Using a seaweed-based product to boost bee health might seem a little unusual, but research is showing it works.
Tane Bradley of AgriSea NZ says it was beekeepers themselves who discovered the benefits of the company’s products, triggering trials and further research to discover the optimum levels of product that bees require.
“Five years ago we noticed a number of beekeepers among our clients and went out to talk to a few of them to discover how our products were adding value to their beekeeping operations. A big thank you is due to all of the early users who have taught us much about their industry,” says Tane.
As a result of feedback from beekeepers, Agrisea began running a study to assess the optimum concentration of AgriSea Bee Nutrition per litre of sugar syrup for bees at De Graaph Apiaries.
“The initial results are promising and point to 30mls per litre of sugar syrup being the optimum concentration for increasing brood at this time.”
AgriSea is a 21-year-old Kiwi family company with the second generation husband and wife team Tane and Clare Bradley now running the day-to-day company business.
Early in 2016 Tane and Clare met with Dr Mark Goodwin and Sarah Cross at Plant & Food Research to scientifically assess what beekeepers had been noticing in their hives.
“This included fat bees, healthy hives, increased production and increased brood. We have now come up with some really good methodology.The trials began in April 2017 and will run till mid July 2018 and we look forward to sharing the results with beekeepers,” says Tane.
The unique marine fermentation process used in the manufacture of AgriSea Bee Nutrition products means they supply all of the 10 amino acids essential for bee health. “In fact, our products contain nearly all of the known 21 amino acids, plus a complex range of micro and macro nutrients, phytochemicals, probiotics, polysaccharides, fatty acids and vitamins. When added to sugar syrup, the nutritional value of the feed is significantly increased.”
Thanks to AgriSea, Coast & Country News has two prize packs to give away. The first is five litres of Bee Nutrition valued at $100, ideal for a trial by a commercial beekeeping team or for a hobbyist; and the second is 20 litres of Bee Nutrition valued at $257, ideal for a commercial beekeeper. Both prize packs come with cammo hats too. To be in to win, name the Plant & Food scientists AgriSea has been working with to refine its Bee Nutrition products. Send your answer, (state if you are a hobbyist or commercial beekeeper) along with your name and address firstname.lastname@example.org with AgriSea prize in the subject line, or put these details on the back of an envelope and post to Country Funnies, PO Box 240, Tauranga 3140 to arrive no later than August 21.