Bee Nutrition

When To Feed Pollen Sub

First published in: American Bee Journal November 2014

Randy Oliver Introduction Beekeepers often ask me at what time of the season they “should” [1] feed colonies pollen sub. My recent trial of pollen subs demonstrated the clear benefit of feeding patties of either natural pollen or artificial pollen substitutes in time of pollen dearth. However, it also indicated that there was no […]

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A Comparative Test Of The Pollen Subs

Randy Oliver Part 1: Experimental Design And Execution Introduction The growth and health of honey bee colonies is primarily dependent upon the availability of high-quality pollen. Pollen and its fermented form, beebread, is the colony’s primary source of protein, lipids, vitamins, minerals, and sterols [1]. When there is a dearth of quality pollen, colonies […]

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Fat Bees – Part 1

What if I told you that there was one amazing molecule in the honeybees’ bodies that allows them to store protein reserves, make royal jelly, promotes the longevity of queen and “winter” bees, is a part of their immune system, allows them to brood up in spring in the absence of pollen, and has an […]

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Fat Bees- Part 2

Now that we’re gaining an understanding of the role of vitellogenin in honeybee biology, how can we apply that knowledge to keep our bees healthier, to help them be more productive, and to improve the bottom line? by Randy Oliver The life of the honeybee colony is not all humming springtime bliss, with flowers aplenty, […]

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Fat Bees – Part 3

I’ve been focusing on the protein dynamics of the colony. But in order to encourage brood rearing, the colony also needs a nectar flow, or its equivalent. This brings us to the subject of the feeding of sugar syrup. Randy Oliver In my previous articles in the Fat Bees series I discussed the importance of […]

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Fat Bees – Part 4 Timing and tummy aches

No matter how well your bees are fed, the benefit will be moot if they’re unable to digest it! © Randy Oliver Syrup Additives I mentioned last article that light syrup ferments quickly in warm weather, and that bleach could be added to prevent this. There is scant information on the use of bleach to […]

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Pollen Supplement Formula

Update December 28, 2013 I am currently running a beekeeper-supported controlled trial of the major pollen supplements on the market, with a positive control of natural pollen, and a negative control of no protein feeding.  162 colonies total in the trial, 18 in each test group.  I’ve recently completed the first grading for strength.  The […]

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