Honey bees stay healthy by taking pollen as it’s a good source of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates. During pollen scarcity, Pollen substitutes are beneficial in increasing the egg-laying capacity of the queen bee, brood development and colony expansion in the beehive.
Also, the presence of numerous types of pollen helps by improving the health and well being of the colony. For raising a single bee, the requirement of pollen is about ten load.
In a year, a bee colony uses 2,000,000 of pollen(around 20kg) to produce over 200,000 bees. In other words, for creating one-kilogram honey bees require one kilogram of pollen.
Also, the production of pollen varies from one beehive to other hives. Usually, in the late of Winter and early spring, there will be a shortage of pollen in the many of the colonies. To eradicate the pollen scarcity, beekeepers will go for the pollen substitutes or supplement feeding as it improves the brood rearing in the hive.
- 1 Using Pollen Substitutes
- 1.1 Ways to get pollen
- 1.2 Related Topics
Using Pollen Substitutes
As like Nectar Substitutes, Standardly beekeepers use the supplement or substitute feed pollen in commercial beekeeping to full fill the scarcity of pollen. Usually, a beekeeper uses pollen alternatives during early spring, but you can also utilize throughout the season.
For using pollen substitutes, there are many formulas available with little change in the composition. Also, know pollen substitute is an alternative for pollen, but pollen supplement is the real natural pollen.
Ways to get pollen
One of the easy ways to get pollen is collecting the own disease-free bee colonies by proper handling of the bees. You can also purchase pollen traps which will help gather the pollen. Also, getting design plans from the Apiculture program office helps in constructing your pollen trap.
Purchasing pollen also helpful to eradicate the scarcity but make sure you buy from disease-free pollens. Also, watch for other organisms such as beetle, mites, molds, and insects.
To prevent the disease in the pollen supplements, you can go for irradiation or antibiotics like oxytetracycline. While using medicines always follow the correct dosage instructions in the labels.
Most commonly used pollen substitutes include:
- Brewer’s Yeast
- Torula Dried yeast Type S
- Soybean Flour + Dried Brewer’s Yeast
Brewer’s yeast is very similar to pollen in terms of protein content and rich in vitamins. It’s readily available both in small and large quantities.
Torula Dried yeast Type S
This product us by the American beekeeper’s, since a long time in combination with Brewer’s Yeast and Soybean Flour.
Soybean Flour + Dried Brewer’s Yeast
The combination of soybean flour with dried brewer’s yeast is also commonly used by the beekeepers. This combination gives the balanced amount of proteins and fat content in the pollen substitutes. Few beekeepers add dried pollen plus to attract a high number of bees. Also, pollen patties are commonly used by the beekeeper to stimulate the brood rearing.