ProBee - Probiotics for Bees


Bifidobacterium bifidum
Candida utilis yeast
Bifidobacterium bifidum 
Enterococcus faecium, 
L.delbrueckii subsp.bulgaricum 
Lactobacillus acidophilus, 
Pediococcus acidlactiti

Total Count of the above: 5500 Million CFU/g 
Carrier: Dextrose

Suggested Level of Inclusion: 
4.50 g/100 g.

Do Probiotics enhance Immunity ?

To explore immune system activation in the honey bee, Apis mellifera L., larvae of four ages were exposed through feeding to spores of a natural pathogen, Paenibacillus larvae larvae, to cells of a diverse set of related nonpathogenic bacteria, and to bacterial coat components. These larvae were then assayed for RNA levels of genes encoding two antibacterial peptides, abaecin and defensin. Larvae exposed to either P. l. larvae or a mix of nonpathogenic bacteria showed high RNA levels for the abaecin gene relative to controls. First instars responded significantly to the presence of the nonpathogenic mix within 12 h after exposure, a time when they remain highly susceptible to bacterial invasion. This response was sustained for two successive instars, eventually becoming 21-fold higher in larvae exposed to probiotic spores versus control larvae. The mixture of nonpathogenic bacteria is therefore presented as a potential surrogate for assaying the immune responses of different honey bee lineages. It also is proposed that nonpathogenic bacteria can be used as a probiotic to enhance honey bee immunity, helping bee larvae, and other life stages, survive attacks from pathogens in the field.
(USDA-ARS Bee Research Laboratory, BARC-East Building 476, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA; PMID: 15279248 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] )


The study addressed a laboratory evaluation of the effect of probiotic preparations addition on the nutritional value of a pollen substitute for honey bee. Investigations were carried out on worker bees Apis mellifera carnica, at a laboratory of the Department of Functional Insects Breeding, Agricultural University of Poznań, in the years 2002 and 2003.
The substitute was made of the following constituents: potato protein, soybean meal, rapeseed meal, Candida utilis yeast, wheat flour, corn grits, soybean oil, lecithin, polfamix W, Vitazol AD3EC, and glucose with vitamin C. Individual constituents of the substitute were subjected to technological treatment: micronization, extrusion, and comminution to particles 150 ľm in diameter. Protein content of the substitute mixed with powdered sugar (1:1, w:w) reached 20%. In the experiments, 2 probiotic preparations were applied, that were added to the substitute in three doses immediately before administration to bees, i.e. "Biogen-N" (a biological stimulant of immunity and growth for piglets, calves, foals and kids in their early life, containing 4 strains of the genus Bifidobacterium bifidum and Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Pediococcus acidlactiti), and "Trilac" (a preparation restoring functions of gastrointestinal microflora in humans, containing, among others, Lactobacillus acidophilus, L.delbrueckii subsp.bulgaricum and Bifidobacterium bifidum).
Total bacteria count per 1 mg of Biogen-N accounted for 11x109 and was similar to bacteria number in 1.267 g of Trilac.
The statistical analysis demonstrated that the addition of probiotics had no significant influence on the increase in feed intake. Only in the first year of the study was the substitute supplemented with Biogen-N in a dose of 2 mg more readily consumed by the bees. The administration of probiotics decreased the number of fatal cases among bees. However, the decrease appeared to be statistically significant already after pollen substitute supplementation with the Trilac preparation in a dose of 1.267 g/100 g of substitute and with the Biogen-N preparation in a dose of 1mg. The addition of probiotic preparations to the substitute was found to stimulate the growth of the faucial gland and fat body.
( Magdalena Kazimierczak-Baryczko, Bożena Szymaś; August Cieszkowski Agricultural University in Poznań, Department of Functional Insects Breeding; ul. Wojska Polskiego 71c, 60 - 625 Poznań, Poland. E-mail:[email protected]; Received 20 September 2005; accepted 28 March 2006 )

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