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feeding just dry milk powder?

3715 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  psfred
I have a jar of Nido powder (dry whole milk) that isn't going to get used. I see that dry milk is an ingredient in pollen patties a lot. I wonder if just the milk powder would be any use to them without the brewers yeast and soy flour (usual other ingredients)
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Just as amino acids for humans must be balanced, unless bees get their essential amino acids in the correct proportion, any "excess proportion" is simply wasted. The multiple protein sources are mixed to provide the bee necessary proportion of amino acids.

Dry milk is very high in lactose, and lactose is specifically toxic to bees -- they are "lactose intolerant"

Dry milk is moderately high in ash -- (5-7%). Bee bread is 3% ash, and 8% ash is damaging.

The Australian guide has a great "plain english" discussion of this issue.
FAT BEES SKINNY BEES -a manual on honey bee nutrition for beekeepers-,d.cGE

On lactose intolerance:,d.cGE
Bummer, scratch that idea then.
There are many sub recipes, and dry milk powder is a constant in them. Pick up some soy and brewers to combine with the free milk, and put together a patty. In a dearth the bees will collect chicken scratch, and your milk has got to be better than corn meal.
Here they tested only powdered milk - Low brood rearing
But mix it with something and it has good results 2.pdf

If you have a pollen sub just mix it in about 5%. I had a sub that the bees were not eating quick enough so I have added some dried milk and they liked it better.
They must have felt the disturbance in the force and were hauling in tons of yellow pollen today. gotta love a hive i can sit 3' to the side of the entrance at ground level and watch. Am I the only one that is a little amused by midair collisions the landing board from bad air traffic control?
I can watch them for hours, or until a guard bee decides I need to move along. Endlessly fascinating.

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