[permaculture] Fat Bees Skinny Bees

Lawrence F. London, Jr. lfl at intrex.net
Sat Mar 10 20:08:12 EST 2007


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [SANET-MG] Fat Bees Skinny Bees
Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2007 19:34:58 -0500
From: Joel Gruver <jgruv at HOTMAIL.COM>
To: SANET-MG at LISTS.IFAS.UFL.EDU

Hello folks,

While discussing CCD and other challenges facing beekeepers with my dad (a
beekeeper for over 30 years) this afternoon, he mentioned that he was eager
to get a copy of a recent Australian publication about honeybee nutrition
titled "Fat Bees Skinny Bees".

My parents have extensive plantings of bee forages on their farm in Maryland
and have thought quite a bit about how to increase the quantity and quality
of nectar and pollen available throughout the foraging season. Last year
they harvested 8 supers (~ 240 lbs of honey) from their most productive
hive.

Perhaps improved nutrition is an underutilized option available to
beekeepers confronting so many challenges today.

A link for downloading "Fat Bees Skinny Bees" , an executive summary and the
table of contents are copied below.

Joel

Joel Gruver
Dept of Agriculture
Western Illinois University
jgruv at hotmail.com

***********************************************************
>
>http://www.rirdc.gov.au/reports/HBE/05-054.pdf
>
>Summary of full report
>
>      FAT BEES SKINNY BEES
>      - a manual on honey bee nutrition for beekeepers
>
>      By Doug Somerville
>
>      Livestock Officer (Apiculture) NSW Department of Primary Industries 
>Goulburn
>
>      RIRDC Publication No 05/054 RIRDC Project No DAN-186A
>
>
>Executive summary
>      The publication, Fat Bees/Skinny Bees, is a manual on honey bee 
>nutrition for beekeepers. It provides information on the known essential 
>chemical requirements of honey bees including the components of nectar and 
>pollen. Pollens with a protein level around 25% or greater have been 
>recognised as excellent quality pollens, those less than 20% have been 
>described as of a poor quality. Australia has had more pollens analysed 
>than any other country, and for the first time all of the profiles of the 
>analysis are presented, representing 183 species. There is some evidence 
>that pollens from the same genus, i.e., closely related plants, exhibit 
>similar nutritional values in regards to pollen chemical composition.
>
>      Lack of nectar or stored honey presents the beekeeper with various 
>sets of problems.
>
>      These scenarios are discussed with the most appropriate course of 
>action. Likewise, lack of pollen or poor quality pollen creates its own set 
>of problems, often exacerbated by the stimulus of a nectar flow. How to 
>recognise the need to provide pollen supplement and the circumstances which 
>may lead a beekeeper to invest in this practice are discussed.
>
>      Some facts about honey bee nutrition include; nectar flows stimulate 
>hygienic behaviour; total protein intake is what should be considered, not 
>so much the individual chemical properties of individual pollens; fats in 
>pollen act as strong attractants to foraging bees, although increasing 
>concentrations in pollen limit brood rearing; vitamins are very unstable 
>and deteriorate in stored pollen; principal cause of winter losses is 
>starvation, not cold.
>
>      Pollination and queen rearing present their own set of management 
>issues in relation to supplementary feeding and managing nutritional 
>stress. Stimulating colonies in both circumstances with strategic 
>application of supplements can be very beneficial. Lack of fresh pollen has 
>a major negative effect on the rearing of drones.
>
>      Means of preparing and feeding sugar and pollen supplements are 
>presented in different chapters. Our knowledge on pollen supplements is 
>limited, but this area has received a great deal of attention. On the other 
>hand, sugar syrup feeding is a commonly practised management tool in many 
>countries including the state of Tasmania, yet not on the Australian 
>mainland.
>
>      The information provided in this manual should provide most 
>beekeepers with enough information to seriously consider providing sugar 
>syrup to bees in the future as a means of manipulating bee behaviour. As 
>the costs and returns of beekeeping change, the option of sugar syrup 
>feeding may prove to be an alternative to moving apiaries further afield in 
>search of breeding conditions.
>
>      Forty four case studies of beekeepers from every state in Australia 
>and two from New Zealand are provided as examples on what is being 
>practised by commercial beekeepers. They are not necessarily getting it 
>right, but by trial and error, are improving the way they manage bees and 
>ultimately improving the profitability of their beekeeping enterprise.
>
>CONTENTS Page
>Foreword 
>......................................................................................................................... 
>iii
>Acknowledgements 
>......................................................................................................... 
>iv
>Executive 
>Summary....................................................................................................... 
>vii
>1. Introduction 
>..............................................................................................................1
>Nectar 
>..............................................................................................................3
>Pollen: - Chemical 
>composition........................................................................4
>- Protein 
>................................................................................................4
>- Amino acids 
>........................................................................................5
>- 
>Fat......................................................................................................6
>- Minerals 
>..............................................................................................7
>- Vitamins 
>..............................................................................................8
>2. Nutrition Management 
>.............................................................................................9
>Lack of 
>nectar/honey...........................................................................................9
>- Winter 
>requirements...........................................................................9
>- Drought management 
>.......................................................................11
>Lack of 
>pollen....................................................................................................11
>Pollination 
>..........................................................................................................13
>Queen 
>rearing...................................................................................................15
>3. Sugar — 
>Supplements..........................................................................................18
>Preparation 
>........................................................................................................19
>Frequency of feeding sugar 
>...............................................................................20
>Sugar feeders 
>....................................................................................................21
>- Frame 
>feeders..................................................................................21
>- Bottle or tin 
>feeders..........................................................................22
>- Bucket feeders 
>..................................................................................23
>- Tray 
>feeders.....................................................................................24
>- Plastic 
>bags......................................................................................25
>- Open feeders 
>....................................................................................25
>- Other 
>devices...................................................................................26
>Pests 
>............................................................................................................26
>Sugar versus alternatives 
>..................................................................................26
>- Detrimental 
>sugars...........................................................................27
>4. Pollen — 
>Supplements/Substitutes.....................................................................28
>When to 
>feed.....................................................................................................28
>Pollen 
>............................................................................................................29
>Bee bread 
>..........................................................................................................30
>Choice of ingredients 
>.........................................................................................30
>- Soy 
>flour...........................................................................................31
>Recipes 
>............................................................................................................32
>Making/Mixing...................................................................................................33
>Feeding/Placement of 
>supplement....................................................................34
>History 
>............................................................................................................35
>5. Economics 
>............................................................................................................37
>Cost versus benefit 
>............................................................................................37
>Contamination...................................................................................................38
>Experimental design 
>..........................................................................................39
>6. Pollen Chemical 
>Composition..............................................................................42
>Published crude protein, amino acid, mineral and fat
>contents of honey-bee collected pollens in Australia
>7. Case 
>Studies..........................................................................................................85
>Western Australia
>John Davies, Peter Detchon, Harry East, Colin Fleay,
>Ron Jasper, Rod Pavy, Bob Power, Steve Richards
>South Australia
>Leigh Duffield, John Fuss, Geoff Smith, Graham Wagenfeller
>Tasmania
>Ken Jones, Bill Oosting, Col Parker, Ian Stephens,
>Julian Wolfehagen
>Victoria
>Kevin & Glen Emmins, Ken Gell, Ian Oakley, Ray Phillips,
>Craig Scott
>New South Wales
>Trevor Billett, Rosemary Doherty, Dave Fisher, Wayne Fuller,
>Warren Jones, Monte Klingner, Dayl Knight, Keith Mcilvride,
>Greg Mulder, Mike Nelson, Harold Saxvik, John & Kieren
>Sunderland, Fred Taylor, Warren Taylor, Bruce White, Col Wilson
>Queensland
>Don Keith, Ken Olley, Rod Palmer, David Stevens
>New Zealand
>John Berry, Wouter Hyink
>8. Bibliography

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