Re: Pollen substitute when real pollen available (in California)?
Keep in mind that pollen substitutes (and real pollen) vs sugar (and honey) serve different purposes in a hive. Pollen is not consumed by adult bees (except nurses) in significant quantities.
Nurse bees need large amounts of protein (pollen) to be able to produce royal jelly to feed larva, but protein requirements of non-nurse bees are relatively minimal. Sugar/honey, on the other hand, is what sustains adult bees on a daily basis - all year long. While both pollen and honey in relatively large amounts are necessary to raise brood, for the most part pollen is not required unless the hive is raising brood.
A good reference on bee nutrition: http://www.beeccdcap.uga.edu/documen...article10.html
USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft