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We continue the series on the subject of honey bees’ nutrition with an update to our original protein patties formula. The improvement consists mainly in increasing the protein percentage by substituting 5 kg of brewer’s yeast (around 40% protein) with 2kg of whey protein isolate and another 2 kg of soy protein isolate, both containing protein in excess of 90%. By making this particular adjustment we achieve two significant improvements to the original recipe:
1. The protein percentage is increased from around 23% to 25% (dry substance) while also improving the amino acid profile.
2. The percentage of ash is reduced (brewer’s yeast has around 6% ash, while the protein isolates contain only 2% ash). Also, the apple cider vinegar (used for its digestive and preservative qualities) can be replaced with a mix of essential oils as follows:
- 2,5 kg sugar
- 1,25 l water
- 625 mg lecithin (powder)
- 15 ml peppermint oil
- 15 ml lemongrass oil
For the preparation of the essential oils mix, the water must be boiled, then the lecithin powder is added; the solution is then left to cool down until it’s just slightly warm. We then add the sugar and when it has completely cooled down we add the oils as well. The solution can be stored in a closed bottle. This mix can then be used in sugar syrup (10 ml added to 1 liter of syrup) or in protein patties (20 ml added to a 1 kg patty).
The new, improved formula for the protein patties is the following:
- Egg yolk powder 2.5 kg
- Soy protein isolate 4 kg
- Whey protein isolate 2 kg
- Brewer’s yeast 18 kg
- Sugar 27 kg
- Citric acid 500 g
- Essential oils mix 1,3 l
- Cinnamon 600 g
- Corn oil 2 l
- Water 12 l
The preparation procedure is the same as in the case of the previous recipe, with the recommendation to first mix the dry ingredients before adding any liquid component.
We are currently working on a premium protein patty that will fully comply to the protein requirements of the honey bee: over 25% protein, an optimal amino acid profile, a quantity of ash below 2% and highly appealing to bees (more than 50% sugar in dry substance).
Obtaining this type of protein patty implies high costs, as it requires higher quantities of isolates, especially whey compared to the above recipe. It comes a s no surprise that Ultra Bee protein patties, considered to be the benchmark of protein supplements for bees, come at a price of around $ 5,25 per kg. We will keep you posted with our project and attempt to create a quality protein patty that also comes at a more reasonable price.