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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
    Posts
    56

    Default Stop feeding pollen patties?

    I'm in St. John's, Newfoundland, where it's illegal to import honey bees and we can only start up hives from nucs sold form a single supplier in the province. Nucs usually aren't available until the 1st or 2nd week of July, and because our summers are short, we have to feed our nucs constantly right into the fall if we want them to survive the winter.

    That's what I did last year and my bees still didn't managed to draw out all their frames and they would have starved if I hadn't fed them candy cakes from January onward.

    My nucs this year are way ahead of the game because I gave them an extra frame of honey and brood when I added the second box, and I gave them pollen patties all summer long which they devoured. My question is:

    Now that we're getting into the fall, should I stop feeding them pollen patties?

    If I continue to feed them pollen patties, will that encourage the queen to lay well into the winter when she should be slowing down?
    - Phillip
    @ Mud Songs

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Allegany County, MD
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: Stop feeding pollen patties?

    I was just reading about this and it seems that many feel that pollen patties in the fall is more beneficial than in the spring. I just threw one on my hive yesterday. Within minutes the bees were all over it and they have pretty decent amount of pollen stores as well as pollen still coming into the hive.

    Check out this recent thread if you haven't seen it already...

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...eeding-helpful

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Saratoga Springs, NY
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Stop feeding pollen patties?

    How do you know if they are using the pollen patty or just removing something from the hive they don't want? Like a paper combine they can remove a sheet of newspaper overnight. I tried a pollen patty once and I got the feeling they were just getting rid of it as fast as they could.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,752

    Default Re: Stop feeding pollen patties?

    I bought 10 lbs of mann lake's pollen substitute. How do I make pollen patties? Is there a recipe?
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: Stop feeding pollen patties?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mud Songs View Post
    I'm in St. John's, Newfoundland, where it's illegal to import honey bees and we can only start up hives from nucs sold form a single supplier in the province.
    I would move, or be an outlaw.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Clinton County, Michigan USA
    Posts
    299

    Default Re: Stop feeding pollen patties?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gypsi View Post
    I bought 10 lbs of mann lake's pollen substitute. How do I make pollen patties? Is there a recipe?
    Just mix it with sugar syrup until you get a consistency of cookie dough. I then roll it out between two large sheets of wax paper, then cut it into whatever size I want. This is what I do, I'm sure others do it differently.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Wilmington, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    875

    Default Re: Stop feeding pollen patties?

    Gypsi, I have a recipe on my bee page.

    If the bees keep accepting the pollen patties, give it to them. They should know when to stop the egg laying to prep for winter.
    Honey is the best thing ever discovered ! www.greenanything.net/honey-bees.php

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,297

    Default Re: Stop feeding pollen patties?

    I thoroughly mix some canola oil into the dry ingredients, then I mix in a little sugar syrup until it's the consistency of cookie dough. The oil helps in several ways, I like how it facilitates removing all the sub from the plastic bowls I mix it in. I squeeze dollops of patty between wax paper, then make some slits on one side and place the slit side down on top of the frames immediately above brood combs.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,752

    Default Re: Stop feeding pollen patties?

    would olive oil be ok? I don't use much else these days?
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    1,940

    Default Re: Stop feeding pollen patties?

    Joe.....
    When do you feed them patties?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Wilmington, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    875

    Default Re: Stop feeding pollen patties?

    Good idea Joseph with the Canola oil. That stuff is VERY STICKY to work without it.
    Honey is the best thing ever discovered ! www.greenanything.net/honey-bees.php

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,297

    Default Re: Stop feeding pollen patties?

    I've avoided olive oil, it seems to have too strong of an odor, I do not know if olive oil is good for bees, or not, perhaps someone else knows, and will share that information with us. If you use it, let us know how it goes.

    I feed patties in Fall, Winter, and Early Spring. The only time I don't feed pollen substitute is during our main honey flow (15 April -- 30 June), or whenever there has been sufficient rainfall and suitable lower temperatures to bring out wildflowers and subsequent nectar and pollen they provide.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Wilmington, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    875

    Default Re: Stop feeding pollen patties?

    I wonder if you could use Spearmint oil, like Honey Bee Healthy, to make the patties.
    Honey is the best thing ever discovered ! www.greenanything.net/honey-bees.php

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Stop feeding pollen patties?

    We have strict import laws because we don't have mites on the island of Newfoundland and we want to keep it that way. It's kind of a good thing. Imagine never having to deal with mites. We don't have foul brood or any other nasty diseases either.
    - Phillip
    @ Mud Songs

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,752

    Default Re: Stop feeding pollen patties?

    I would not be moving then. Mites are not fun
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Stop feeding pollen patties?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gypsi View Post
    I bought 10 lbs of mann lake's pollen substitute. How do I make pollen patties? Is there a recipe?
    In Canada, I use Bee Pro Pollen Supplement powder that I get form Beemaid:

    http://www.beemaidbeestore.com/produ...&txtProdID=242

    I just mix it with 2:1 sugar syrup until it's like Play-Doh, doughy but not sticky. Then I roll it out over wax paper and lay it over the top bars. I spray it with a little water or light sugar syrup once it's in the hive, just to get the bees working on it. I only do this for my nucs because around here, they can use all the help they can get during their first year.

    I have no plans to give pollen patties to my fully established hives.
    - Phillip
    @ Mud Songs

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Stop feeding pollen patties?

    Quote Originally Posted by SwedeBee1970 View Post
    I wonder if you could use Spearmint oil, like Honey Bee Healthy, to make the patties.
    Try spiking your syrup with pure anise extract. It smells like liquorice and the bees go crazy for it. Then make your pollen patties with the anise-spiked syrup. It's amazing.
    - Phillip
    @ Mud Songs

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Stop feeding pollen patties?

    I've heard that pollen substitute leads to shorter-lived bees - not what you want during winter.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Clinton County, Michigan USA
    Posts
    299

    Default Re: Stop feeding pollen patties?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpm View Post
    I've heard that pollen substitute leads to shorter-lived bees - not what you want during winter.
    Would it not be better to have short lived bees rather than no bees?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Stop feeding pollen patties?

    Quote Originally Posted by muskratcreekhoney View Post
    Would it not be better to have short lived bees rather than no bees?
    I agree. I don't want to feed them, but if I have to feed them, it's good to know how to do it. I also have raw pollen that I mix in with my pollen substitute, so it's not complete junk food for the bees.
    - Phillip
    @ Mud Songs

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