Influence of different proteinaceous diets on consumption, brood rearing, and honey bee quality parameters under isolation conditions


Abstract: This study was carried out to evaluate the efficacy of 5 proteinaceous diets on honey bees under isolation conditions. The diets were soybean meal, mesquite pod powder, date paste, Feedbee®, and corn gluten, along with control colonies (bees fed naturally on pollens). These 5 diets were supplied to honey bee colonies under isolation conditions, except for the control group. Food consumption amount, brood rearing activity, and some physiological parameters of the honey bees were measured. The best consumption amount was for date paste, followed by Feedbee, mesquite, and corn gluten, respectively. Concerning brood rearing activity, the highest mean of sealed brood cells was 174.7 cells/colony in colonies fed on Feedbee, while no brood was reared in colonies fed on soybean meal. The fresh weight, dry matter, and protein content of fully grown larvae and newly emerged workers were higher in colonies fed on bee bread than the colonies fed on the artificial diets. Total soluble solids %, total hemolymph count, and hemolymph protein % were varied among tested diets. Feedbee was able to enhance brood rearing, but Feedbee is expensive and not available in the local markets of Saudi Arabia. Hence, beekeepers are advised to use mesquite pod flour as a pollen substitute in dearth periods.

Keywords: Pollen substitutes, Feedbee®, hemolymph, mesquite pod powder

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