A fermented Pollen Substitute Diet Affects Wax Construction by Honey Bee Workers, (Apies mellifera L.)

Document Type : Original Article


1 Zoology Department, Faculty of Science, New Valley University

2 Plant Protection Research Institute, Agriculture Research Center-Dokki -Giza


Pollen substitute diets have become increasingly important for maintaining strong and healthy honey bee colonies. Palatability and nutritional value are key attributes of a good diet. Since beebread, which is pollen fermented by the bees, is the main food of the worker-nurse bees that feed and care for the bee larvae, pollen substitutes should have similar attributes.
          In an attempt to simulate this natural food source, an inoculum prepared from beebread was used to ferment a pollen substitute diet.
In this study, it was determined the differences in the wax building by caged workers fed with different diets (sucrose syrup only, bee bread, unfermented pollen substitute diet and fermented pollen substitute diet).
Comb building in honeybees was analyzed with respect to the type of food. The effects on wax combs building were assessed of the presence of beeswax foundation, and of feeding honey bees in cages. Workers fed on unfermented diets produced significantly less wax than did those fed on the fermented diets; although variation in wax production among the treatments was not significant.
           We conclude that fermentation by beebread-derived microorganisms could improve the palatability, consumption and nutritional value of the dies and the behavioral activities such as wax building by honey bee workers.