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Bee Nutrition


An Experiment to Improve Pollen Sub: Part 2

Beekeeper-Funded Research An Experiment to Improve Pollen Sub: Part 2 Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First published in ABJ May 2020   In my last article I laid out the reason that I ran this experiment, and my two suspects for being the limiting nutrient in the artificial diet – the lack of an important sterol and/or a […]

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An Experiment to Improve Pollen Sub: Part 1

Beekeeper-Funded Research An Experiment to Improve Pollen Sub: Part 1 Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First published in ABJ April 2020   In my location, we may not see a drop of rain all summer long, so our colonies become pollen-starved. In order to prepare strong colonies for almond pollination, I used to move them to better forage […]

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Light or Heavy Syrup For Drawing Foundation?

First published in: American Bee Journal, September 2016

Light or Heavy Syrup For Drawing Foundation? Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First published in ABJ September 2016 Since I sell a large number of nucs each spring, I need to draw thousands of deep combs of foundation every year. But due to our drought in California, this this has become difficult. So I was curious as […]

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Is There A Multiplier Effect From The Feeding Of Sugar Syrup?

First published in: American Bee Journal, August 2016

Is There a Multiplier Effect from the Feeding of Sugar Syrup? Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First published in ABJ August 2016 I ran a few hundred hives for many years without feeding a drop of sugar syrup, due to my feeling that it was “unnatural.” In later years, as I questioned my idealistic notions, I found […]

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Probiotics and Colony Productivity

First published in: American Bee Journal, February 2016

Probiotics and Colony Productivity Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First Published in ABJ in February 2016 My apologies for skipping a month in this colony microbiota series—too much bee work and too many conferences to attend. But before I return to beebread, I’d like to share the results of a related study of my own. Probiotics As […]

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Reevaluating Beebread: Part 3 – For Preservation or Digestion?

First published in: American Bee Journal, December 2015

Reevaluating Beebread: Part 3 For Preservation or Digestion? Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First published in ABJ Dec 2015 CONTENTS Anderson’s Investigatory Approach Previous Research Identification Of The Microbes Involved (via DNA Sequencing) Bacterial Abundance During The Fermentation Process Nurse Bee Feeding Preference By Age Of Beebread The Pollen To Microbe Biomass Ratio The Degree Of Digestion […]

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Reevaluating Beebread: Part 2 – The Players

First published in: American Bee Journal, November 2015

Reevaluating Beebread: Part 2 The Players Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First published in ABJ Nov 2015 CONTENTS Why Do Bees Go To Such Effort To Prepare Pollen In This Manner? Which Microorganisms Are Involved? Establishment Of Nest And Gut Microbiota What About Antibiotics? Next Acknowledgements References And Notes In the last two decades, the widespread application […]

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Reevaluating Beebread: Part 1- The “Story”

First published in: American Bee Journal, October 2015

Reevaluating Beebread: Part 1 The “Story” Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First published in ABJ Oct 2015 CONTENTS Introduction The Heyday Of Bee Research Pollen And Beebread The Roots Of A Beguiling Story Doubting Thomases (Skeptical Questioning) Enter Dr. Kirk Anderson Acknowledgements References and Notes People feel compelled to come up with explanations for what they observe; […]

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When To Feed Pollen Sub

First published in: American Bee Journal November 2014

When To Feed Pollen Sub Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First published in ABJ in November 2014 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 […]

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A Comparative Test Of The Pollen Subs (Part 1 & 2)

A Comparative Test Of The Pollen Subs (Part 1 & 2) Part 1: Experimental Design And Execution Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com This article was originally published in the July – Sept 2014 ABJs    Introduction The growth and health of honey bee colonies is primarily dependent upon the availability of high-quality pollen. Pollen and its fermented […]

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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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Fat Bees – Part 4 Timing and Tummy Aches

Fat Bees – Part 4 Timing and Tummy Aches © Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First Published in ABJ in December 2007   No matter how well your bees are fed, the benefit will be moot if they’re unable to digest it! Syrup Additives I mentioned last article that light syrup ferments quickly in warm weather, and […]

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Fat Bees – Part 3

Fat Bees – Part 3 Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First Published in ABJ in November 2007 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 […]

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Fat Bees- Part 2

Fat Bees- Part 2 Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First Published in September 2007 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 […]

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Fat Bees – Part 1

Fat Bees – Part 1 Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First Published in ABJ in August 2007 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, […]

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