Honey bee nutrition is always a topic of great concern for keepers of bees. Seasonal changes in mineral needs for the colony are important, especially as we work to prepare hives for annual weather events such as Winter or other environmental shifts such as dealing with dearth due to intense heat. Of course, for migratory apiarists and those with stationary bee yards in more “challenging” locations that are sometimes referred to as “food deserts”, maintaining healthy bee colony nutrition becomes even more of a concern.
Hmm, but as this article goes on to show, the more information we find about bees, the more questions we have.
MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE (February 9, 2017) – Despite having few taste genes, honey bees are fine-tuned to know what minerals the colony may lack and proactively seek out nutrients in conjunction with the season when their floral diet varies. This key finding from a new study led by Tufts University scientists sheds light on limited research on the micronutrient requirements of honey bees, and provides potentially useful insight in support of increased health of the bee population, which has declined rapidly in recent years for a variety of complex reasons.
Source: Despite few taste genes, honey bees seek out essential nutrients based on seasonal resources
Some lab studies but almost no field studies suggest neonicotinoid pesticides are harming bee health. Why is there such a gap in conclusions? And why are field studies virtually ignored in the media, while one-off lab studies hinting at catastrophe are circulated widely?
Source: Gold standard assessing neonicotinoids: Field bee hive studies find pesticides not major source of health issues | Genetic Literacy Project
“This variation of the reproductive ground plan hypothesis suggests division of labor – the ways social bees cooperate to complete all tasks necessary to keep the colony running – evolved from ancestral gene networks that function to align a female’s dietary preferences with the nutrients she needs during different phases of her reproductive cycle,” says Kapheim,
Source: Pitching in: Biologists study development of division of labor among bees
Francois Huber is one of the most notable beekeepers and bee researchers in all of beekeeping history. His story is amazing. Born in 1750 he began to go blind at about age 15.
He had a personal assistant named Francois Burnens and was married to Marie Lullin who acted as his proxy eyes in the field.
His most notable accomplishments include his book, “Nouvelles Observations sur les Abeilles” (New Observations Upon Bees” in 1792 with a second volume in 1814.
This past December marked 185 years since he died. His research and writing however makes him an immortal in the world of modern beekeeping.
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