Thursday, May 8, 2008

I was reading the Missouri State Beekeepers Association newsletter and found something interesting. Have you ever thought about what bees really eat and why? Well, if you find yourself wondering that too, here is the answer straight from the May 2008 issue.

"Bees are attracted to pollens by taste, which is not necessarily indicative of nutrition. Alfalfa pollen, for example, is very nutritious but does not taste all that great, while dandelion pollen is just the opposite. Corn pollen, like most wind-borne pollens, tastes good but is low in protein; it does, however, contain a needed sterol, 24-methylcholesterol, which is also supplied by canola pollen. Honeybees require the same 10 essential amino acids as humans. (Wow, who would have thought that!) Pollens contain proteins, lipids, vitamins, minerals, sterols and carbohydrates. Different pollens contain different mixtures of these, so bees need many types of pollen for proper nutrition. Spring fruit and nut trees provide the most reliable balance of pollen for bee nutrition."

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