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Effects of Different Levels of Dietary Zinc-Threonine and Zinc Oxide on the Zinc Bioavailability, Biological Characteristics and Performance of Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L.)

Abstract

The experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of supplementary different levels of zinc-threonine (Zn-Thr) and zinc oxide (ZnO) on the Zn bioavailability, biological characteristics and performance of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). The experiments were carried out with seven treatments in a completely randomized design with five replicates for each treatment. During the experiment, groups were fed a basal diet without extra zinc (10.4 mg Zn/kg diet), and it was used as the control diet and 3 levels of 20, 40, and 60 mg Zn/kg were added to the diet by ZnO and Zn-Thr sources. The results showed that different levels of organic Zn significantly increased Zn and Fe content in the carcass of caged bees compared to different levels of inorganic Zn and control groups. Also, honey bees fed with levels of 40 and 60 mg Zn/kg Zn-Thr supplementation significantly had lower Malondialdehyde (MDA) concentration and higher ash content, protein content, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in their tissues. In addition, they showed more life span, feed intake, population, brood rearing, and hive weight gain (p < 0.05). Totally, the results of the present experiments revealed that diets supplied with organic Zn compared to inorganic Zn play significant roles in the improvement of Zn bioavailability, biological characteristics, and performance in honey bees.

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Funding

The authors are grateful to the Iranian National Science Foundation (INSF) for the research funding support. This study was funded by grant number (95835756).

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Correspondence to Hossein Moravej.

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Behjatian-Esfahani, M., Nehzati-Paghleh, G.A., Moravej, H. et al. Effects of Different Levels of Dietary Zinc-Threonine and Zinc Oxide on the Zinc Bioavailability, Biological Characteristics and Performance of Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L.). Biol Trace Elem Res (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12011-022-03336-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12011-022-03336-x

Keywords

  • Bioavailability
  • Biological characteristics
  • Honey bee
  • Performance
  • Zinc oxide
  • Zinc-threonine