Q&A

Commonly asked questions answered by our team. Don't see your question on here? Fill out the form at the bottom of the page with your question and we will get back to you with an answer. 

Q. Is feeding microbes to bees natural? Why should we give probiotics to the bees? 

A. SuperDFM-HoneyBee ingredients are naturally occurring microbes, produced using fermentation of natural ingredients. In nature, honeybees naturally acquire billions of microbes in their gut and ingest naturally occurring microbes in resources they collect (water, nectar, and pollen). Microbes ferment and preserve bee bread and help digest proteins and carbohydrates in the honeybee gut. Additional microbes acquired through probiotic supplementation support healthy balance in the gut and provide nutritional benefits.

Q. Can SuperDFM-HoneyBee be applied frequently? Is it possible to apply too much?

A. SuperDFM-HoneyBee is safe to use and there are no adverse effects if you use more than recommended application. SuperDFM-HoneyBee contains powdered sucrose or sugar, but it is not a substitute for bee feed.

Q. Can I mix Super DFM-HoneyBee in pollen patty?

A. No, we do not recommend mixing SuperDFM-HoneyBee in any prepared food for honeybees, as moisture will lower the efficacy of lactic acid bacteria in the product.

Q. If I feed SuperDFM-HoneyBee to a nucleus colony, do I give less than recommended application?

A. No, SuperDFM-HoneyBee application size does not change whether the bee colony is small or large. If the colony is rapidly growing or you are splitting the colony, feed SuperDFM-HoneyBee more frequently (ex. 2-3 weeks apart). 

Q. Can I put unopened packages of SuperDFM-HoneyBee in the freezer over winter and take them out the next year and use them?

A. Yes, you may certainly do so. It will work very well for the preservation of SuperDFM. Make sure to seal the bag before freezing.

Q. Has anyone ever used SuperDFM-HoneyBee for nosema/bee dysentery?

A. Yes, we do recommend SuperDFM for mitigating nosema. Many of our customers achieve controlling Nosema spores below an economic threshold of 1 million spores per bee, and prevent nosemosis outbreaks, with an application of SuperDFM-Honeybee every 30 days.

Q. What is a portable and easy way to apply SuperDFM into my hives? It’s not always convenient to lift the honey supers off to get to the brood. Can Super DFM be added to sugar syrup feed? Can it be blown in with a pump?

A. SuperDFM (direct-fed microbials) should not be mixed with liquids. We offer a convenient compressed air MicroCloud Applicator on our website that allows for easy inoculation without opening the hive. Simply add the DFM dose to the applicator scoop and insert it into the hive entrance. Press it firmly against the front board and give the trigger a short squeeze. Then you're done! Your hive will be efficiently inoculated.  

  • Do not Mix DFMs with syrups or liquids. Moisture activates DFMs. Once activated, they require an anaerobic environment (without oxygen) with the proper light, temperature, and food sources to prevent them from perishing. 

  • Do not expose DFMs to excessive heat. If you happen to leave your bag of DFMs in your vehicle on a hot day, they would likely die in temperatures above 130°F. They will not all die at once. A higher percentage of them will be likely to die as they are exposed longer and at higher temperatures.

  • Do not apply DFMs at the same time as feeding antibiotics or other antimicrobial products as these products are designed to kill microbes. 

Q. What’s the best practices to keep small hive beetle under control?

A. Keep your hives strong. Avoid screened bottom boards because beetle re-enter and evade chasing when they hang upside down under the screen when chased and then turn right side up and back into hive when bees move on. Avoid pollen patties or keep them 1/2 dollar size so bees eat them fast.  Hive beetles love laying under pollen patties. It provides food and shelter for larva where bees cannot collect them as trash. 

Provide clear walls for bees to chase beetles out. In a 10-frame box remove a frame and push frames from wall. Clear wax and bridge comb where beetles run and hide. The bees chase beetles out of hives as much as possible. Place swifter towels on the top bars in back corners of the hives. Beetles get legs caught up in the fibers. Check and remove and replace towels often. Use beetle jails, modified special hive guard entrances, and careful monitoring. Queenless hives have a scent that calls beetles.  Keep your hives queenright. 

Q. What pressure should the air compressor be set at for the MicroCloud DFM Applicator?

A. Using a portable airtank such as this one makes using the MicroCloud(TM) fast and easy! SuperDFM(R) can be distributed effectively with a one-second blast of air at 50-150 psi pressure. The 11-gallon tank does hundreds of one-second air blasts. 

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