By administering extra iron, the bees gain access to an additional source of iron during an extended period of time. The iron is absorbed into the bees' body from the intestine. This reverses the deficiency that often manifests itself later in the season. You can find out how this shortage arises in the section Causes of iron deficiency and in the Research section of this website.
Influence on mite fall
Increased mite fall occurs within a day of adding iron to the bees' diet. This effect lasts for 1 or 2 days. By administering extra iron to the bees, the mites quickly get their required amount of iron. The mites no longer need the bees as a source of iron. The mites that fall off the bees die within a few hours (max. 4 hours), so they cannot infect any other bees. The number of bees infected with mites decreases rapidly, greatly reducing the chance of the brood becoming infected by Varroa mites. Hardly any mites cross over from nurse bees to the brood cells. By administering an iron supplement, the beekeeper does not have to take other measures to combat the Varroa mite.
Influence on the microbiological composition
By administering extra iron the beekeeper changes the microbial composition in the bees. The microbiological biodiversity, or the variety of microorganisms present, increases. This improves the digestion of nutritional components. The result is healthier bees. These effects are also reinforced by adding a chelate and certain indigestible substances.