Rositsa Shumkova1 and Ralitsa Balkanska2
1 Agricultural Academy, Research Center of Stockbreeding and Agriculture, Smolyan, Bulgaria
2 Agricultural Academy, Institute of Animal Science, Kostinbrod, Bulgaria
Shumkova, R. & Balkanska, R. (2021). Influence of IMMUNOSTART HERB feeding on the bee colonies development. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 27 (5), 896–902
To date, various plant-based supplemental forages, which contain key molecules, for bees are being used worldwide to improve the bee health. The aim of the study was to determine the effect of the product IMMUNOSTART HERB on some physiological and biochemical parameters and the development of the bee colonies during their spring feeding. The study was conducted at the experimental apiary of the Research Center of Stockbreeding and Agriculture, Smolyan, Bulgaria. The experiment included local honey bees Apis mellifera L., settled in the Langstroth-Rut system. For the feeding of the bee colonies is used a natural product IMMUNOSTART HERB based on herbal extracts. It contains natural flavonoids, polyphenols, polysaccharides, mucus substances, amino acids, essential oils, vitamins, minerals and vitamin C. The feeding of the bee colonies in the spring was carried out as follows: the experimental group was fed with IMMUNOSTART HERB at a dose of 10 ml in 100 ml sugar solution (sugar/water 1:1) 4 times at intervals of 7 days; the control group received only sugar solution. Statistically significant differences were found for the strength of the bee colonies and the amount of sealed worker bee brood in the experimental group fed with IMMUNOSTART HERB compared to the control group. A linear positive correlation between the fresh bee head weight and the degree of development of the hypopharyngeal glands was found. The higher values of total protein in the haemolymph in the experimental group were found to be indicative of the positive effect of the product IMMUNOSTART HERB on the immunity of bees. According to this study, the supplementary feeding of the bee colonies with IMMUNOSTART HERB is good to start about 60 days before the first main pasture in the region.