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Nutrition and health in honey bees

Nutrition et santé des abeilles

Ernährung und Gesundheit bei Honigbienen

Abstract

Adequate nutrition supports the development of healthy honey bee colonies. We give an overview of the nutritional demands of honey bee workers at three levels: (1) colony nutrition with the possibility of supplementation of carbohydrates and proteins; (2) adult nutrition and (3) larval nutrition. Larvae are especially dependant on protein and brood production is strongly affected by shortages of this nutrient. The number of larvae reared may be reduced to maintain the quality of remaining offspring. The quality of developing workers also suffers under conditions of larval starvation, leading to slightly affected workers. Larval starvation, alone or in combination with other stressors, can weaken colonies. The potential of different diets to meet nutritional requirements or to improve survival or brood production is outlined. We discuss nutrition-related risks to honey bee colonies such as starvation, monocultures, genetically modified crops and pesticides in pollen and nectar.

Zusammenfassung

Eine ausgewogene Ernährung mit ausreichend Proteinen, Kohlenhydraten, Fetten, Vitaminen und Mineralstoffen ist notwendig für das Überleben eines Bienenvolkes, die Entwicklung der Arbeiterinnen und die Aufzucht von Brut. Im Superorganismus Honigbiene sind diese drei Ebenen der Ernährung eng miteinander verknüpft (Abb. 1), und Defizite in einer dieser Ebenen wirken sich negativ auf die anderen aus.

Für das Überleben des Volkes sind vor allem Kohlenhydrate notwendig. Eine Arbeiterin benötigt pro Tag etwa 4 mg verwertbaren Zucker. Allerdings sind nicht alle Zucker verwertbar, einige sind für Bienen giftig. Ebenfalls giftig ist Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) das sich bei thermischer Zersetzung und langer Lagerung aus Zuckern bildet. Der HMF Gehalt erhältlicher Maissirupe liegt zwischen 3,1 und 28,7 ppm, kann aber durch Lagerung bei zu hohen Temperaturen drastisch ansteigen und die Mortalität von Bienen erhöhen.

Pollen ist die natürliche Proteinquelle von Bienen. Daraus bilden Ammenbienen ein proteinreiches Futter für die Brut. Ist nicht genügend Pollen vorhanden, reduziert das Bienenvolk die Zahl der produzierten Larven durch Kannibalismus. Ein Mangel von Protein in der Larval-oder Adultnahrung führt zur reduzierten Entwicklung der Brutfutterdrüsen und Ovarien sowie einer kürzeren Lebensdauer. Proteinmangel während der Larvalernährung führt darüber hinaus zu beeinträchtigter Thoraxentwicklung, Flugleistung und Verhaltensänderungen. Bei Pollenmangel können dem Bienenvolk andere Proteinquellen angeboten werden, Tabelle I zeigt die pro Tag konsumierten Mengen unterschiedlicher Diäten, deren Bestandteile, Proteingehalt und die Größe der untersuchten Einheit. Ein Proteingehalt zwischen 23 und 30 % hat sich als zur Brutaufzucht geeignet erwiesen. Unseren Berechnungen zufolge erhält ein Volk mit jedem konsumierten Gramm etwa die Menge Protein die 4 Larven bis zur Verdeckelung benötigen.

Pollen liefert ebenfalls Fette, die vor allem in der Larvalentwicklung benötigt werden. Honigbienen können Sterole nicht selbst herstellen, und verfüttern überwiegend 24-Methylen-Cholesterin an die Brut. Das tun sie, unter Verwendung von Körperreserven auch dann, wenn kein Cholesterin in der Nahrung vorhanden ist.

Arbeiterinnen (oder symbiontische Mikroorganismen) sind in der Lage Vitamin C zu synthetisieren. Pyridoxin, ein Vitamin aus dem B-Komplex, ist hingegen notwendig für erfolgreiche Brutaufzucht. Obwohl fettlösliche Vitamine nicht essentiell für die Honigbiene sind, steigert ihre Anwesenheit in der Diät die Menge an produzierter Brut.

Neben dem Verhungern oder der erwähnten Mangelernährung stellen einseitige Ernährung durch Monokulturen, genetisch modifizierte Pflanzen oder vom Menschen oder der Pflanze produzierte Giftstoffe die mit der Nahrung eingetragen werden Gefahren für die Honigbiene dar.

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Correspondence to Robert Brodschneider.

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Brodschneider, R., Crailsheim, K. Nutrition and health in honey bees. Apidologie 41, 278–294 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1051/apido/2010012

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  • malnutrition
  • pollen
  • protein
  • carbohydrates
  • supplemental feeding
  • malnutrition
  • pollen
  • protéines
  • carbohydrates
  • nourrissement
  • Mangelernährung
  • Pollen
  • Protein
  • Kohlenhydrate
  • Zufütterung