AGRISEA BEE NUTRITION
AgriSea is made from kelp harvested in New Zealand. It is different kelp to that we see as Bull Kelp around our surf beaches; it is a smaller fine leaf kelp. It is fermented with herbs for approximately 3 months and this releases the Amino Acids, Vitamins and Minerals. The company started brewing the seaweed to make soil conditioner. Then they discovered they could make sheep and cattle feed supplements. Then the Bee Nutrition supplement was found to promote queens to lay up to 80% more brood through supplying the essential minerals, vitamins and amino acids that are often missing in the bee’s diet. It is easy to feed to bees in sugar syrup and seems to make the syrup more attractive to the bees. Agrisea has been tested and found not to have residues that affect the honey.
Beekeepers are putting 40 mls of Agrisea in water and spraying it over the bees or into the empty cells of outside frames and spray over the cluster of bees as you close the hive also works. When returning sticky frames to the hive spray the combs with the Agrisea water and it helps the bees clean up and gives them a boost. The bees readily take up the liquid. Using water has the benefit of not starting robbing as sugar syrup can do.
Internet reports of success in boosting bee population’s brood and better fed bees are healthier. Reports of reducing Nosema and reducing chalkbrood problems, I have been told of bees cleaning up EFB after requeening and being fed Agrisea.
My first use of Agrisea was during a Mana Gum honey flow and despite excellent nectar and pollen flow the bees would not make queen cells. Immediately it was easy to see the extra royal jelly in the brood, the longer queen cells, and appeared to increase the vigour of the bees to gather pollen.
Feeding rate of 20 ml per I litre of sugar syrup seems to work well, and 80% more brood is reported, but some beekeepers use at half rate of 10 ml per litre of sugar syrup, and give the bees twice the number of doses. Best results appear to come from multiple feeds a week apart in early spring (July) and Late Autumn (May) before closing the bees down for winter. It is reported that 30 ml per 1 litre sugar syrup will increase brood a further 20%.
In patties use 100 ml per 1 kg of pollen substitute.
Agrisea can be added to patties and sugar fondant to spread the time of consumption. Sugar fondant is a good way of feeding small nucleus hives to prevent robbing by the larger hives.
We feed it to the bees in single frame feeders and overnight the bees would consume 1.5 litres. Feeding queen breeder hives makes grafting much easier in the next few days as the bees feed more royal jelly to the larvae.
I had a dietician examine the contents of the Agrisea bee supplement and her thoughts were the Amino Acids are very vital to the bee’s health.
In the Australia environment our flora is often deficient in Vitamins and Minerals due to the old soils and the bees require supplement for good health.
In the past Australian mainland beekeepers did not need to feed their bees, but since the droughts and unpredictable weather patterns have affected the flowering of the trees and shrubs it has become essential to understand the feeding of bees supplements. The need for strong hives for Almond Pollination is helped by feeding Agrisea.