Economic benefits of using prebiotic and probiotic products as supplements in stimulation feeds administered to bee colonies


Abstract: Spring stimulation feeding of honeybee colonies (Apis mellifera carpatica) is a very important technique for the encouragement of productive foraging. In addition to improving bee health by creating favorable conditions for the development of a beneficial intestinal bacterial flora, the use of prebiotic and probiotic supplements in the feed promotes good colony development, thus increasing the forager population. This paper presents the results for the economic benefit measured following use of supplements with acidifying substances (acetic and lactic acids) and probiotic products (Enterobiotics and Enterolactis Plus), as well as the synergism between them. A total of 110 bee colonies were studied, being fed with sugar syrup (1.4 L/colony weekly) between 25 March and 15 April, supplemented according to a controlled schedule. On 20 April the bees were transferred to a rapeseed field for foraging, and then at the beginning of May they were transferred elsewhere for acacia foraging. Honey production was measured for each experimental variant after each foraging period. Colonies fed with sugar syrup containing prebiotic and probiotic supplements registered higher honey production levels and showed a higher profit (ranging from +14.67% to +45.49%) in comparison with the control group.

Keywords: Bees, nutrition, honey production, profit

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