The application of highly centrifuged honey as an improved diet for experimentally caged honey bees
Alexandros Papachristoforou, Aikaterini Termentzi, Maria Halabalaki and Evgenia Koutouvel
Whilst sucrose syrup appears to be the most commonly used diet applied during honey bee cage experiments, dead honey bees may occur within the first week of feeding. However, sucrose syrup remains the dominant food supplement for cage experiments since past research has proved that all alternative hydrocarbon diets, including honey, decrease the lifespan of honey bees when compared to syrup. In this study we tested feeding caged honey bees with honey from which all pollen grains and possibly all pathogenic spores were removed through high speed centrifugation. This preparation significantly extended the lifespan of honey bees in cages compared with sucrose syrup and honey. The analysis of the glycoside content of centrifuged honey and of the honey from which it was produced showed that the two products were identical. The 1H NMR spectra of the two samples displayed an identical resonance pattern. This refers to the qualitative content, as well as the ratio of the constituent sugars of the two samples. This study showed that highly centrifuged honey could be applied as an improved reliable diet for experimentally caged honey bees.