Hebrew University researchers have discovered how honey bee prefers a balanced diet and supplemental nutritional deficiencies that threaten their existence.
ISRAEL – It is known that, for humans, balanced diet and proper nutrition are essential to living a healthy lifestyle and prevention of disease. It turns out that balanced diet is also vital for honey bees.
The bee is attracted to plants and flowers to find food – nectar and pollen (pollen) feed. While bee uses food and collects the powder to bring it to the hive, pollen grains stick to the hairy body and carrying flower pollen. Flying food diversity is essential for the development of small and resilience sparse areas functioning food or drought-stricken areas.
Honey bee colonies growing in agricultural areas for the purposes of pollination of crops to cope with nutritional deficiencies, when foraging pollen rests on one source, such as an orchard one species. Poor nutrition may affect the immune system of bees, their health and their life expectancy.
In a new study published in the journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Professor Ronnie benign and Dr. Hermann Hndriksmh found out that honey bees choose natural plants and flowers with pollen containing the nutritional elements missing in the colonies.
“Our study reveals an uncanny ability of bees to locate and favor from sources of pollination accessible to them those that complement the nutritional deficiencies. Honeybee performs the selection poised freely and naturally, and this ability preserves the sustainability steadfast in situations of impaired nutrition,” said Professor Ronnie.
In their experiment, researchers placed eight bee colonies in closed compounds and supplied them with pollen substitutes having shortage of essential amino acids. Next, the researchers tested the free choice made by the bee between the pollen substitutes of various alternatives with identical nutritional balance that they can only find in the closed compound.
Video below shows the experimental phase where honey bees are choosing replacement powder after substitute fed with a shortage of amino acids.
“Honeybees preferred diet complements over other options. Not only do they tended to choose flowers more diverse in composition nutrition, are also preferred the plants specific completed the shortfall particular were diet intended for the colonies before. That reminds us of the bees that diet, as things many others, balance is the key word, “explained Dr. Hndriksmh.
Video below shows the selection of a substitute honey bee pollen supplements the diet lacking these nutrients given to them.
Honeybees are the main pollinators in agriculture – one third of the world’s fresh agricultural food is produced with its flight of honey bee from flower to flower, and is also responsible for about three-quarters of a variety of crops available.
Since the ecosystem is made possible by the bees and their pollination activities, the problem of the disappearance of bees in many organizations urged to work to preserve their food sources pastureland, orchards and green areas, planting trees and shrubs and increasing food sources for bees.
Even at the individual level, to expand and diversify the sources of bee food through the planting of flowers of all species everywhere.