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Relationships between consumption of a pollen supplement honey production and brood rearing in colonies of honey bees apis mellifera 2

Relationships between consumption of a pollen supplement honey production and brood rearing in colonies of honey bees apis mellifera 2

Apidologie 11(4): 367-374

During a year-long field test of a commercial pollen supplement, its consumption did not influence brood reaging in colonies that received the supplement during a pollen deficient honeyflow from Eucalyptus leucoxylon. Productivity in these colonies at 63.782 kg of honey/colony and 1.04 g of honey/bee was significantly higher than the 25.513 kg/colony and 0.44 g of honey/bee in colones that did not receive the supplement. Failure of the supplement to influence brood rearing is ascribed to its low protein and high sugar content when compared with stored pollen on a total food basis and to the fact that it did not present the specific stimuli that elicit the pollen-feeding behavior pattern in nurse bees. Its influence on productivity is probably due to the fact that bees that consumed the supplement had higher body protein at the onset of foraging. Since the nectar of E. leucoxylon contains minimal amounts of pollen, bees foraging for nectar did not obtain adventitious protein from pollen filtered out of the nectar in their honey stomachs. With higher initial levels of body protein, foragers from the treatment colonies had longer lifespans and were more productive than bees from the control colonies. Research on the development and use of artificial diets for honeybees are discussed.

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