01-30-2001, 10:27 AM
Should I be feeding Dry Pollen Substitute to the bees this time of year? Even if they swarm to it and seem to need it? will feeding it this time of year cause them to swarm in the spring? I live in NC and the temp here has been around 50 to 55 Degrees.
I have pretty much no experience, but from things I read, this is about the time colonies start rearing brood in anticipation of the upcoming nectar flows. Feeding pollen and syrup will help them build up this population. Higher populations mean more honey, but of course more risk of swarming; though it doesn't mean they necessarily will. If you use 2 brood boxes, reversing them when the bees primarily occupy the upper one will make them feel like they have more room and thus be less likely to swarm. Similarly putting on multiple supers of drawn comb when the flow starts gives the field bees plenty of space to store nectar/honey and can also relieve congestion in the brood nest. George Imrie (http://www.beekeeper.org/george_imirie/) has a number of writings on broodnest reversal and swarm prevention as well as other generally good info.
Hope this has been useful.