any of this wrong, my apologies to him.
    Honey bees are very picky in picking and choosing nectar sources.
    They will clearly ignore a lower value for higher, announcing and recruiting fellow foragers.
    Dr. Sagili has videos of measured proboscis response of various sugar types.
    Pollen sources are an entirely different story.
    Bees will forage the lowest quality, poorer pollens at a similar rate with the best.
    Instead of quality, bees appear to go for quantity and diversity of pollen sources.
    A balanced profile appears to be an inadvertent result of this type of foraging behavior.
    You may remember John Jacob's AWESOME cover picture on Bee Culture Mag.
    It was a shot of a frame of pollen with every color imaginable.
    My hunch is that pollen sub will always just be part of the picture.
    In my early days of beekeeping, I was always advised to feed pollen sub ONLY when natural pollen was being collected as well.
    Digestibility is another factor.
    Last year as Dr. Sagili walked off the stage, I told him that I was going to take one pallet of bees and feed it nothing but peanut and jelly sandwiches!
    I thought that it was funny. He looked at me annoyed and said something like, "Are you really THAT stupid?"
    Anyway, it turns out that amino acids are not the entire story.
    He explained digestibility that limits the delivery of bees nutritional requirements.
    I have exactly ONE hive more than than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond dispute!

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    New Albany, Ohio, USA

    Default Re: Honeybee Dietary Needs


    You are touching on a concept called, nutritional wisdom. The concept of nutritional wisdom suggests organisms eat a diet that is the most beneficial and balanced. This does not appear to be the case in the narrow sense. If something makes us sick, we stay away from it or if something makes us feel better we may eat more of it, but this is not really "nutritional wisdom". There are very few types of taste receptors. Honey bees are very good at determining sugar concentrations in nectar and often prefer the higher concentrations. Interestingly, honey bees also appear to favor sucrose most and fructose the least of the 5 most common sugars in nectar. In terms of pollen, bees do not appear to have the ability to "measure" protein, vitamin, or mineral content.
    Breeder Queens & Honey Bee Nutritional Supplements

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA

    Default Re: Honeybee Dietary Needs

    Page 22 discusses the suggest that bees alter pollen intake and preferences based on metabolic status. This behavior differs from nutritional wisdom but still adds a variable making that perfectly balanced target harder to hit. Is there metabolic state in part determined by quality of diet? Do they alter preferences based on attractiveness, color, a mechanical function?

    How does the testing of nutritional value of collected pollen measure against the actual ability of bees to digest and utilize effectively a particular nutrient ?
    Could gathered pollen testing show levels of a nutrient that seem some what insignificant but are 100% utilized by bees and essential?

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