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  1. #41
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    Default Re: Super DFM - Honeybees

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    Examining the brood nest and comparing the brood condition would be difficult to gauge but if conditions improve in the treated colonies to the point where the study finds winter losses are noticeably decreasing, they should be able to find differences in the broodnest and in the bee's fat reserves themselves.
    How does one measure fat reserves ? Counting nosema is easy, almost as easy as counting varroa. I'm really interested in finding practical ways to make more measurements, but not sure where to start on some of them. Is it even possible to measure some of these esoteric things without building a very expensive laboratory full of million dollar gadgets ?

    After reading some of the links on this stuff you posted a while back, I've got the microsope and electronic eyepiece coming. We are going to make counting nosema a matter of course here, just like counting varroa. After doing an alchohol roll for the varroa, we already have the dead bees, just a mortar and pezel with a little distilled water away from making a slide to do the nosema count.

    So now you've got my interest peaked, if one goes this far, do you know of an affordable way to start doing more analysis on the samples ?

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  3. #42
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    Default Re: Super DFM - Honeybees

    Quote Originally Posted by grozzie2 View Post
    After reading some of the links on this stuff you posted a while back, I've got the microsope and electronic eyepiece coming. We are going to make counting nosema a matter of course here, ....
    So now you've got my interest peaked, if one goes this far, do you know of an affordable way to start doing more analysis on the samples ?
    Thats a good plan of action. I truely feel nosema is the crutch of most our problems. Understanding our disease issues helps us better react with treatments or helps us better track pro active measure taken to counter these disease issues, like probiotics for example.

    How do we measure the health of a honeybee? Generally we look for healthy indicators coming from the nest itself. But would it not be interesting to take a few bees and measure their fat stores? Good well fall fed fat bees, as opposed to fall dearth starved bees. Yes the food provided has gotten these beesinto winter with adequate fat stores, or no the feed avaliable or provided was in adequate and the bees went in slim...
    If there were such a fat/slim test being done, I wonder how many beekeepers would actually of blamed "the other factors" in their unexpected colony losses?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
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  4. #43
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    Default Re: Super DFM - Honeybees

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    If there were such a fat/slim test being done,
    Great point. A quick dissection of the abdomen would expose fat bodies, which would give you a relative perspective. A bit more work would be involved to quantify it. How many beekeepers look at worker abdomens when they inspect a hive? While far from exact, comparing relative abdomen width and length provides some insight into the workings of the hive. Relatively large abdomens are a good thing, unless it is a sign of dysentery and they are full of feces.

    I don't hear the term "condition" used much in beekeeping circles, but it is common for larger animals.
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  5. #44
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    Default Re: Super DFM - Honeybees

    Quote Originally Posted by JSL View Post
    Great point. A quick dissection of the abdomen would expose fat bodies, which would give you a relative perspective.
    I've never started cutting the bees apart to look inside. Is the fat layered, ie something that could be measured in high resolution photos ? Is there some other measurement one could take, that gives us a measurable metric for comparison ?

    Quote Originally Posted by JSL View Post
    While far from exact, comparing relative abdomen width and length provides some insight into the workings of the hive.
    Are you suggesting the ratio of width to length as the comparison, or, comparing absolute values between hives ? As a measurable metric, this one I find very interesting, because it's relatively easy to do. Just take a picture of a frame, then look at the picture later on the computer screen. If there is really some value to the metric, would be fairly strait forward to whip up some software that'll analyze a frame photo, and give measured metrics back from the photo.

    This is one of the reasons I keep coming back here, ideas like this from various discussions do peak my interest. If there is a metric that can be measured in a repeatable fashion, and that metric correlates somehow to bee health, it's worth figuring out a way to do the measurement.

  6. #45
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    Default Re: Super DFM - Honeybees

    grozzie,

    Scroll down the page for this link, http://scientificbeekeeping.com/fat-bees-part-1/, there is a nice comparison photo of winter vs forager and fat bodies.

    I have not taken the visual comparison of abdomens any further than that. It is usually pretty obvious once you start looking, but I have not tried to measure it and correlate it with anything else. Perhaps it is a winter project?
    Breeder Queens & Honey Bee Nutritional Supplements
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  7. #46
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    Default Re: Super DFM - Honeybees

    Quote Originally Posted by JSL View Post
    I don't hear the term "condition" used much in beekeeping circles, but it is common for larger animals.
    I know there are many differences between livestock and bee's but in my mind "conditioning" should follow suit in both cases. With our cattle, one of our dietary signals we use to mix our ration is by gauging the condition of the cattle in terms of fat cover. If they aint getting enough cattle slim down by loosing their fat stores. The same when they get too fat, we cut the energy in the feed. Not only is it wasteful but negative health implication result from too fat of animals ( not applicable to bees where as their life span is weeks as compared to years)

    Measuring fat on the bees and so on sounds like a lot of work when one could simply JUST FEED THE BEES. But the point is knowing if the feeding is providing the benefit and if all these variations of feed are actually increasing the individual bees health, and in turn a healthier colony.
    Probiotics, yeasts, enzymes, yup. How about just plain old protein and some sugar, also yup. Which one shows up on a healthier bee?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
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  8. #47
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    Default Re: Super DFM - Honeybees

    Quote Originally Posted by JSL View Post
    Great point. A quick dissection of the abdomen would expose fat bodies, which would give you a relative perspective. A bit more work would be involved to quantify it. How many beekeepers look at worker abdomens when they inspect a hive? While far from exact, comparing relative abdomen width and length provides some insight into the workings of the hive. Relatively large abdomens are a good thing, unless it is a sign of dysentery and they are full of feces.

    I don't hear the term "condition" used much in beekeeping circles, but it is common for larger animals.
    What about weighing freshly emerged workers to assess fatbodies and overall health?
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  9. #48
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    Default Re: Super DFM - Honeybees



    forager bee on the left, nurse bee or winter bee on the right
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
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  10. #49
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    Default Re: Super DFM - Honeybees

    Thank you for asking about adding Super DFM ( direct fed microbial ) HoneyBee in patties.


    We have added this product DRY to Mega Bee DRY feeding in PVC tubes. (barrel feeding)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nntkTnTI4I8


    We have added this product to Wet Patties. We have added the product to open "bee feed" barrel feeding.

    After microbial analysis completed by the Strong Microbial Inc. team, we found the Microbe

    data indicates that you want the bacteria / yeast dry, so that when the honeybee consumes

    the microbials, They start to replicate inside the bee. you do not want the microbes to wake up

    and not find a place to replicate. Bacteria either is sleeping or growing or dying (starving).

    Based on the technical discussions with the microbiologists at Strong Microbials Inc. They would not want

    the bacteria to be wet before the honeybee consumes it.



    Concentration of viable bacteria in Honeybee DFM was determined using plating method on MRS agar.
    Bacteria were cultured semi-aerobically at 37 degrees Celsius for two days. Serial dilutions in peptone
    water were prepared to yield a dilution containing 25 to 250 colony forming units (CFUs).
    Honeybee DFM is expected to contain 250 000 000 CFU per gram of Lactic Acid Bacteria. All control
    samples met this level.

    Honeybee DFM dissolved in Sugar Syrup had considerably more bacteria than expected. This is attributed
    to germination and growth of bacteria in sugar syrup during sample preparation time. Dissolving bacteria
    in sugar syrup may be not optimal since germination will end up in bacteria using the nutrients, starvation,
    and susceptibility to antimicrobial compounds.

    Accordingly, mixing DFM with pollen substitute powder MegaBee did not cause loss of viability. This trial
    was also performed in Sugar Syrup with the same results (not shown). Therefore, MegaBee has no effect
    on DFM viability.





    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    David, I notice DFM-honeybees also incorporates enzymes into its treatment.

    ehoffma2, the treatment is directed as a dusting twice a year (as I understand, please correct me if thats wrong). Have they done any work incorporating this treatment into a patty?

    Also why is the only measure of efficacy being winter survival. An increase of colony winter survival is our main objective but its a terrible measure of efficacy. To many variable involved in this equation (many being beekeeper variables) to make this a tangible measurement. By using winter survival as the measure of efficacy it makes the product sound like snake oil, as "better winter survival" is merely a buzz word or catch phrasing. And maybe that's what they want as thats all they have right now, with substantial test results in the future...?

    As a beekeeper using a product like this, I would be using it to achieve a certain objective. My objective would be to create a healthier digestive tract to help fight off Nosema, to aid in the digestion and utilization of bee food which would help create a healthier broodnest.
    These objectives are measurable. Nosema counts between treated and non treated colonies is extremely easy. And if the product works there should be a measurable difference between the two groups, right? Examining the brood nest and comparing the brood condition would be difficult to gauge but if conditions improve in the treated colonies to the point where the study finds winter losses are noticeably decreasing, they should be able to find differences in the broodnest and in the bee's fat reserves themselves.

    I often wonder if the difference beekeepers find with fall feeding colonies is exactly the fact that they are paying attention to the hives disease needs and actually providing the bees with food as compared not handling disease and leaving the bees to mal nourished...
    HOw much of these variable is exactly that and nothing to do with adding ProBiotics and enzymes and yeasts and and and...

    Just thinking out loud again. This forum is a great place for that.
    What do you think?
    20 plus years with the bees and counting - Michigan - 50 hives - Buckfast Queens - Pollination and Nucs.

  11. #50
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    Default Re: Super DFM - Honeybees

    Quote Originally Posted by JBJ View Post
    What about weighing freshly emerged workers to assess fatbodies and overall health?
    It is a good thought. Worker body size can be related to overall colony health and nutrition, but is also influenced by cell size.

    Abdomen size is just a rough indicator. I still remember the first time I walked into a cell builder yard with a queen producer and said they should be producing some nice cells right now as it looks like the flow is on. He looked at me and asked how can you tell that you just got here? I said at the size of the abdomens on those returning foragers. The thorax does not change in size, but the abdomen does, so it is relative to the time of year and colony conditions.
    Last edited by JSL; 12-18-2014 at 04:24 PM.
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  12. #51
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    Default Re: Super DFM - Honeybees

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    JUST FEED THE BEES.
    I think it really is that simple. If beekeepers want honey bees to perform and produce like livestock, why not treat them as such? I like to think of colony stores and reserves as their "fat layer". Honey is after all a high energy reserve. Make sure it is in the hive and you should have fat in the bees. Run out of reserves in the hive and bees will metabolize the remaining energy in the body. When that is gone, your hive is dead.
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  13. #52
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    Default Re: Super DFM - Honeybees

    Quote Originally Posted by JBJ View Post
    weighing freshly emerged workers to assess fatbodies and overall health?
    Key word here "freshly emerged".
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  14. #53
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    Default Re: Super DFM - Honeybees

    Quote Originally Posted by ehoffma2 View Post
    Thank you for asking about adding Super DFM ( direct fed microbial ) HoneyBee in patties.
    well, your welcome

    Quote Originally Posted by ehoffma2 View Post
    We have added this product to Wet Patties. We have added the product to open "bee feed" barrel feeding.

    After microbial analysis completed by the Strong Microbial Inc. team, we found the Microbe

    data indicates that you want the bacteria / yeast dry, so that when the honeybee consumes

    the microbials, They start to replicate inside the bee. you do not want the microbes to wake up

    and not find a place to replicate. Bacteria either is sleeping or growing or dying (starving).

    Based on the technical discussions with the microbiologists at Strong Microbials Inc. They would not want

    the bacteria to be wet before the honeybee consumes it.
    Thank you for that response ehoffma2.

    So according to the Microbiologists at Strong Microbials Inc, microbials are best left dormant until immediate consumption by the bees. This practice will preserve the bacteria's viability.

    That runs along the same lines as what has been suggested with our silage inoculant.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
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  15. #54
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    Default Re: Super DFM - Honeybees

    This is the URL link to the "Establishment of Characteristic Gut Bacteria during Development of the Honeybee Worker" - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3318792/

    The A. mellifera gut bacteria encounter a physically and nutritionally variable environment due to the complex development and social behavior of this insect. Furthermore, the adult gut is divided into four major organs (crop, midgut, ileum, and rectum), providing different functions in the catabolism and absorption of food and different environments for bacterial symbionts (5, 51). Adult workers perform a succession of tasks as they age, which may expose them to different microorganisms: young bees nurse larvae within the hive, whereas older bees forage pollen and nectar from flowers outside the hive (1, 17, 49). In contrast to adults, larval A. mellifera have a discontinuous gut in which the foregut (crop and midgut) is not connected to the hindgut (ileum and rectum) until just before pupation, when they excrete dietary waste for the first time (51). Larvae reside within a single brood cell where nurse workers feed them a highly nutritional glandular secretion with small amounts of pollen and honey (62).

    In this study, we use culture-independent methods to enumerate and visualize the microbiota of different gut organs and of bees of different ages. We focus on three abundant phylotypes within the A. mellifera gut microbiota.

    It is my understanding that Fat Body creation is linked to microbial activity
    20 plus years with the bees and counting - Michigan - 50 hives - Buckfast Queens - Pollination and Nucs.

  16. #55
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    Default Re: Super DFM - Honeybees

    Quote Originally Posted by JSL View Post
    and reserves as their "fat layer". Honey is after all a high energy reserve.
    I like the line of thinking here. The practicality of measuring the fat in the bee is not there, other than somehow helping determine the efficacy of differing feed treatments. It is that measurement of fat content is what beekeepers are targeting while slapping feed onto the hive.
    cool to talk about though,
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
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  17. #56
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    Default Re: Super DFM - Honeybees

    Quote Originally Posted by ehoffma2 View Post

    It is my understanding that Fat Body creation is linked to microbial activity
    I always relate things back to the cattle operation because that is what I'm familiar with. I also talk through things to help better understand it.

    The reason we add bacteria to the silage pile is not because it not there already, it because there may not be enough of the certain kind we want or spread through out evenly enough to achieve uniform efficacy during the ensilage process. Same thing when we inoculate alfalfa, soybeans and peas. We are ensuring populations are adequate.

    The same theory applies to feeding bacteria to bees. NOt because its not there, its becasue we need to ensure there is enough of it there. And knowing the bees are living in an environment stressing their ability to keep healthy, perhaps the reason many infections take hold is because of the lack of inadequate bacteria in their hind gut.

    Just thinking outloud. I buy into the whole theory behind it. we need real performance indicators to help prove its efficacy.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
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  18. #57
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    Default Re: Super DFM - Honeybees

    Maybe heater bees need something more than just carbohydrates.
    Can a Heater Bee be a skinny bee ? or must a Heater Bee be a Fat bee ?

    Fat Bodies (VITELLOGENIN) are a cross between fat and protein.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitellogenin

    The gene vitellogenin affects microRNA regulation in honey bee

    (Apis mellifera) fat body and brain.

    URL Link to - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23788711

    In honey bees, vitellogenin (Vg) is hypothesized to be a major factor affecting hormone signaling, food-related behavior, immunity, stress resistance and lifespan.

    This is also what is in the book "the buzz about bees"

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Buzz-about.../dp/3540787275
    20 plus years with the bees and counting - Michigan - 50 hives - Buckfast Queens - Pollination and Nucs.

  19. #58
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    Default Re: Super DFM - Honeybees

    Honey bee colony vitality

    URL Link to PDF file - http://www.bijenhouders.nl/files/Bij...0sept%2012.pdf
    20 plus years with the bees and counting - Michigan - 50 hives - Buckfast Queens - Pollination and Nucs.

  20. #59
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    Default Re: Super DFM - Honeybees

    ehoffma2,

    Very interesting presentation, thanks for sharing!
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  21. #60
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    Default Re: Super DFM - Honeybees

    Quote Originally Posted by ehoffma2 View Post
    Maybe heater bees need something more than just carbohydrates.
    Can a Heater Bee be a skinny bee ? or must a Heater Bee be a Fat bee ?
    You are right...Heater bees, just like all bees in the hive need more than just carbohydrates. But for heating purposes, they only need and use honey.
    Can a heater bee be a skinny bee? I would say yes, as long as she has honey available as fuel. Heater bees are present in a normal hive all the time, in every season. They warm up the brood nest not only in the winter. Carbohydrates are the fuel for warming.

    Remember the concept of temporal polyethism in honey bees...look it up.
    Have you ever noticed some cold days in the spring and even in the summer, when bees don't fly, but just sit in the hive? If needed, and the temperature drop requires more heat generation, to maintain the nest at 35 C, even the adult foragers can and do join in the process of warming up the nest.

    The adult foragers have lost all or most of the vitellogenin by the time they become foragers. But, that does not mean they cannot become heater bees if and as needed. Skinny or not...Well, skinnier than they were when they were nurse bees.

    Vitellogenin plays many critical functions indeed and it plays into a lot of feed back loops that take place in a "super organism" that a bee colony is.
    Nurse bees are loaded with it, and here I quote from Randy Oliver's site:

    "The quality of the jelly is dependent upon the vitellogenin levels of those nurses. Even just a few days of rain results in an almost total loss of pollen stores, forcing the nurse bees to dig into their vitellogenin reserves. When protein levels drop, nurse bees neglect young larvae, and preferentially feed those close to being capped. When protein levels drop lower, nurses cannibalize eggs and middle aged larvae. The protein in this cannibalized brood is recycled back into jelly. Nurses will also perform early capping of larvae resulting in low body weight bees emerging later."

    Role in the bee "immunity" ? Absolutely yes.
    But here is an interesting twist that again points to that concept of temporal polyethism...
    From Randy again:

    "What’s happening is that the honeybee has figured out ways to keep most of the precious protein stores within the hive, and since vitellogenin is necessary for immune function (Amdam 2005a), the colony delegates the risky task of foraging to the oldest bees, who have depleted their vitellogenin levels. Indeed, if older bees are forced to revert to nurse behavior, and build up their protein reserves, their immune level also increases again!"


    Onto the "fat" bees of winter...
    Back to Randy:

    "When broodrearing is curtailed in fall, the emerging workers tank up on pollen, and since they have no brood to feed, they store all that good food in their bodies, thus preparing themselves for a long life through the winter. These well-nourished, long-lived bees have been called “fat” bees (Sommerville 2005; Mussen 2007). Fat bees are chock-full of vitellogenin. Understanding the concept of fat bees is key to colony health, successful wintering, spring buildup, and honey production."

    Fat Bodies (VITELLOGENIN) are a cross between fat and protein.
    One more thing in that "cross". Vitellogenin is classed as a “glycolipoprotein,” meaning that is has properties of sugar (glyco, 2%), fat (lipo, 7%), and protein (91%)

    In honey bees, vitellogenin (Vg) is hypothesized to be a major factor affecting hormone signaling, food-related behavior, immunity, stress resistance and lifespan.
    This is also what is in the book "the buzz about bees"
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Buzz-about.../dp/3540787275
    The Buzz about Bees...Great book indeed. But you know what? In the whole book, the word vitellogenin does not appear once. Not in the book I have. Nor does bee bread or fat bodies for that matter.
    But, the book, amongst other things, does a great job describing heater bees and how they keep that nest of theirs warm and toasty using honey for fuel. See page 216.( Sweet Kisses for Hot Bees).

    Not to be off topic in the end...I think DFM as a concept, is great and I think soon, it will become something very common in the beekeping vocabulary.

    I apologize if this was too long.

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