Frequently asked questions

Killing Your Microbes?

Can I mix SuperDFM®-HoneyBee™ in a pollen patty?


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




Can I mix SuperDFM® with syrups or liquids?


No. 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.




Is SuperDFM® sensitive to extreme heat?


Yes. 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.




Will antibiotics kill the microbes in SuperDFM®?


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





Applying SuperDFM®

Can SuperDFM® be applied too frequently?


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




Should a nucleus colony get less than the recommended application?


No, SuperDFM® 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® more frequently (ex. 2-3 weeks apart).




How can I apply SuperDFM® to many hives quickly?


Our compressed air MicroCloud™ Applicator allows for easy SuperDFM® injection without opening the hive! Simply add SuperDFM® to the MicroCould™ scoop and insert it into the hive entrance. Press the applicator firmly against the front board and give the trigger a short squeeze. Then you're done! Your hive will be efficiently inoculated.




What pressure should the air compressor be set at for the MicroCloud™?


Using a portable air-tank such as this one makes using the MicroCloud™ fast and easy! SuperDFM® can be distributed effectively with a one-second blast of air at 50-150 psi pressure. An 11-gallon tank provides hundreds of one-second air blasts.




How do I use SuperDFM-HoneyBee?


Feed SuperDFM-HoneyBee dry every time you provide supplemental feeding for the bees. Alternatively, inoculate the hives using MicroCloud attachment without opening the hive.




Can SuperDFM-HoneyBee be applied right on the top bars?


SuperDFM-HoneyBee can be placed right on top bars or any dry surface inside the hive where the nurse bees can consume it easily and quickly.




Can I apply SuperDFM-HoneyBee onto the honey supers?


Yes, SuperDFM-HoneyBee can be put at the top of the bars of honey supers, as long as bees have access to it.




Can I mix SuperDFM-HoneyBee in sugar syrup?


No, SuperDFM-HoneyBee is not recommended to be mixed in sugar syrup.




Can I mix SuperDFM-HoneyBee in a pollen patty?


No, SuperDFM-HoneyBee is not recommended to be mixed in pollen patties.




How often should SuperDFM-HoneyBee be used?


SuperDFM-HoneyBee is recommended monthly during the colonies' active time. At the least, administer SuperDFM every time supplemental feeding is needed.




When is the best time to use SuperDFM-HoneyBee?


The most important time is when the queen starts to lay winter bees and the second is first thing in the spring.




Can I use the Formic Acid and SuperDFM-HoneyBee at the same time?


Yes, you can use formic acid and microbials at the same time, as long as the two treatments are not touching each other.




Can I use ApiVar and SuperDFM-HoneyBee at the same time?


Yes, you can use ApiVar and microbials at the same time, as long as the two treatments are not touching each other.




Can I use Honeybee Healthy and SuperDFM-HoneyBee at the same time?


Yes, you can use Honey Bee Healthy and microbials at the same time, as long as the two treatments are not touching each other.




Can I over apply SuperDFM-Honeybee?


No, there is no such thing as too much probiotic and there are no reported adverse effects to the bees.





Pathogens & Pests

Is SuperDFM® used for nosema/bee dysentery?


Yes, SuperDFM®-Honeybee™ is recommended for mitigating nosema. Many of our customers successfully control 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.




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


  1. Avoid using screened bottom boards. When bees are trying to chase them out, beetles will hide on the underside of the screen then re-enter the hive when the bee has moved on.
  2. Clean hive walls of excess wax and bridge comb as beetles use these places to hide. Push frames away from the walls to clear the wax.
  3. Pollen patties also provide shelter and food for small hive beetles. Cut pollen patties into half-dollar size pieces to ensure they are consumed quickly.
  4. Place a Swiffer towel on the top bars and in the back corners of the hive. The beetles’ legs will get caught in the fibers as bees are chasing them. Check, remove, and replace these towels often.
  5. Use beetle jails, modified special hive guard entrances.
  6. Keep your hives queenright! Queenless hives have a scent that attracts beetles.
  7. Keep your hives strong. Combine weak hives. A weak hive will have less ability to guard against small hive beetles.




Does SuperDFM-HoneyBee help with AFB?


Laboratory studies show probiotic bacteria inhibiting growth of AFB-causing pathogen.




Does SuperDFM-HoneyBee help with EFB?


Laboratory studies show probiotic bacteria inhibiting growth of EFB-causing pathogen.




Does SuperDFM-HoneyBee help with Chalkbrood?


Laboratory studies show probiotic bacteria inhibiting growth of Chalkbrood-causing pathogen. Field studies show that hives supplemented with SuperDFM-HoneyBee have 70% lower incidence of Chalkbrood compared to control hives.




Does SuperDFM-HoneyBee help with nosema?


Field studies show that hives supplemented with SuperDFM-HoneyBee recover faster and better from Natural and Induced Nosema infection.




Does SuperDFM-HoneyBee help if bees encounter pesticides? Are there any studies on this?


There are several studies on the beneficial impacts of probiotic bacteria during exposure to pesticide, summarized in a review "Characterization of Apis mellifera Gastrointestinal Microbiota and Lactic Acid Bacteria for Honeybee Protection—A Review" by Nowak et al.




What happens if bees encounter fungicides?


Toxicity of fungicides to hive varies greatly, but similar to pesticides, many bacteria are involved in neutralizing their effect on the hive microbiome.




Is SuperDFM-HoneyBee a medicine?


SuperDFM-HoneyBee is not a drug. It is a supplement of live probiotic microorganisms to support bees' digestive system.




Is SuperDFM-HoneyBee a cure?


SuperDFM-HoneyBee is not a drug and is not intended to cure a disease.




Is SuperDFM-HoneyBee considered a treatment?


SuperDFM-HoneyBee is a probiotic supplement that is intended to be used regularly to achieve greatest benefit.




Can I stop using antibiotics if I use SuperDFM-HoneyBee (a probiotic)?


Using antibiotics in honeybees should always have been the last resort. Since the use of medically relevant antibiotics in honeybees is now regulated and requires veterinarian prescription, prophylactic use of antibiotics has already diminished and the use of antibiotics to treat a diagnosed disease remains. However, honeybee colonies supplemented with SuperDFM-HoneyBee are healthier and have fewer veterinary visits and need for prescriptions.





General

Why should we give probiotics to bees? Are microbes natural?


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.




Can I freeze SuperDFM® over the winter to use next year?


Yes, freezing SuperDFM® will preserve it very well. Make sure to seal the bag firmly before freezing.




How do SuperDFM-HoneyBee Microbials work?


Microbes are a part of the hive and honeybee digestive system. Microbes are active in digestion, including digestion of supplemental (artificial) feed, manipulating other microbes, breaking down toxins and pesticides. Probiotic bacteria create a hospitable environment for other beneficial microbes.




What is the shelf life of SuperDFM-HoneyBee and how do I store it properly?


SuperDFM-HoneyBee should be stored in a cool, dry place; it could also be stored in a freezer. Shelf life is 5 years from the date of manufacturing.




Do bees really need microbial supplements? What studies prove this?


Loss of beneficial bacteria was first noted in CCD hives in "A Metagenomic Survey of Microbes in Honey Bee Colony Collapse Disorder" by Diana Cox-Foster et al.




Are bee probiotics much like human probiotics?


Yes, they help bees in the same way they help humans, a healither gut will lead to overall improvement in nutrition, digestion, and life.




How fast will I notice the benefits from feeding my bees SuperDFM-Honeybee?


The earlier you use it when you see a problem, the better a Strong hive will be able to suppress the pathogen.




Bee receive probiotics from pollen, right? Why do I need SuperDFM-HoneyBee if they receive the same probiotics from pollen?


Yes, correct, pollen and nectar naturally contain many probiotic bacteria. Bees need probiotic supplementation when the pollen and nectar producing plants are exposed to non-organic pesticides or antibiotic, when fresh pollen and nectar are scarce (dearth period), and bees receive supplemental feeding of pollen substitute, pollen patty, and sugar syrup. Prepared, processed feed for bees lacks beneficial microbes.




Is SuperDFM-HoneyBee safe?


Yes, there are no adverse reactions of bees to the probiotics.




Is SuperDFM-HoneyBee a preventative supplement?


SuperDFM-HoneyBee is used to prevent dysbiosis.




Is SuperDFM-HoneyBee safe for humans to eat?


SuperDFM-HoneyBee contains only food-grade ingredients and is manufactured in and FDA certified U.S. facility, but SuperDFM-HoneyBee is not labeled for and not intended for human consumption.




Is SuperDFM-HoneyBee safe for honey?


Testing honey from colonies supplemented with SuperDFM-HoneyBee monthly did not identify any foreign or regulated substances in honey.




Your ingredients list only bacterial “fermentation products”. What does that mean? Usually microbial fermentation products are alcohol, carbon dioxide, and organic acids.


What an excellent question! You understand correctly "fermentation products" as products of cellular metabolism. That's not what is meant in this case, however! In the case of product labeling, the term "fermentation product" refers to the complete product of a fermentation batch (the process of growing live bacteria in a fermentation tank in industrial fermentation). The origin of this particular term lies within the Official Publication of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), under Section 36 Fermentation Products, which defines animal feed ingredients derived from spent fermentation processes, and under Section 96 Yeast, defines yeast products. For regulatory purposes, Direct-Fed Microbial (DFM) products are considered a subclass of fermentation or yeast products because they are similarly produced. Therefore, labeling law requires live bacteria in Direct-Fed Microbial products to be listed as "Genus species fermentation product." In the case of live microorganisms (when fermentation product is dried without killing the cells), the statement "contains a source of live (viable) naturally occurring microorganisms" is required to clarify this. These DFM products are relatively new to beekeeping, but they have been used in other animal livestock for decades. So, the terminology may be a little archaic…However, I think everyone in the industry is so used to it that they are not noticing it. Anyway, the term "fermentation product" in the case of SuperDFM refers to live bacteria. We can't call it anything else. This is the correct terminology - the Wisconsin Department of Trade and Consumer Protection reviews our labels on behalf of the FDA monthly to ensure strict compliance with the labeling law. They specifically require this exact wording.





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