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Relationships between consumption of a pollen supplement honey production and brood rearing in colonies of honey bees apis mellifera 1



Relationships between consumption of a pollen supplement honey production and brood rearing in colonies of honey bees apis mellifera 1



Apidologie 11(4): 361-366



Results of a year-long field test of a commercial pollen supplement were analyzed to examine the relationships between consumption of the supplement, honey production and brood rearing in the test colonies. The supplement had no significant effect on brood rearing and did not make any major contribution to the nutrition of the larvae. Colonies that received the supplement produced 38% more honey/colony and 28% more honey/bee than the colonies that received no supplementary food. The failure of the supplement to influence brood rearing was due to the absence of specific phago-stimulants to elicit pollen feeding behavior in nurse bees and to its high content of total sugars and low content of crude protein. The supplement was consumed by bees that had completed the broodrearing phase of adult life and were responding to sugars in the food. In consuming the supplement the bees obtained additional protein and had higher body protein at the onset of foraging. This enhanced their longevity and productivity per bee and per colony.

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