Preference of Apis cerana to Six Pollen Substitutes
Keywords:Apis cerana, honeybee, pollen substitutes, preference, yeasts
Adequate substitutes for pollen are necessary for maintaining healthy honeybee colonies during periods of pollen dearth. The research aimed to make pollen substitutes preferred by honeybee Apis cerana. Basic ingredients of pollen substitutes (PSs) were defatted soy flour and skim milk. There were six pollen substitutes prepared for the honeybee colonies. Three PSs contained yeasts associated with the honeybee, one PS contained commercial baker yeast, and two PSs without adding dry yeasts. PS1 contained basic ingredients, Candida hawaiiana CR015, and honey; PS2 contained basic ingredients, C. parapsilosis CR057, and honey; PS3 contained basic ingredients, Debaryomyces hansenii CR133, and honey; PS4 contained basic ingredients, commercial baker yeast, and honey; PS5 contained basic ingredients and sugar syrup; PS6 contained basic ingredients and honey. The PSs were fed daily in paste form. No pollen substitute was given to the control colonies. The pollen substitutes were fed to colonies of A. cerana for 20 days, and they were allowed to forage on flowers. Amount of pollen substitutes consumed by the honeybee were weighted daily. The consumption data of each pollen substitute per day were used to determine the preference of the honeybee for a particular pollen substitute. The results showed that the pollen substitutes containing C. hawaiiana CR015 (PS1) and commercial baker yeast (PS4) were more preferred by A. cerana compare to other pollen substitutes (PS2, PS3, PS4, and PS6). The pollen substitute made of basic ingredients and sugar syrup (PS5) was the least consumed or not preferred by A. cerana.