Good Nutrition, Good Bees with David Aston (S4, E15)


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By Jeff Ott and Kim Flottum. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

This week we talk with researcher and author, David Aston about his book, Good Nutrition, Good Bees. It’s exciting to see how much information on honey bee nutrition is becoming available. This is happening as both new research and looking at existing research in a new light.

David Aston, and his coauthor and wife Sally Bucknall, have focused on presenting much existing information, along with some of their newer work in a unique format.

Imagine, if you will, all of the things a bee does during his or her life. Starting with being a larva, pupa, then adult. Each of these stages requires a different diet, either in content, amount or timing. What happens if there isn’t enough food, or the quality is below what’s needed, or suddenly there isn’t any at all.

Then imagine the series of tasks an adult bee undertakes. Feeding larvae, raising queens, flying and foraging, making beeswax, dancing, laying eggs, mating, producing venom, and all of the rest of the tasks in their busy lives. Does the diet of a worker bee need to change as she matures? Once a queen starts laying eggs, how much food does she need to produce 1000, 1500 eggs a day? Does a bee know where to find the food needed to produce venom?

What plants are fatty acids, lipids, vitamins, inorganic elements, sterols and all the rest found that are needed to do all the things bees do? And if you are feeding you bees, what do you feed them? And how much, and when?

David Aston tackles all of these questions in his podcast and in his book. It is simply a wealth of information, so you can make sure your bees have enough good food, all of the time, for every bee in the bunch.

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This episode is brought to you by Global Patties! Global Patties is a family business that manufactures protein supplement patties for honey bees. Feeding your hives protein supplement patties will help ensure that they produce strong and health colonies by increasing brood production and overall honey flow. Global offers a variety of standard patties, as well as custom patties to meet your specific needs. Visit them today at and let them know you appreciate them sponsoring this episode!

We welcome Betterbee as sponsor of today's episode. BetterBee’s mission is to support every beekeeper with excellent customer service, continued education and quality equipment. From their colorful and informative catalog to their support of beekeeper educational activities, including this podcast series, BetterBee truly is Beekeepers Serving Beekeepers. See for yourself at

Thanks to Strong Microbials for their support of Beekeeping Today Podcast. Find out more about heir line of probiotics in our Season 3, Episode 12 episode and from their website:

We want to also thank 2 Million Blossoms as a sponsor of the podcast. 2 Million Blossoms is a quarterly magazine destined for your coffee table. Each page of the magazine is dedicated to the stories and photos of all pollinators and written by leading researchers, photographers and our very own, Kim Flottum.

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We hope you enjoy this podcast and welcome your questions and comments:

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Podcast music: Young Presidents, "Be Strong"; Musicalman, "Epilogue". Original guitar background instrumental by Jeff Ott

Beekeeping Today Podcast is an audio production of Growing Planet Media, LLC

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