The effects of probiotic supplementation on the content of intestinal microflora and chemical composition of worker honey bees (Apis mellifera)
Adam Kaznowski, Bozena Szymas, Ewa Jazdzinska, Magdalena Kazimierczak, Halina Paetz and Joanna Mokracka
Two probiotics, Biogen-N and Trilac, were used as supplements to pollen substitute in feeding honey bees, Apis mellifera. The probiotics were given either throughout the entire 14-day experiment or only for 2 days, just after bee emergence. The midgut of worker bees was colonized by bacteria present in probiotics, including Lactobacillus spp., Pediococcus acidilactici, Bifidobacterium bifidum and Enterococcus faecium. Advantages of probiotic supplementation include better bee survival and higher dry mass and crude fat level in comparison with bees fed with pollen substitute only. We did not observe significant differences in total protein in the dry mass of bees. There was no correlation between the duration of feeding with probiotics and the chemical composition of the bees. This suggests that to achieve an increase in dry mass and crude fat level, it is sufficient to supply probiotics only in the beginning of the feeding period, directly after bee emergence.