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Bee Nutrition

Light or Heavy Syrup For Drawing Foundation?

First published in: American Bee Journal, September 2016

Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com 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 to whether bees would better draw foundation on heavy or light syrup. Principal […]

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

First published in: American Bee Journal, August 2016

Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com 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 that my colonies actually responded quite favorably to supplemental feeding with syrup. And sometimes, giving a building […]

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Probiotics and Colony Productivity

First published in: American Bee Journal, February 2016

Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com 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 we learn more and more about the symbiotic microbial communities that […]

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Reevaluating Beebread: Part 3

First published in: American Bee Journal, December 2015

For Preservation or Digestion? Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com 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 Of Hive-Stored Pollen Dr. Anderson’s Conclusions Summary Next References And […]

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Reevaluating Beebread: Part 2

First published in: American Bee Journal, November 2015

The Players Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com 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 of genetic and genomic approaches has revealed a bacterial world […]

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Reevaluating Beebread: Part 1

First published in: American Bee Journal, October 2015

“The Story” Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com 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; and beekeepers are no different. Historically, beekeepers embraced fanciful myths […]

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When To Feed Pollen Sub

First published in: American Bee Journal November 2014

Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com 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 ScientificBeekeeping.com 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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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

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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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 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 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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