I was recently experimenting with pollen substitute and I thought Iíd share what I did and found. Actually, Iíve been thinking about this for over a year and have finally gotten around to it. In mid Sept I noticed that one of my nucs had plenty of stored honey but was very low on pollen and there were almost no larvae. Assuming pollen was the limiting factor, I wanted to see if feeding pollen substitute would remedy that.
As for the pollen substitute, I followed Randy Oliverís recipe to make a rather thick mixture. Iíd call it a little thicker than play-doh. I rolled out two golf ball sized chunks, as thin as I could, between sheets of wax paper. Then I rolled the two discs on either side of some nylon window screen. I stapled the screen to an ~1/8Ē wide bar then added another ~1/8Ē wide bar, to maintain bee space over the comb, and installed it within the brood area. Below are a couple of pictures to help explain.
Rolling.JPG putting on screen.JPG stapling.JPG installing1.JPG
Hereís what it looked like after a week. The nuc had also tripled its brood area.
after 1 week.JPG
Oh, hereís one more pic (not a very good one though). Since I wanted to see what the bees thought of it I installed a small amount in my observation hive. Since I didnít really want to open the hive I just slid it in under the edge of an empty bar. The bees liked it but, after two weeks and as you would expect, the side against the hive wall was full of SHBs larvae.