Foraging and self medicating

Discussions of honeybee genetics, epigenetics, hygiene related genetics, breeding, etc.
Nate K
Freshman Beekeeper
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Foraging and self medicating

Postby Nate K » Thu May 28, 2015 6:13 pm

After listening to Paul Stamets lecture about mushrooms and the complex relationship to beeshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAw_Zzge49c, It got me thinking. What connection, if any does treatment free have to the foraging ability of the hive. Let me explore this a bit;

The Genome of the honey bee contains far fewer genes devoted to immune response and protection. http://www.beeculture.com/immunity-genes-and-bees/
In Paul's talk, he mentions that bees will travel to mushrooms when they excrete fluid and bring it back to the hive. This can be of many uses depending on the mushroom source.
He shows a study in which worker bees life expectancy is increased by foraging on these mushrooms.
Could it be that this type of foraging is linked to the health and vitality of our treatment free bees? Do our bees during times of stress search our fungal sources as remedies to the numerous maladies of the hive?
Digging Deeper, we can look at Propolis. http://www.elements.nb.ca/theme/ethnobotany/propolis/propolis.htm
We know that bees use propolis as an extension of their immune system. Harvesting certain propolis would have differing antibacterial properties for the range of problems in a hive.

I see a wide range of colors of propolis in my hives, shades or red, orange and the like. Could us letting the bees treat themselves through mechanisms they already utilize improve our hives?

Do the bees know what they need in the hive? I would certainly say yes. Could this even effect nectar and pollen foraging for certain nutritional needs in the hive?

I see the foraging and utilizing the environment to the fullest extent a result of us stressing our bees by not treating them, forcing them to keep up, or fail and wither away.
What's good for the beekeeper, isn't always what's best for the bees.
http://Mylibertyhomestead.com

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Solomon
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Re: Foraging and self medicating

Postby Solomon » Thu May 28, 2015 6:22 pm

Nate K wrote:I see the foraging and utilizing the environment to the fullest extent a result of us stressing our bees by not treating them, forcing them to keep up, or fail and wither away.

Whatever they're doing to solve the problems, that's exactly how it is developed.
Solomon Parker, Treatment-Free 14 years, ~24 colony baseline
Treatment-Free Beekeeping Podcast - Parkerbees.com - Treatment-Free Beekeepers Facebook Group

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ExpatBeekeeper
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Location: Richmond, VA

Re: Foraging and self medicating

Postby ExpatBeekeeper » Fri May 29, 2015 1:30 am

Mmmmmm Mushroom Sauce....
Do the bees know what they need in the hive? I would certainly say yes. Could this even effect nectar and pollen foraging for certain nutritional needs in the hive?


I suspect you are correct about this, I've maintained this for quite sometime now. Not that it affects forage per se, but that they collect everything like the foraging machines that they are; instead my suspicion is that the nurse bees know instinctively which pollens to feed to tackle particular ailments, and can discretely identify what they need.
Beekeeper, Meadmaker, Teaboy, and Gopher. Richmond, VA


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