Balancing diets for healthy bees
even if you cannot visit your bees so frequently
For the 2020 season, honey bees can benefit from a range of Vita Bee Health feeds, all GMO-free, that enable feeding at almost any time of year.
The new VitaFeed Power and VitaFeed Patty feed supplements have been developed after research which has shown that if foraged pollen is low in protein, the colony suffers because foraging requirements increase disproportionately. If the pollen protein content drops from 30% top 20%, pollen consumption must increase by 50%. That extra pollen-foraging requirement can have very detrimental effects on colony development.
Paulo Mielgo, technical director at Vita Bee Health, explained, “These products aren’t simply feeds. They have been rigorously researched and tested to ensure that they perform to the highest specifications. We aren’t just selling feeds – we are selling research, experience and technology in the form of feeds.”
Studies in Italy and Greece in 2019 have shown that brood area can be increased by 25% when a combination of the new feeds is used in springtime. This results in healthier and more advanced colonies showing other all-round health benefits.
For spring feeding, VitaFeed Power, a pollen supplement packed with ten essential amino acids and vitamins (especially vitamin c), promotes healthy colony development and is ideal for splits, packages and nucs.
For a balanced honey bee diet, VitaFeed Power should be used when other high-quality pollen is available or along with VitaFeed Patty. VitaFeed Power, available as a liquid and is applied via sugar syrup, is easily assimilated by bees. One litre per week simulates nectar foraging.
For late-summer and autumn feeding, VitaFeed Patty boosts colony development in a controlled way and produces stronger winter bees. In spring and in combination with VitaFeed Power, it stimulates egg-laying. It is also very effective in providing nutrition during sustained Asian hornet attacks.
VitaFeed Patty is rich in vitamins, nucleotides, amino acids and lipids (Omega 3 and 6) and is available in packages of ready-to-use 300g patties that can be placed straight on top of brood frames. The bees can assimilate it easily and the probiotics promote healthy gut microflora. The granule size of the powder enables all of it to be consumed and the bees even dispose of the paper packaging themselves.
In springtime, 100g or 150g of VitaFeed Patty every 7 to 10 days (3-4 times) simulates pollen foraging.
VitaFeed Nutri can be used at any time of year, even during a summer gap or a honey flow, to promote colony growth and correct nutritional deficiencies. Available as a powder, it can be sprinkled on brood frames during a honey flow or, for spring or autumn feeding, diluted with sugar syrup.
If beekeepers cannot visit their colonies as often as usual (such as during the current pandemic), the following can apply:
A VitaFeed Power Fondant pack (2.5kg) or VitaFeed Power diluted in syrup (up to 4 litres) may be added in one feed. Even if the bees store that fondant (reducing the space for queen laying), when the external temperature starts to rise, bees will consume the carbohydrates. Such a feed can last 3 to 4 weeks.
A VitaFeed Patty pack (300g) will be slowly consumed by the bees until temperatures rise and the bees need protein. In the UK, for example, that means the feed will last 4 weeks.