Effect of Pollen Substitutes on Brood Rearing Activity in Honeybee Colonies

Journal of Plant Protection and Pathology, June 2016

Brood rearing in honeybee colonies is a major factor in apiary production and affected by colony feeding in nature on nectar and pollen. However, supplementary feeding was developed by many investigators in order to increase the number of workers in the colony whenever needed to improve the productivity of commercial apiaries.

Pollen, nectar and water are the usual diet of honeybee (Free, 1957). Haydac and Dietz (1979) found that during a dearth period the number of colonies of bees may decrease, adversely affecting the production of honey in the following season. Pollen substitutes are often used to produce package bees, queens, and increase the number of foraging bees. Yeast, dry milk and soya bean flour makes adequate pollen substitutes, but not equal pollen as feed bees.

To overcome the shortage of pollen and nectar during the dearth period, various diets are provided as pollen substitute. A pollen substitute suggested by Steve (1981) consists of soya bean flour (55%), sugar (25%), yeast (5%), milk powder (5%) and water (10%).

There are various supplementary diets advocated and commercially available, but most appear to be variously nutritionally poor or unpalatable and are not well tested. Based on the principles of dietetics (Jouanin 2000, Carter 2003, Dadant 2000), knowledge of pollen chemistry and biochemistry. Pollen substitutes have the ability to enhance the performance of honeybee colonies.

Pollen grains are the main source of protein, fat, vitamins and minerals. The protein content of pollen ranges from 7- 40% (Johanson &Johnson 1977). There are several investigations for mulcted number of pollen substitutes as it helps much in maintaining colonies with sufficient brood area during the whole season, i.e., Mohanna, 1977; Abd El-Aziz 1992; Awadi 1998; Mohammad 2002, pollen insures the growth of colonies because it provides protein to adult bees and stimulants brood rearing (Hoffman et at 2008).

The present investigation aimed to evaluate some pollen substitute to help the beekeeper to solve the problem of short supply or low pollen availability during dearth period of flowering plants.

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Feedbee Patty (NZ)
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  • 3.9% Fat
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  • 3.1% Minerals

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