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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,408

    Default Feeding Pollen Substitute Patties

    Well, there's been enough forage for my small nucleus colonies to sustain themselves, but not really enough for them to grow on. Since I'm still raising a few queens, I like to feed the nucs that are finishing growing queens, so I make up some pollen sub patties and a little sugar syrup (1:1), little reason to ever feed any other concentrations around here. So, to inspire my full-size colonies to grow, I also started feeding them with just pollen sub, proportionate to the size of each hive, and two days after putting 2 pound patties on my full-size hives I check to see how they're doing with it. Recently, to my surprise, most of them had finished off the patties without even leaving a trace behind, some still had small pieces of patty or just a little scrap of waxed paper remaining. I can see now, why many feed, what I consider, huge 4 pound, or more patties at each feeding. At my next feeding I am planning to try feeding two, 2 pound patties per hive, to see how that goes.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,951

    Default Re: Feeding Pollen Substitute Patties

    interesting joe. do your hives brood down very much in arizona? most of mine shut down about a month ago.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,408

    Default Re: Feeding Pollen Substitute Patties

    If I let them get near the point of starvation, their brood area will get down to almost nothing and they will start pulling pupae out with the trash. Since I don't locate/relocate my hives to take advantage of flows in different areas, or in agriculture -- if the weather isn't very cooperative I often resort to minimal feeding of the weakest colonies to keep them moving along until we get sufficient rain and cooler weather. I'm always waiting for the next year and hoping it will be wetter and cooler than the one before. About one in ten years we have a nice wet Summer or wet Winter, sometimes both. Whenever that happens there is no shortage of forage -- it's astonishing what annual wildflower seed are there, simply waiting for suitable conditions.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,951

    Default Re: Feeding Pollen Substitute Patties

    i see that tucson is in the southern part of your state. i guess you don't have much of a 'winter' there, and the bees get to forage year-round? (if it rains of course )
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,408

    Default Re: Feeding Pollen Substitute Patties

    A few weeks ago we had two days with nights near freezing. Since then the nights have been 50F or nearly so, and the days have usually been near 80F more or less. Some Winters we have lots of cold nights, and a few years ago we had some record cold nights as well as days. However, overall most colonies keep drones and even keep producing them, and I am able to continue raising queens cells and queens year-'round. Though when Winter nights are consistently at or near freezing, I usually take a break from that activity.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: Feeding Pollen Substitute Patties

    Joseph will you share your pollen sub recipe?
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Mesa Arizona USA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Feeding Pollen Substitute Patties

    Jos. I maybe going to sacramento to visit the family during the holidays. If you want I can pick up some of keiths sub for you? take care GB.
    George Brenner @ www.valleyhoneyco.com
    Mesa, AZ

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,298

    Default Re: Feeding Pollen Substitute Patties

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Clemens View Post
    I can see now, why many feed, what I consider, huge 4 pound, or more patties at each feeding. At my next feeding I am planning to try feeding two, 2 pound patties per hive, to see how that goes.
    Well said Jos.
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,408

    Default Re: Feeding Pollen Substitute Patties

    I don't really have a 'recipe', I just get granulated cane sugar, Bee Pro, Brewer's Yeast, and sometimes other similar dry ingredients, including hemp protein powder, toasted soy flour, etc. I then start with the sugar, which I pre-moisten using a mixture of corn and canola oils. After the sugar is moist with oil, I thoroughly mix in the other dry ingredients. I don't actually use accurately measured portions, I prepare my Pollen Sub like my parents and grandparents used to cook (I come from a long line of Bohemian chef's). When I'm making a batch of my impromptu Pollen Sub I like to use equal portions of each of the dry powdered ingredients, and balance those with about half the final total in volume (not weight) of sugar. Once all the dry ingredients, including oil-moistened sugar, are blended together, I slowly mix in 1:1 sugar syrup until the whole mass/mess is the consistency of cookie dough. After letting it rest for a few hours, I dole it out onto waxed paper, then cover with another layer of waxed paper -- creating 1/4 - 1/2" thick patties. I cut little slits in the waxed paper, on the side I place towards the bees, just before I place the patties on the hives. Recently I've been making patty stands from 1/2 x 1/2" wire mesh, folding them so there is a bee space beneath them with patties above (this seems to permit slightly better access to the patties and faster utilization).

    I have also used some of Keith Jarett's NUTRA-BEE that a friend picks up for me, when he's in Sacramento. Thank you G B. I like it very much. It saves me lots of time and trouble making up my own Pollen Sub and it works very well. I don't know how much better NURTA-BEE is than any of my impromptu concoctions, but I am quite certain it is better than some, if not all of my own patties.

    NUTRA-BEE's consistency reminds me of the Bit O Honey candy bars I ate as a child, and the bees seem to like it as well as I like those candy bars.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: Feeding Pollen Substitute Patties

    Thanks Joe
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

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