The Influence of Corn Syrup Based Solid Food Supplements, During the Inactive (Winter) Season, Upon the Evolution of Major Bacterial Diseases in Bees

Cristina Mateescu, Vasilica Savu, Agripina Șapcaliu, Ion Radoi, Carmen Negoiță


We aimed to establish the influence of corn syrup on clinically healthy bee families, which however carry etiologic agents of major bacterial diseases in the winter. Five apiaries in the South of Romania were monitored in terms of bee colonies’ health as part of a research program. Bee samples were received at the end of the active season before administering food supplements, and after winter, for lab testing, from 75 bee colonies treated during the inactive season with fructose syrup based food supplements. By comparison, 25 bee colonies were treated naturally (with reserve honey). The samples were investigated macroscopically and microbiologically (direct microscopy and bacterioscopical tests), noting massive presence of bacilli and spores only in the samples of bee colonies that had been fed corn syrup based food supplements, and not in the control lot. The bees that have been fed naturally did not present changes of intestinal microflora. Feeding corn syrup based supplements in the solid food during the winter season influenced negatively the development of bee colonies and caused depopulation, apathy, shorter life. The microscopic investigation allowed showcasing the boom of bacilli in bees’ intestine. Corn syrup based food supplements fed to bees in the winter altered the microflora balance and permitted the development of major bacterial agents. Preventive examination of bees’ intestine by direct microscopy and subsequent confirmation by microbiological testing before feeding are recommended.


Apis mellifera, European foulbrood, American foulbrood, food supplements

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