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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Falls Church, Va
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    18

    Default Pollen Substitute

    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.

    polsubglass.jpg

    Stuart

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,029

    Default Re: Pollen Substitute

    Hmm, so the hanging patties didn't have problems with SHB? Cool!

    Were did you get those clear bars from? That looks neat.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Falls Church, Va
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Pollen Substitute

    No SHBs. That was the idea. If the bees can get to all sides of the pollen substitute then they'll keep the beetles out (hopefully).

    Those are acrylic bars that I made for my observation hive. Once I started making nucs, bars seem to get mixed up everywhere.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,029

    Default Re: Pollen Substitute

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart View Post
    Once I started making nucs bars seem to get mixed up everywhere.
    Isn't that the truth. I used to wonder why the experienced beeks seemed to have a hodge podge of gear. It didn't take me long to figure that out!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,637

    Default Re: Pollen Substitute

    That's a nice method for feeding pollen sub to TBH and it could be modified for feeding nucs withLangstroth frames.
    Thanks for posting.
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Redlands, Ca
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Pollen Substitute

    Could you post the exact recipe you used? It looks like it was made small batch, i.e. with a Kitchenaid versus a cement mixer. Nice pictures and it looks like it was a total success! Thanks...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Falls Church, Va
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Pollen Substitute

    efaure,

    Sure, I was just guessing at what might fit in the mixer and it barely made it. I simply made a 1/25th version of Randy's recipe posted http://scientificbeekeeping.com/poll...ement-formula/. He asks folks not to post his recipe so they'll get any of the latest updates/improvements to his formula.

    A few of the items were hard to locate. I found the protein isolate at GNC (but it was hard to find unflavored). I couldn’t locate any dried egg yolk so I simply fired up a couple of dozen and dehydrated them (use foil, not wax paper in your dehydrator). I don’t remember where I found the honey bee health recipe (somewhere around here) and I got the brewer’s yeast from http://www.joshsfrogs.com/. Oh, Randy mentions his source for brewers yeast and there's no need to call Pat Heitkam for some because he doesn’t ship it (I think he's somewhere around Chico, CA).

    Yes, I think it did what I hoped it'd do.. help my nuc set up for winter. I do hope they can store more of the pollen coming in now because it's not very plentiful in mine, and many folks, hives around here. Also, I'd much rather give natural pollen, which again I've been thinking about but have not gotten around to harvesting it.

    Good luck,
    Stuart
    Last edited by Stuart; 10-10-2012 at 12:09 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Falls Church, Va
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Pollen Substitute

    oops, double posted and I dont know how to delete it...maybe ill find it later...
    Last edited by Stuart; 10-10-2012 at 07:42 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    1,822

    Default Re: Pollen Substitute

    Cool idea

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
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    1,029

    Default Re: Pollen Substitute

    You had me until you got to the dehydrating the eggs. Also the bees would just be someone else complaining about how I cook.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Greenwood, Indiana
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: Pollen Substitute

    QUESTION:
    How would it be if I were to attach 1/2-inch hardware cloth w/thumbtacks on one side of a wooden follow board to hold up two or three pollen strips that I bought at a bee supply store?
    I'd probably have to put a 1/4-inch spacer between the last comb and the the follow board... (?)
    Last edited by Hoosier; 10-10-2012 at 10:29 AM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Falls Church, Va
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Pollen Substitute

    Hoosier - Iím not sure but all of the recommendations Iíve read say place the pollen patties ďabove the brood.Ē Since above isnít convenient to TBHs, adjacent is what Iím trying to accomplish. I donít use a follower board but, if I had to guess, due to the fact that my bees donít spend much time in the back of the hives, I would anticipate that SHB would get to mine. Then again, the strip I put in the glass hive was about three bars behind my last comb and the larvae only seemed to be on the glass side. Also, if beetles arenít much of an issue in your area it might be fine.

    Please let us know if you give it a try.

    Shannonswyatt Ė funnyÖ please let up know if you find another source.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,252

    Default Re: Pollen Substitute

    Quote Originally Posted by shannonswyatt View Post
    You had me until you got to the dehydrating the eggs. Also the bees would just be someone else complaining about how I cook.
    Over easy I would assume.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Pollen Substitute

    This method would also seemingly work quite well for late winter/early spring fondant feeding. Right up to the cluster.
    Not Michael Bush. My name is Dan. Sorry for the confusion.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Redlands, Ca
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Pollen Substitute

    Hay Stuart!
    Thanks a million!
    Good luck to you and your girls this winter!
    Thanks again!

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