7.4. Lipids, minerals, and vitamins

The importance of lipids, minerals, and vitamins for brood-rearing in a colony is well-known, whereas, in adults it is not (Haydak, 1970; Brodschneider and Crailsheim, 2010). It is likely that reserves stored in the body during development may be used during adulthood (Maurizio, 1959; Haydak, 1970). Honey bees typically receive these nutrients when consuming bee bread (Brodschneider and Crailsheim, 2010), although many protein substitutes can also contain lipids, minerals, and vitamins. Additionally, soluble vitamins of known concentrations can be added to sugar solution, and protein patties or other formulations can be supplemented with lipids, vitamins, and minerals (Herbert et al., 1980; 1985; Herbert and Shimanuki, 1978). Little information is available on this subject regarding caged honey bees. More research is needed to better understand effects of lipids, minerals, and vitamins on caged workers, and to determine if they should be provided to individuals as a standard to promote honey bee health in the laboratory. Currently, we recommend to not provide lipid, mineral, and vitamin supplements to caged individuals.