Monday, February 27, 2012

Probiotics and Bee Health

My brother sent me an article about a beekeeper who sprayed his colony with a bit of diluted kombucha and was amazed to see the health of his colony improve and thrive. 
You can read the article here:

http://beenatural.wordpress.com/natural-beekeeping/probiotics/

According to Wikipedia:
Kombucha is an effervescent tea-based beverage that is often consumed for its anecdotal health benefits or medicinal purposes. Kombucha is available commercially and can be made at home by fermenting tea using a visible, solid mass of yeast and bacteria which forms the kombucha culture, often referred to as 酵母 (kombo, lit. "yeast mother", see etymology for disambiguation with 昆布, kombu, kelp).

Game for anything, I went to Whole Foods and picked up a couple bottles of the stuff, sold in the refrigerated end cap near the registers.  One was citrus flavored, and one was green tea.  I do not know if they were pasturized, but the bottles read "raw kombucha."

I also added a bit to my bee syrup feed.  When I sprayed the bees they certainly went for it at the entrances (1/3 kombucha to 2/3 sugar syrup mix) and the top bars.  I don't know if that small amount of wetting will have the impact described in the article,  but adding it to the feed will certainly provide some more probiotics to the the colonies.

Stay tuned...we will see if these girls explode!  I also wonder if the caffeine has anything to do with their productivity.

Jeff.

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