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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Germany /Europe
    Posts
    126

    Post

    Good evening to everyone,

    who can teach me to make pollen patties?
    What ingredients are needed and where can I get them in europe?

    Pollen supplement dough is very expensive here, and in fall I will have to serve about 300 hives.
    If I am forced to buy a ready-to-use pollen food the costs are about $5 per kilo~2lbs.
    The work to make the dough isn't the problem but the cash-flow....

    Best regards, Alienor
    Sincerely
    Alienor

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,136

    Post

    I only feed pollen in the early spring. The cheapest way to get it is to use pollen traps and get the bees to gather it. I like to feed it dry in empty hives so it won't get rained on and let the bees gather it.

    Do a search on pollen patties and you'll find many recipies posted here. Most have whole soy flour as the main ingredient.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,303

    Post

    I have good luck mixing dried brewers yeast with honey syrup(no pollen except what is in the honey).Here it comes in 50 lbs.bags for around thirty USA dollars.With all the good German beer being made,there must be a company there that sells the dried yeast at a reasonable price.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,033

    Post

    Anyone ever try offering JUST brewer's yeast? I only ask because I routinely discard a quart or so of fresh, healthy yeast slurry... if dried, and if the bees would want it, I'm all set! Maybe just dry it and mix later into patties?
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Germany /Europe
    Posts
    126

    Post

    Thanks for your answers!
    I will have to use pollen patties in fall because of lack of nature pollen. My bees will start brood rearing around christmas but natural pollen will be available not before end of March. Beekeeping season ends usually at end of July; after that date very few pollen will be available.
    So I want to support them with pollen supplement feeding.

    This year the very first time to take a quick look inside was March 2nd and there were lots of bees and food but NO pollen left and NO brood.
    I started feeding pollen supplement immediately and at March 20 there were lots of capped brood.
    At this time we have lots of food left but we are very short in pollen.
    So I want to feed pollen supplement in fall and hope to help continuing brood rearing from christmas until real pollen will be available.

    Am I right or wrong?

    Best regards, Alienor
    Sincerely
    Alienor

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,136

    Post

    I haven't had a lot of luck with patties even of real pollen and I haven't had a lot of luck with pollen substitute. I usually feed real pollen, dry, in open feeders or I mix real pollen 50/50 with pollen substitute.

    But them having pollen in the winter will probably help a lot on brood rearing. Maybe they'll take the patties.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,303

    Post

    Clarence Wenner,who was a very well known California beekeeper,found many years ago that the fall pollens in parts of Ca. were nutritionally inadequate for the bees to raise the maximum amount of healthy young bees to carry through until spring. He fed the yeast patties twice in Sept. and again in Jan.and found these to be his best hives by far.This is one of the secrets to having strong hives for early pollination.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Post

    > fall pollens in parts of Ca. were nutritionally inadequate

    I would not worry about this problem unless
    one has a very dry climate or a very dry fall.
    I'm sure that someone who wanted to take careful
    measurements of nutritional factors would find
    that any "spring pollen" is better nutritionally
    than any "fall pollen". The same is true of
    nectar sucrose percentages. Spring nectar tends
    to have a higher sugars concentration than fall.

    Spring plants have lots of competition for the
    attention of few pollinators, so they must offer
    "better stuff", or they get no visitors, and
    don't reproduce. The plants that do reproduce
    are those that offer the better "rewards" for
    pollinators. It is an "arms race" of sorts.
    Very Darwinian.

    Fall flowers don't have to offer so much,
    because there are so many pollinators around
    that the "competition" reverses, where the many
    pollinators are competing for few flowers.

    One interesting side-effect of "poor nutrition"
    (which comes down to lousy pollen or the use
    of a low-protein pollen substitute) is that it
    tends to make for smaller bees. So if one wanted
    to speed up or ease one's "regression" of a
    colony, one might want to try putting a pollen
    trap on all season, and feeding a low-quality
    pollen substitute in the brood chamber to "force"
    the creation of smaller (sadly, undernourished)
    bees.

    > fed the yeast patties...

    Some people have success with brewer's yeast.
    I've never bothered to try. Real pollen is
    free, so pollen traps have a very good return
    on investment in terms of cost-avoidance on
    the yeast.

    > ...This is one of the secrets to having
    > strong hives for early pollination.

    Oh yeah, no kidding, but you have to feed
    "nectar" too. Thin syrup. That's what
    triggers the enthusiastic brood rearing.
    It is a bit of a gamble, in that expanded
    brood rearing can result in some chilled
    (frozen!) brood if you get a cold snap,
    but I trust the bees to not try to raise
    more brood than they can cover.

    > I haven't had a lot of luck...
    > I usually feed real pollen, dry, in open feeders..

    "Dry" may be the problem. Patties can be
    "spiked" with anything you want to make
    them more attractive to bees. (Honey, sugar,
    maybe even that Honey-Be-Healthy stuff, but
    I dunno.) Adding a sweetener means that the
    patties must stay in the freezer until deployed.

    Another problem may be that open feeding does not
    get the pollen into the hive where it can be
    used before flying conditions exist. To build
    up a colony for spring, everything has to be
    easy for the bees to access well before weather
    conditions allow flying.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,136

    Post

    Dry is what has succeeded. They have ignored real pollen patties made with pollen and honey. They have ignored Bee-pro pollen patties from Mann Lake. But they have always gone crazy over open dry pollen or pollen dust. The 20 or so hives in my back yard will take half of a five gallon bucket of pollen dust in one warm day. There are usually quite a few warm, flying days in February, sometimes even in January.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama
    Posts
    536

    Post

    Loggermike,

    Where do you get the yeast? That sounds like a pretty good price!
    Rob Koss

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,303

    Post

    Well the whole idea of feeding yeast patties in Sept is to 'fatten' the winter bees so they will be able to survive long enough to get the next seasons bees started.Like you say this is area specific.I'm sure there are plenty of places where feeding it is a waste of money.I try to get all mine on rabbitbrush in the fall.The yeast is just a supplement for the real thing-not a substitute.The thin syrup (with fumidil) in Jan. is exactly what you say-to kick start the brood raising.I feed them all no matter how heavy.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,303

    Post

    The best yeast is BrewTech from International Ingredients Corp.I pick it up from a Cal. queen breeder who buys it by the truckload.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,033

    Post

    If you have access to a beer or winemaking shop, propogating up a sizeable pile would be easy 'specially for those with access to huge volumes of sugar water [img]smile.gif[/img] . $1 for a packet of dry yeast for the starter. 1/2 pound sugar per gallon tepid water, dissolved well, add yeast, ferment at room temp to completion in a stock pot, with the lid on to prevent fruit flies from amking vinegar for you. Chill to settle the yeast, pour off the spent sugar, and harvest the beautiful, tan and white yeastcake. Repeat as necessary to get the volume you need.

    Brewers will note that this is designed to quickly produce yeast, not anything you'd enjoy drinking... this would give hooch a bad name!
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

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