A new product has been developed that is designed to increase the effectiveness of both pollination and brood build-up. The product is called Superboost, developed by Pherotech International, Inc. This product is being distributed by Mann Lake Ltd, who brought literature and some sample materials to the California State Beekeepers Convention last November. At the time this product was not yet avaible, but as of this January it is available for purchase through Mann Lake Ltd.
Superboost is a hanging pad that releases a combination of 10 pheramones that specifically stimulate brood rearing. Pherotech developed Superboost in collaboration with Texas A & M University. This pad is hung between two of the frames in a hive and lasts 30 days. According to the material, Superboost is to promote:
- Increases in colony growth rate in summer and winter.
- Increase queen feeding and egg laying rate.
- Increase honey production.
- Stimulate feeding on pollen patties and liquid feed.
- Lower the age of first foraging by worker bees.
- Increase the pollen load of each foraging worker.
- Increase the number of young worker bees.
- Increase the number of foragers by up to 150%.
- Inhibit swarming.
That seems like quite a claim by this product, yet this was all from the product promotional flyer I received at the convention. I thought I would try out this product, so I purchased two orders (4 wafers) of these pheramone pads. I should be able to do my own observational testing on 4 similar hives and 4 control hives (2 hives each at two different location) to see the visual difference in brood buildup this Spring. The overall idea with this product is to increase brood buildup before sending bees to pollinate almond fields. It is postulated that these wafers of superboost may soon be required by almond growers in order to maintain adequate forage bees to meet the pollination rates needed to set a sufficient crop.