Click here for more information about Algenuity
Click here for more information about LiqofluxPhenometrics Buy 3 Get 1 Free
Visit cricatalyst.com!Evodos Separation Technology

Research

Microalgae Food for Honeybees

May 26, 2020
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Spirulina honeybees

Spirulina could provide a strong, sustainably produced artificial diet for honeybees.

kdropcapsim Kaplan reports for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, that a microscopic algae could provide a complete and sustainably sourced supplemental diet to boost the robustness of managed honey bees, according to research just published by Agricultural Research Service scientists in the journal Apidologie.

Poor nutrition in honeybees is often an underlying factor in colony losses because malnutrition amplifies the detrimental effects of parasites, pathogens, and pesticides. Habitat loss, decreases in flowering plant diversity and large tracts of crop monoculture all can potentially contribute to lessening natural pollen sources, which provide bees essential nutrition.

Now, research by ARS entomologists Vincent Ricigliano and Michael Simone-Finstrom has shown that the microalgae Arthrospira platensis (spirulina) has a nutritional profile that closely resembles pollen — rich in essential amino acids and lipids required by bees, with levels matching those found in tested pollen samples.

The two scientists are both with the ARS Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics, and Physiology Research Laboratory in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “Our work is a pioneering first look into the nutritional and functional properties of a single microalga and how well it corresponds to what is needed in a complete pollen substitute for the honeybee,” explained Dr. Ricigliano.

In addition to being rich in essential amino acids necessary for protein synthesis, immune function and colony growth in honeybees, spirulina also contains prebiotics that support the growth of healthy gut bacteria.

Commercial beekeepers have become increasingly reliant on artificial pollen substitute diets to nourish colonies during periods of pollen scarcity as well as to bolster colony size before they fulfill pollination service contracts.

Currently available commercial diets for bees usually incorporate a variety of ingredients such as soy, yeast, wheat, lentils and milk proteins in an effort to supply balanced nutrition. These artificial diets are sometimes deficient in essential macronutrients (proteins, lipids, prebiotic fibers), micronutrients (vitamins, minerals), or antioxidants.

“So, the need to scientifically improve the efficacy of pollen substitutes can be considered vital to modern beekeeping and we need to think about how we can do it in a sustainable way,” Dr. Ricigliano said.

Microalgae can be sustainably grown on a large scale with a minimal amount of water and few chemical inputs. It can even be grown in places where soybeans and other crops cannot be grown. “All it takes are shallow ponds, nutrient salts and sunlight to produce highly nutritious microalgae,” he said.

Now, the researchers are testing the microalgae diet in a field setting to make sure the diet is attractive to bees and supports colony growth. The excellent nutrition profile of spirulina suggests that there are likely other microalgae that could serve honeybees well, Dr. Simone-Finstrom pointed out.

“We have also begun development of new microalgae strains to address other aspects of bee health, including targeted nutrition strategies,” Dr. Ricigliano added.

Read More

More Like This…

Copyright ©2010-2020 AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Permission required to reprint this article in its entirety. Must include copyright statement and live hyperlinks. Contact editorial@algaeindustrymagazine.com. A.I.M. accepts unsolicited manuscripts for consideration, and takes no responsibility for the validity of claims made in submitted editorial.

twittertopbarlinks_eventstopbarlinks_requesttopbarlinks_archives

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
Global EcoPower (GEP), of Aix-en-Provence, France, has signed a 5-year partnership contract with the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA). This ...
Gerard de Souza reports for the Hindustan Times that researchers at the CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography Goa (India) have found a cleaner, cheaper method to grow b...
Alexander Richter writes in thinkgeoenergy.com that Israel-based Algaennovation last week signed a 15-year contract with Icelandic energy utility and operator ON Power fo...
Algae and corals have been leaning on each other since dinosaurs roamed the earth, much longer than had been previously thought, according to new research led by scientis...
Alexander Richter reports for Geothermal Energy News that, among the many examples offered during a recent conference in Pisa, Italy, on Perspectives and Impact of the Gr...
A French think tank called Atelier Luma is investigating whether treated algae can be used as an alternative material to plastic. It showed off the technology last week a...
Sophie Kevany writes in Decanter.com that a group of vineyards in France’s Bordeaux and Cognac regions are exploring whether algae can be used to prevent the fungal infec...
The Algae Biomass Organization (ABO) reports the introduction of the Algae Agriculture Act of 2018 (H.R. 5373), a bill that would give algae cultivators and harvesters ma...
Members from ABO’s Future of Algae for Food and Feed and their stakeholders have laid out the next steps in launching an industry wide Algae Center of Excellence (ACE). T...
Foodbev.com reports that French marine ingredients company Algaia will install a new specialty seaweed extract unit at its facility in Brittany, France, after securing €4...
A nasal spray derived from algae and a plant in the tobacco family could offer a preventive measure for COVID-19. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) and...
Tavelmout Biofarm (TVMB), a Bruneian subsidiary of Tabérumo Corporation — a pioneer in the large-scale cultivation of spirulina using photobioreactors — has launched thei...