Michelle Mendoza and Dr. Ruben Alarcon
The decline of honey bee colonies is cause for major concern, as they are the main pollinators for agricultural crops. This decline has many contributing factors, including pathogens, parasites, malnutrition, and poor beekeeping techniques. To help support honey bee health, we tested a nutritional supplement, containing vitamins and essential oils, to determine if it improves brood production. We studied 24 colonies to quantify the effects of the nutritional supplement on brood production. Half of the colonies the nutritional supplement diluted in sugar syrup for four weeks, while the control colonies were only fed the sugar syrup. Contrary to our expectations, there was no difference between the supplement fed and the control colonies. Low sample size may have influenced our results. Further study is necessary to quantify the effects of the nutritional supplement, but if it is found to increase brood production, beekeepers could incorporate it into their feeding regimen to foster healthier colonies.