Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Animal Sciences, Institute of Applied Scientific Higher Education of Jihad e-Agriculture, 8168116676, Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran


In order to evaluate eight different protein sources in honey bee nutrition, some experiments were conducted as a completely randomized designs with four replicates and three steps incubator, field and overwintering in Isfahan region. Protein sources were lentil flour, soybean flour, soybean meal, bread yeast, wheat gluten, skim milk powder, fish meal and Pollen. Results showed that the longevity of caged honey bees in incubator was significantly affected by dietary treatments (P<0.05). Wheat gluten supplement and lentil substitute resulted in the highest (61 days) and lowest (9.2 days) longevity of bees in 50% mortality, respectively; while in 100% morality pollen and lentil substitutes caused the highest (143.5 days) and lowest (20.7 days) longevity of bees, respectively. Field experiments showed a significant difference between feed intake in experimental colonies. Honey bees consumed the most amounts of pollen cakes, while bread yeast and soybean cakes were consumed more than soybean meal and wheat gluten; however, fish meal cakes were not accepted by bees. Brood area of experimental colonies was significantly different and varied from 13050 to 22680 cm2. Honey production in test colonies was also significantly (P<0.05) different and varied from 5.98 to 9.56 kg. After 90 days of overwintering the experimental colonies fed with pollen supplement and substitute cakes showed a significant (P<0.05) difference in honey consumption, total bee mass reduction and laying area of queens. Dietary inclusion of pollen and wheat gluten supplements caused the lowest bee mass reduction, and respective colonies had the greatest laying area at the end of winter. Overall, the present results showed that soybean flour and bread yeast can be used as pollen supplements and substitutes cakes


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