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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been reading again (always a bad sign ;) ) and I've found some gems in an article by Zachary Huang from MSU:

"Adult bees can utilize glucose, fructose, sucrose, trehalose, maltose, and melezitose, but bees are unable to digest rhaminose, xylose, arabinose, galactose, mannose, lactose, raffinose, melibiose or stachyose. Most of these sugars are also toxic to honey bees. About 40% of sugars found in soybeans are toxic to bees, and therefore care should be taken when using soybeans as a pollen substitute. "
"A good pollen substitute for honey bees should have the same features as a good pollen: 1). palatability (bees will readily consume it), 2). Digestibility (it is easily digested by bees), and 3). Balance (it has the correct the amino acid balance and enough crude proteins). Currently there are four commercial pollen substitutes for honey bees in the U.S.: Bee-Pol®, Bee-Pro®, Feed-Bee®, and MegaBee®. It appears that Bee-Pro® is soy-based, and Feed-Bee® and MegaBee are non-soy-based. I have insufficient information for Bee-Pol."
"Gregory (2006) reported that for longevity inside small colonies of bees fed different diets, ranked by superiority: fresh pollen > Feed-Bee® > Bee-Pro® > old pollen. In cage studies, Feed-Bee® had similar hemolymph protein to fresh pollen. She also reported that Feed-Bee® contained 34.9 mg sucrose and 2.03 mg stachyose, while Bee-Pro® contained 8.85 mg sucrose and 4.55 mg stachyose. Stachyose is toxic to honey bees unless it is diluted to below 4% with 50% sucrose."
"Degrandi-Hoffman et al. (2008) evaluated three diets, Bee-Pro®, Feed-Bee®, and MegaBee®, in two separate trials. In both trials, Bee-Pro® and MegaBee® patties were consumed at rates similar to pollen cake, but Feed-Bee® was consumed significantly less. Higher food consumption was significantly correlated with increase in brood area and adult population size. According to this study, MegaBee appeared to be superior to both Bee-Pro® and Feed-Bee® in terms of brood production or adult population. "
I've been trying to learn at least something about bee nutrition because I know absolutely nothing. These are just a few notes that were kinda eye-popping for me.

The whole article is available here:

http://www.beeccdcap.uga.edu/documents/CAPArticle10.html

Rusty
 

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Rusty I'm glad you got this started I've been trying to find more info on this .Do we treat nutritional supplements like we do meds. for varroa and nosema , do beeks that are treatment free feel that most nutritional supplements are bad for the bee also. What heading do essential oils come under are they nutritional . It seems like bees could benefit from the right nutritional supplements at the right time of year , without hurting them . What are some of the supplements you guys are using for nutrition and sorry about all the questions !!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Laketrout, personally I do not consider EOs to be nutritional. I use them for mite control.

Nutritional stuff I do includes adding lemon juice or ascorbic acid when I make sugar syrup because it adjusts the pH and helps invert the sugar. In the past I fed Mega Bee as a pollen supplement (though I am now toying with the idea of making my own from scratch).

Right now I am reading about nutrition like crazy because I realized I had no idea what the value to the bees apple cider vinegar might be. I've read several posts touting it and did not have the background to know if it was worthwhile or not. I'm still reading on that score. So far I've learned that ACV has no vitamins, amino acids, lipids or fatty acids. It does have minerals and a small amount of carbs. It is acetic acid, not ascorbic acid (hence the 'no vitamins'). So I'm not as impressed as I was starting out.

I am still trying to discover what value electrolytes may have in bee nutrition, but so far I haven't found any research on it.

HTH

Rusty
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Rusty here is a article on HBH , whats your take on this product , pretty much essential oils mixed properly so as to to separate , I've read good and not so good reports on it.

http://www.wvu.edu/~agexten/varroa/honeyBhlth.htm
Years back--before HBH was being marketed--I followed the research from WVU and used it on my own hives with good results. I've changed my own formula a bit and my bees now are hygienic, which has an impact I'm sure on my results. Since I am also using powdered sugar, I tend to think it is the combination of all three of these factors that has contributed to my low mite numbers this season.

Rusty
 
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