I'm using HoneySoy brand
soy flour (~25% by wt of the dry ingredients) with spray dried brewers
yeast (~25%), white sugar (50%) and natural bee collected pollen (~5%) and
an arbitrary amount of water to make patties for supplying protein
supplement to hives of honeybees used for pollination of crops.
The sugar and pollen function mainly as attractants and the water is to
make the mixture into a mud-like consistency to form patties.
There is quite a bit published on honey bee nutrition, however there seems
to be no one clear specification of an ideal diet. I suppose the reasons
are that unless the bees are confined, they have a way of collecting their
own components to add to any supplied diet and also the nutritional
condition of the bees going into the experiments has a bearing, since the
nurse bees can deplete their own body reserves of essential nutrients to
feed the young.
Confining bees has a way
of changing their behavior and consequently their nutrient requirements.
I.e. normally honey bees fly long distances; when caged, they cannot.
Flying may consume
different nutrients and compounds than idleness. Also at some times of year
bees generate wax from their bodies to make honeycombs. At other times they
do not. Moreover, the bees can apparently synthesize some vital vitamins if
they have other necessary components, so the problem of determining an
ideal is somewhat recursive.
Anyhow, that was provided as way of background. My questions
1. Since we are using HoneySoy at present, we are concerned whether the
product is toasted to destroy proteolytic enzyme inhibitors (trypsin
inhibitors) or not. I am not sure if this important for insects, since this
is apparently a factor for 'higher animals'. Some of the reading I have
done indicates this as being an important specification for bee feed and I
am unable to see anything about toasting in the specs I received indirectly
from the manufacturer.
2. I am a bit concerned about the low amount of oil (~1%) remaining in the
solvent processed flour. My texts specify ~5% as being ideal, and the
HoneySoy is much lower. I wonder if I can't just add it back using soy or
Canola oil in my feed? Does grocery store soy oil contain all the lipids
that are removed in processing, or is it further refined?
3. I wonder about shelf life of HoneySoy. The specs say 6 months to a year.
What specific deterioration is likely to occur in dry storage at room
temperatures? Does the protein break down? Vitamins? Lipids? Other? About
how much in percentage? Is one year old product at a predictable percentage
level of new product in nutrient value? How do I know how old the product
4. A manufacturer of bee supplementary feeds told me that there is some
remaining hexane -- or hexane smell -- in solvent processed flour that is
repulsive to bees. I wonder how much -- if any -- hexane remains in the
HoneySoy flour? I can't imagine the levels would be detectable. Are they?
5. Is expeller processed soy flour available anywhere in North America?
I'll appreciate any insights that anyone can supply on any of these