Pollen extenders

The use of products like soyflour, troula yeast and brewers yeast can be used as pollen extenders . They increase the food value of pollen and reduce the unit cost of the feed.

These products are very high in protein and also contain additional amino-acids like iso-leucine and valine, which will extend the nut

The adding of 2 to 3 parts by weight of soyflour to 1 part by weight of pollen, mixing well and feeding as patties, or in open feeders, will reduce the cost of bee feeds.

These products can be used by themselves as a protein source while pollen is being collected by the bees. If no pollen is being collected by the bees, it is important to include pollen in the feed at a ratio of 1:3 by weight.

Oil or fats

Honey bees require small amounts of fats and oils in their diet. Although there appears little research to establish the amount required, it has been shown (Herbert et al 1980) that cholesterol does assist in brood rearing.

It has been observed by Stace and Hayter (1994) that bee foods with 6% vegetable oil content are more palatable to the bees, than those without this level of oil.

Except for expeller press soyflour, most protein meals have only 1% to 2% oil. Ground flora pollens appear toave more at 8% to 10% oil, and eucalypt pollen has 1% to 2% oil.

Since most supplementary feed rations are made from eucalypt pollen, soyflour and yeasts, additional oil could well be an essential requirement.

The addition of small amounts of oil to supplementary feeds in the form of vegetable oil such as cottonseed or soy oil at 4% of the total mixture is recommended.


The addition of multi-vitamin formulations to bee rations has been shown to be effective in increasing brood rearing and the general health of the bees. The use of 1% of soluble multi-vitamin additives has been used successfully (Jones personal comment). However, over-use of vitamin additives could be toxic to the bees.

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