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A Comparative Study on Using Simple Pollen Substitutes to Improve Brood Rearing Activity and Characteristics of Honey Bee Workers

A Comparative Study on Using Simple Pollen Substitutes to Improve Brood Rearing Activity and Characteristics of Honey Bee Workers

Hossam F. Abou-Shaara

Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, Damanhour University, Damanhour, 22516, Egypt.

 
* Corresponding author: hossam.farag@agr.dmu.edu.eg

ABSTRACT

Pollen substitutes are alternatives to natural pollens during dearth periods. In this study, three pollen substitutes prepared using simple materials were compared. The first one contained yeast as protein source (yeast), the second one contained corn flour (corn flour), and the third one contained corn flour plus turmeric (turmeric). These pollen substitutes were presented to bee colonies beside sugar candy without any protein source as a control group. Some parameters were subsequently measured under apiary and laboratory conditions. All feeding types were attractive to bee colonies but bees consumed significantly more yeast and sugar candy within 72h than corn and turmeric. All feeding types did not impair the ability of young larvae to develop into pupae. Bee colonies had high sealed brood area and number of bees in yeast group followed by sugar candy and corn flour. Each of corn flour and turmeric affected the survival ability of bee workers negatively unlike yeast and sugar candy. All the feeding types showed approximately the same effect on the ability of bees to tolerate low temperature. Some morphological characteristics (head width, forewing length and width, wax mirror longitudinal and wax mirror transversal) used as indicators to body size and the development of glands. These characteristics showed higher values in yeast group than the other groups. In light of this study, yeast feeding is promising and recommended as a simple pollen substitute followed by corn flour while turmeric is not preferred.

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

February

Pakistan J. Zool., Vol. 56, Iss. 1, pp. 01-501

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