Electrolyte/Vitamin Supplements
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 25
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,245

    Default Electrolyte/Vitamin Supplements

    For those who may use supplements in feeding, specifically sugar bricks, do you have any recommendations on the ingredients/percentages? Recommendations on a brand? It would be really great if you had something to back up your opinion on what to choose. It would be fantastic if you could recommend a product sold by Tractor Supply or Agway.
    I have done some reading on bee nutrition and I am somewhat convinced that electrolytes and vitamins in small doses may be beneficial, so will add some to my next batch of Lauri's Sugar Bricks. I remember someone referring to the electrolytes she adds but I would have to buy it online. I would think Tractor Supply or Agway would have something equivalent. I order things online naturally, but if its available locally, I prefer to support them. Also curious if anyone uses these supplements at other times (pollen patties, sugar water) and with struggling hives. Thanks, J

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,130

    Default Re: Electrolyte/Vitamin Supplements

    J, I have been using the Agrilabs Vitamins and Electrolytes Plus supplement for about a year now. 1/4 tsp per 10# of sugar. No need to use it when feeding Ultrabee powder or patties as they contain the same vitamins. A bag is really inexpensive, like 4 bucks, and will last a season or two depending on how much you feed. I cannot say for sure that it helps, but the bees sure seem healthier to me, ie, more vigorous and prolific (no observer bias here).
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    1,147

    Default Re: Electrolyte/Vitamin Supplements

    I've always wondered if making your sugar bricks with Gatorade would be sufficient?
    Zone 6B

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,130

    Default Re: Electrolyte/Vitamin Supplements

    Other than water and sugars, Gatorade contains primarily sodium and potassium which are the electrolytes lost when sweating. No vitamins or trace elements.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    8,157

    Default Re: Electrolyte/Vitamin Supplements

    Just wondering where the science is about adding electrolytes/vitamins to winter feed.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    1,634

    Default Re: Electrolyte/Vitamin Supplements

    People who are contemplating adding proprietary additives to bee feed could do a lot worse that check out the typical constituents of pollen and nectar - both of which contain an extensive cocktail of compounds (including 'electrolytes').

    Sometimes I wonder how bees have managed to survive for so long, without the assistance of human beings ...
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    havana fl
    Posts
    1,400

    Default Re: Electrolyte/Vitamin Supplements

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Just wondering where the science is about adding electrolytes/vitamins to winter feed.
    Getting kind of crazy with folks feeding bananas to their bees toooooooo :-)
    Iím really not that serious

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,130

    Default Re: Electrolyte/Vitamin Supplements

    In the paper " Fat Bees, Skinney Bees" page 8 references the need for vitamins A, K, and the B- complex for brood rearing. While honey and pollen have these present in varying quatities, I am quite certain the sugar syrup I am feeding them does not. Due to monocrop agricultural practices, bees are forced to subsist on a limited variety of pollens. This also can limit the amounts of vitamins, trace elements, and lipids available to them. Bee nutrition is poorly understood and much research needs to be done. But, there are definite links between proper nutrition, immune system response, and brooding. The UltraBee pollen sub contains most all of the same ingredients (no K) as well as a few others the V&E plus does not have. Randy Oliver's testing of pollen subs showed this was the best sub on the market. Wonder why?

    What could possibly go wrong with eating a nice honey and banana sandwich before going out to work the bees?
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    1,634

    Default Re: Electrolyte/Vitamin Supplements

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Due to monocrop agricultural practices, bees are forced to subsist on a limited variety of pollens. This also can limit the amounts of vitamins, trace elements, and lipids available to them.
    Evidence ?

    I live in the heart of brassica country - surrounded by hundreds of thousands of acres of cabbages, cauliflowers, sprouts, and sugar beet. Same crops in the same fields year after year - it couldn't possibly get more monoculture than this.

    Yet the bees somehow bring in pollen by the bucketful, all year long - with the huge variations in pollen colour telling me that it's originating from numerous sources, including (I assume) trees, weeds and grasses. Couldn't get any better.

    If only nectar was as abundant ...
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,130

    Default Re: Electrolyte/Vitamin Supplements

    Corn, wheat, soybeans, repeat. No fields of alfalfa, clover, or anything else that is good. But, in between the fields are woods, lots of them. Lack of pollen variation is not as much of a problem for me. That the pollen flow shuts off in mid Sept is. I feed, I add vitamins, and my bees are doing better this year than last, for whatever reason. The OP had made it clear that they had decided to add supplements and just wanted to know how much and which brands other beeks were using. A discussion of the merits of using vitamin supplements is is best left to the scientific types on Bee-L.
    Maybe when Randy gets done with his varroa trials, he could start looking into this.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,245

    Default Re: Electrolyte/Vitamin Supplements

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Just wondering where the science is about adding electrolytes/vitamins to winter feed.
    I would like to see this also. Some of your comments at lectures about lack of forage and forage diversity being a big factor in bee health actually got me thinking about this. I have also read comments here about a study that suggests that late summer/fall pollen such as goldenrod is not especially good. I want to say that there was a finding that there was a drop in protein, but I am relying on memory and can't find the discussion.
    Another thing that got me thinking about this is my daughter's hives in southern Vt. They just never "took off", yet show no signs of disease. Yes, a bad queen could be a factor in the nuc she got, but I gave her the other hive with a good, proven queen and it never built up like I would expect. Randy Oliver suspects that nutrition may be a factor in hives such as these. J

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    1,634

    Default Re: Electrolyte/Vitamin Supplements

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Maybe when Randy gets done with his varroa trials, he could start looking into this.
    http://scientificbeekeeping.com/fat-bees-part-2/ already covers much of this. Randy makes a clear distinction between commercial beekeepers who pollinate almonds and who really do need to provide feed supplements because of this particular activity - and hobbyists who's bees invariably have access to a much greater variety of pollen.

    In the above web-page he makes a couple of key points:
    1) that if your colony is raising drones, then the level of protein intake is adequate.
    2) that the best additive - by far - is natural pollen, trapped when there is an abundance entering the hive, dried and stored for later use. He also makes the point that ALL known artificial formulations are deficient, and require the addition of natural pollen to rectify their shortcomings.

    There's even a photograph on that web-page with the legend: "A colorful mixture of pollen will generally ensure optimum nutrition." - which is exactly the point I made earlier.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,130

    Default Re: Electrolyte/Vitamin Supplements

    LJ, I agree wholeheartedly with what you are saying. The only way to know for sure that you are getting that diversification though is to watch the bees throughout the year and see what they are bringing in. Since the floral sources are very dependent upon locale, even a few miles can make the difference. Here in VA, the flow lasts for about 6-8 weeks and after July 1st, there is nothing coming in. We get some pollen in Sept but very little nectar. Feeding our bees for six months out of the year is just we have to do. When the bees are taking the sub, you know there is nothing else out there for them. This year our primary source of both nectar and pollen, the tulip poplar tree, got hit with high winds that stripped the blooms from the trees. Many in my club had a poor to no honey harvest this year. My hives have almost no stored pollen other than the sub I am giving them now. FiveJ's daughter may have had a similar problem up in VT. Who knows? I prefer to err on the side of safety and hope that next year won't be a repeat of this one.

    It is Randy's study of pollen subs that caused me to start using UltraBee. But I don't think he has done anything with regards to vitamin supplements in syrup yet. Maybe because in many areas of the country (world) there is no need.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Keene, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: Electrolyte/Vitamin Supplements

    To answer the OP's question:a package of Agrilabs Vitamins & Electrolytes "Plus" will last you a lifetime. I got mine at Agway to put in my baby chicks' water. I believe it is the same one that Laurie used - at least the picture on the package is the same.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,245

    Default Re: Electrolyte/Vitamin Supplements

    Thanks VickyLynn. I will check at Agway. J

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Hartford Ohio
    Posts
    100

    Default Re: Electrolyte/Vitamin Supplements

    JW Palmer: After reading his various studies on pollen sub I am using ultra bee. Am I wrong, didn't it come out ahead on far more of his studies? I thought mega bee only came to the top once?
    Last edited by edzkoda; 11-05-2018 at 07:51 PM. Reason: left out

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,130

    Default Re: Electrolyte/Vitamin Supplements

    The Mann Lake Ultra bee was the best of the pollen subs and came closest to the performance of natural pollen if I remember correctly. I think LJ's point about harvesting natural pollen when is abundant, and feeding it back to the bees later when it is not, is a good one. In my case however, I am raising bees. The flow is over by the time my splits are strong enough to actively forage and the extra pollen brought in by the hives is going into the spilts. Since this was my first year raising queens and making agressive splits, I am still working on timing. More queens earlier and maybe I can catch the tail end of the flow and not have to feed so much?
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Melrose Park, IL, USA
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: Electrolyte/Vitamin Supplements

    Quote Originally Posted by Fivej View Post
    I have also read comments here about a study that suggests that late summer/fall pollen such as goldenrod is not especially good. I want to say that there was a finding that there was a drop in protein, but I am relying on memory and can't find the discussion.
    I heard a news story on NPR about lower levels of protein in pollen due to higher CO2. I did a quick google on it and this was near the top of the results.

    https://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/rele...-for-bees.html

    ks

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,245

    Default Re: Electrolyte/Vitamin Supplements

    That may be the study I heard about. Thanks KS

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Hartford Ohio
    Posts
    100

    Default Re: Electrolyte/Vitamin Supplements

    I wished it gave more details, although I do tend to agree with it.
    "Our work suggests there is a strong possibility that decreases in pollen protein could contribute to declines in bee health, but we haven't yet made that final link," said Dukes, who is also director of the Purdue Climate Change Research Center housed in Discovery Park.

    I think this is huge research and tends to be showing that all pollen is good, or at the same levels. But can we do things to enhance the quality of the pollen?

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •