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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Latrobe, PA
    Posts
    359

    Default Pollen substitute in SW Pennsylvania

    I've never used a pollen substitute here in south-western PA but was wondering if it would be a good idea to give them a good start in spring? Or is it not necessary in my area?

    Tanya

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Monroeville Pa
    Posts
    188

    Default Re: Pollen substitute in SW Pennsylvania

    There is an indepth discussion on this exact subject and location at
    FeralBeeProject@yahoogroups.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Latrobe, PA
    Posts
    359

    Default Re: Pollen substitute in SW Pennsylvania

    laurelmtnlover,
    The link just brings me to my email site. Could you be more specific? Is there a quick answer or is it better to read all the pro's and con's-- I'm supposing there are P's and C's...

    Tanya

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Monroeville Pa
    Posts
    188

    Default Re: Pollen substitute in SW Pennsylvania

    Tanya,
    Sorry, try this link. I found it very interesting, and the subject matter was specific to this location of Western Pa. If this is not helpful, I hope someone here chimes in, but the people on this forum are top notch:
    http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/F...t/message/3041

    even though the title is Bigger Bees, scroll to bottom; they have gotten off topic a bit; you will have to wade through.

    The pros and cons are stated on the above thread.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Swalwell, AB
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: Pollen substitute in SW Pennsylvania

    Without knowing more detail, answering is difficult.

    A lot depends on your goals and intent.

    Beekeepers whose intent is to produce honey crops and manage bees conventionally and stay in the mainstream will have very different ideas from those on the lists cited. I find those lists entertaining and very earnest, but would hesitate to rely on them for advice.

    It sounds as if you have had bees for a while, and have done OK, so the question is likely whether you will expect to see any advantage from feeding.

    My response is that the results will vary from no difference to a large difference, depending on the year. Since we cannot know the weather much in advance, many feed as insurance against a bad spring.

    In my own case, although I did not always see big differences, I did notice that the little malnourished bees that we often see in spring were no longer in evidence, and also my wintering success the following winters became much better. I feed for bee health and balanced nutrition, not to "push" my bees.

    If you do decide to feed, I'd advise you to be sure to buy an approved commercial supplement and be sure it is fresh. Any of the big names sold through high volume bee supplies or successful commercial beekeepers is likley to be good, but supplies you buy from a feed store or bulk foods may be inappropriate or stale.

    Always ask when it was made.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Latrobe, PA
    Posts
    359

    Default Re: Pollen substitute in SW Pennsylvania

    laurelmtnlover,
    Thanks for the link- will look it over.

    Allen Dick,
    We've had some poor fall flows here for awhile and sometimes also poor spring flows. This seems to be cyclic and I hope this is the end of the poor cycle.

    I had to do some feeding this last fall and used Mountain Camps sugar solution because there weren't full honey reserves in most of the hives.

    Do you have a preferred place to buy? One that gives fresh pollen. Am still not sure if I'll need it since I sometimes have to take out pollen laden frames. That is when there's too much pollen.

    Thanks!
    Tanya



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Swalwell, AB
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: Pollen substitute in SW Pennsylvania

    > Do you have a preferred place to buy? One that gives fresh pollen.

    Hard to say what outlet is close to you. I use Global Patties, personally. Ask around locally.

    > Am still not sure if I'll need it since I sometimes have to take out pollen laden frames. That is when there's too much pollen.

    Sounds as if you won't be pollen short. Natural pollen is better than any substitute, assuming that there are no poisonous plants or careless pesticide spraying in your area and that you have a good variety of pollen sources.

    The supplements do help, though, if the bees are confined by a bad spring and the pollen in the hive is not close to the brood.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Latrobe, PA
    Posts
    359

    Default Re: Pollen substitute in SW Pennsylvania

    Thanks Allen,

    I checked out your site. Very nice-- helpful information-- also like the background for the pages...
    Tanya

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