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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Wilmington, NC, 28403
    Posts
    23

    Default Open feeding pollen substitute

    Has anyone had experience open feeding powdered pollen substitute? We feed patties in late fall and the winter but put powdered pollen sub on top of the frames in the hot weather because of the hive beetles. We are in a high humidity area and I am concerned that the dry pollen sub won't fare well in that environment. Also, some years we have plenty of early natural pollen but the bees still eat the patties and build up faster. It seems like they will not forage the powdered pollen sub if there is natural pollen.
    "Too dumb to run too proud to quit."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,239

    Default Re: Open feeding pollen substitute

    Yeah, I dont consider myself an expert but I have done it a few times, could be that in high humidity it might get pretty crusty. Not quite as effective as a patty in the hive but a heck of a lot less work. We were putting it in a rectangular container inside of a 55 gallon barrel laid on its side to keep it dry. In one particular yard it seemed to be working remarkably well with nary a bit left when we saw some dogs hanging around the edge of the yard staring at us. We got some chicken wire and secured it with the locking ring and it solved the problem. I think its best to treat it a little like open syrup feeding and put a few rocks or boards in for the bees to sit on and groom.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    518

    Default Re: Open feeding pollen substitute

    I usually try it each fall but normally after September they're not interested. The buckets of sub just sit there. This year we've had a much milder fall with 50's-60's through Oct., Nov., and into December. They've been emptying the buckets each day for an extra 3 months. I figure it gives them something to do in addition to hopefully continuing to raise brood throughout the fall and early winter. Depending on how long this cold snap hangs around here will be interesting to see if they get back after the pollen or not. Luckily it's dry here so I don't have a humidity problem but I take the buckets in each evening.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    419

    Default Re: Open feeding pollen substitute

    I feed dry pollen substitute in spring in barrels laid on their side until dandelions start blooming. The bees hit it hard but my bees haven't had natural pollen for at least 6 months by spring. They pull in enough pollen substitute this way to begin to store it in the brood frames. When natural pollens are available, they quickly loose interest in the substitute. Usually we will the unused substitute to make patties for after dandelion. This year, about 20 pounds of substitute was accidentally left in one yard for the summer. The bees showed no interest in the substitute all summer, at the end of September they finished it off in a couple of days. We normally have some fairly humid weather in July but not this year. Maybe that is why the substitute survived so well. It was still in great shape in fall.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,277

    Default Re: Open feeding pollen substitute

    put some dry sub out in early spring here, just as the red maples (our first blooms here) were about to open up.

    the bees went crazy over it. i put it out on a picnic table, in the sun on good flying days, and just enough to let them finish it off by the end of the day.

    the ferals and the neighbor's bees found in enticing as well.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

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