Developing an Artificial Diet for the Honey Bee Apis Mellifera
Award last edited on: 5/7/2014

Sponsored Program
Awarding Agency
Total Award Amount
Award Phase
Solicitation Topic Code

Principal Investigator
Gordon Wardell

Company Information

S.A.F.E Research & Development LLC (AKA: SAFE Ecological Pest Management ~ S.A.F.E R&D)

2526 East Blacklidge Drive
Tucson, AZ 85716
   (520) 770-1463
Location: Single
Congr. District: 02

Phase I

Contract Number: 2003-33610-13091
Start Date: 00/00/00    Completed: 00/00/00
Phase I year
Phase I Amount
The proposed project will develop a liquid protein and carbohydrate diet that will provide the bees with a highly digestible substitute in one formula, saving time and resources and providing a more palatable product for the bees. APPROACH: In phase I, we plan to develop a liquid protein, carbohydrate rich diet that will support long term brood production, have a high degree of palatability to the bees, and be cost effective. NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Annually, millions of honey bee colonies are taken into fields, orchards and bogs to pollinate America's fruit, seed and fiber crops. With the ravages of two parasitic mites, small hive beetle, bacterial and fungal pathogens, and the pervasive use of pesticides, the colonies expected to pollinate these crops are under more stress than ever. Often, the bees are not as populous as needed to adequately pollinate the crops. Given adequate protein (pollen) and carbohydrate (honey) the bees will start producing brood, thus building the colony population. To stimulate brood production when natural pollen is not available, beekeepers will feed their colonies with a pollen substitute. Usually this is a mixture of defatted soy flour, brewer's yeast and sugar with enough water to produce a stiff patty. Pollen substitutes currently available will generally stimulate brood production for a short period of time, then, if natural pollen is not available, brood production will cease and the bees will stop eating the substitute. This is a generally acknowledged phenomenon. The goal is to develop a product that beekeepers can use to boost colony populations prior to pollination, to prepare for a honey flow, or generally improve hive vigor. This one step feeding will streamline supplemental feeding for many commercial bee operations and improve productivity. Following the successful completion of phase I, phase II will include a semi-solid supplement patty based on the components of the liquid diet.

honey bee nutrition; artificial diet; synthetic diet; liquid diet; slurry diet; protein; brood

Phase II

Contract Number: 2004-33610-15075
Start Date: 00/00/00    Completed: 00/00/00
Phase II year
Phase II Amount
At certain times of the year when natural pollen is not available, beekeepers need a simple and effective suppliment to feed their colonies to prepare them for pollination services or honey production. The purpose of this project is to advance honey bee nutrition and provide beekeepers a tool to improve honey bee vigor.