How to make your hives more productive (2010)
In charge of research and development at Corylis Laboratories
In France, but also in many countries, beekeepers have recently been making the same observations. Their honey crop is decreasing from year to year large losses of colonies are occurring and contagious illnesses such as American foulbrood and Varroa infestation are on the increase. Opportunistic illnesses like European foulbrood, Mycosis or Nosemosis are becoming more contagious. The decline of bees has become an inescapable fact . Beekeepers ask themselves why this is happening and they search for miraculous cures to rescue their bees.
The probable reasons for the current situation
It is undeniably true that global warming shortens the resources the bees collect. Pollens have become less abundant or perhaps less nutritious. This compromise the bees’ robustness and make them susceptible to contagious diseases. As far back as 1958 Pierre-Jean Prost demonstrated that the arrival of European foulbrood was linked to a lack of pollen during spring.
On the other hand, a vast number of chemical compounds found in the environment in tiny but significant amounts can affect the immune defence system of these insects. For example, a study about the oysters exposure to pesticides at environmental concentrations has shown that a fall of their haemocytes functions has occurred because of this exposure. Such phenomenon could also concern bees.
Looking back on past years many beekeepers will note that problems come early in the season with some ending with the opportunistic illnesses, and contagious illnesses (listed in the first paragraph). The risk of contamination increases and could infect apiaries untouched until then, despite the care taken by beekeepers. The result of this is an unevenness in the results of hives in a single apiary, with some hives giving abundant crops, other small crops. The fact is that everyone is disappointed by the low level of his total crops, and also, in early spring, he has to recover a number of hives cleared of their bees without knowing why they died.
How to face such a situation? What Corylis suggests
The beekeeper is most of the time a sharp observer, he knows his job and is able to react. Most understand that breeding is essential and renew their queens nearly every year. Many knows too that mobility – moving their hives several times in the year in search of sure honey crops -- will keep their colonies in an optimal state of development and will guarantee crops, although occasionally crops are lost due to bad climatic conditions. A question that must be considered is that if everybody acts in the same way what will happen in the regions where honey crops are small but where there is a great need of pollination. The important thing, indeed, is to have hives everywhere in order to insure a good pollination. In any case, the first job of the beekeeper is to help his bees at best, the honey crop being his reward and the pollination of plant species being the service he gives to nature and society. This is the reason why CORYLIS laboratory suggest three specialities which have proved to be eminently useful in the breeding of colonies in order to optimise their growth and assure their profitability.
Provita’Bee is a supplementary food to add to nourishing syrups intended to offset the bees’ lack of resources and to stimulate their natural defences. It acts in several ways:
- The high bioavaility proteins which generate few digestive scraps and the vitamins or trace elements directly assimilable make up the pollenic diet when it is insufficient. The lack of pollens or their lack of variety causes a loss of viability for brood cells and a loss of bees in the hives and has a consequence on their robustness.
- The antioxydisers, of the same family as that of honey flavonoïds neutralises the oxidative stress which is due to the hard work of gathering bees and to the exposure to some polluting agents.
- This allows them to withstand stresses in a best possible way and prolongs the length of activity of pollen gathering bees.
- The bio stimulating enhancers come from some proteins (transferrins) and some enzymes (lysozym, peroxydasis) the bees know how to gather naturally in animal urine . These compounds can be found in several types of food and have a vast number of favourable properties. In particular they make the stress factors vulnerable, which allows the bees to overcome stress more easily by using their own defences.
- The fructooligosaccharids by their prebiotic function correct the deficiency of syrups and favour the growth of the bees’ intestinal fauna:the lactobacilli and bifid bacteria feed on the fibres the fructooligosaccharids are made of, they multiply and cover the intestinal surface which protects against the nesting of intrusive organisms.
In what cases should you use Provita’Bee ?
- As an additive to nourishing syrups at the beginning of the season, when the colonies start their growth.
- To help yearly swarms to grow as soon as the young queens begin to lay.
- After the summer crops in order to favour the return of laying and thus get numerous generations of winter bees.
- Important : The feedings at the end of summer must be made after the colonies have become again active. In the event of period of drought, for example, the syrups will be stored by the bees for later use , when they will no longer be useful. It is not helpful, any more, to supplement the syrups intended to complete the winter food reserves.
Some years ago, it was seldom necessary to supplement syrups. CORYLIS has developed these specialities faced with the present situation of decreasing natural resources and generalised pollution.
Provita’candy is a candy with added proteins, vitamins, minerals and bio stimulating in the same way as Provita’bee. But its purpose is different and complementary to Provita-bee.
We can use Provita’candy in order to support the colony’s growth . It is useful for young swarms with laying queens and productive colonies during the season or to prepare them for wintering. The candies are used directly by the honeybees, so they are not stored which will avoid the food to raise in the crops. The effect is very fast and queens will be encouraged to lay more.
In view of nutritional value of Provita’candy, bars of 250-300g. are sufficient.
Provita’candy is eminently useful when natural resources are irregular, for example in prolonged rainy periods, or when we want to boost autumn laying if weather conditions are unfavourable, for example, and early cold spell. In that case, the candy is better than supplemented syrups.
Directions for use
- Add some water to the powder: 100g for 1kg or 20g (ml) for 200g. Not more.
- Mix carefully until the mixture is firm.
- Take an amount of 250-300g. and shape it like a pancake.
- Put a cellophane sheet or else on top of the honeycombs..
- Spread the candy on this sheet.
- Close the hive by pressing if necessary.
Everyone knows that the honey bees take continuously care of the internal hygiene of their nest: they defecate outside the hive, they clean cells and honey combs between two uses, they evacuate scraps and, above all, they elaborate the propolis which continuously contributes to the asepsis of the hive. Propolis acts by evaporating volatile matters in the hive (it contains 10% of essential oils) which constitute a real protective barrier against all sorts of infection.
The Aroma’bee is an aromatic complex whose many components are already present in the propolis and also in Nasanof pheromone. This complex acts by controlled evaporation and intensifies the activity of propolis. This explains why it is well tolerated by the honeybees. It also encourages them to make propolis on the top of the honeycombs and stimulates them to clean their nest better. The result is that the asepsis of the hive is reinforced and , for several months, the hive is protected against stresses and intrusions of external agents. Aroma’bee is of natural origin and its components are biodegradable.
Directions for use
- Put in capsules (Caps of honey pots), on top of honeycombs a first dose of 12g.
- 10 days later, renew by adding another dose of 15g.
- After 3 months, put a new dose of 12g.
- Close the hive with a turned upside down nourisher.
- Expose all the hives of a single apiary at the same time.
- If the bottom of the hives has a wire, close it under the wire.
- Avoid using the product during the time of honey crop.
- Avoid using it when the weather is very hot because the evaporation can be too fast.
To conclude Corylis is aware of the current problems of beekeeping and offers specialities which simply answer the needs of honeybees that nature can no longer satisfy, and to safeguard your honey crops.
Laboratoires Corylis, route Impériale, 11170 Moussoulens Tél. : 04 68 69 45 48 Fax : 04 68 69 41 53