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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Finger Lakes, NY
    Posts
    138

    Default should I offer pollen, too?

    The weather is forecast to be mid-40's and sunny today and tomorrow. Since my work schedule may keep me away for the next several weeks, I thought I'd check the hives today and, as a precaution, give them some fondant. Should I also offer some pollen (MegaBee patties?) at this point, too?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,721

    Default Re: should I offer pollen, too?

    This is a situation where you should have an idea of 'what' and how abundant your early blooming plants are; within a three mile radius or so. Around here in WI., which may be somewhat similar to NY., we have willows, some alders, Silver maple, and around houses; the crocus. These should be blooming in about 2-3 weeks. Skunk cabbage is an early bloomer but not always common in some areas. There is a consensus among beekeepers here, that one does not have to feed pollen substitute [in most cases].

    Feeding substitute is great if you want your hive to build up fast and early, and be strong so that you can make divides or nucs/splits to increase colony numbers; make up for overwintered colony losses. It can often lead to swarming though when you don't want that, especially with a second year colony. But that can happen anyway.

    You can provide the pollen sub if you want too! I don't think it is crucial for the survival of the colony right now.
    Last edited by Oldbee; 03-07-2010 at 04:35 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Finger Lakes, NY
    Posts
    138

    Default Re: should I offer pollen, too?

    Thanks Oldbee.

    I started to think about offering protein/pollen after reading Randy Oliver's Fat Bees- Part II when feeding syrup. In this case, I'll be using fondant.

    I know this can be a tough time of year for the bees and can result in a large number of losses. At times, I can gone for weeks at a time and need to plan ahead. I thought some fondant would be cheap insurance against starvation in the next few weeks and some pollen in case the weather prevents the bees from getting to any natural sources.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,721

    Default Re: should I offer pollen, too?

    "At times, I can [be] gone for weeks at a time and.."

    OK.,,, I understand your concern then. I myself, have been able to tend to my bees [1-4 colonies ] for weeks at a time when it might be important to do so; and not be absent. Except for this summer because of sugery but I timed that about right.

    Yes, the weather can be quite harsh for the bees. Last year the Silver maple bloomed and the weather was nice [55-65 degrees F.] for about one day, as I remember,....and then it turned cold for a week+. But, I don't think many WI. beekeepers then rush out, and put pollen sub on as an 'emergency'.

    The fondant is fine and you can add a pollen sub patty if you want to.
    Last edited by Oldbee; 03-07-2010 at 06:28 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Azle Texas USA
    Posts
    369

    Default Re: should I offer pollen, too?

    I'd open feed sugar water and Mega bee.

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