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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    LaGrange; Oldham County; Kentucky
    Posts
    158

    Default Pollen patty question

    When does one typically feed pollen patties?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Plainfield, NJ
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Pollen patty question

    Generally I only feed when needed....from my experience, in the winter I only put on a pollen patty when I thought they were out. As it was, they never touched it and wintered well.

    Short answer is more of a question....what is causing you to think they need a pollen patty?

    Chris in NJ

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    LaGrange; Oldham County; Kentucky
    Posts
    158

    Default Re: Pollen patty question

    Nothing causes me to think they need one, I just need to know why people use them, and if they need them, when?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Palermo, Maine, USA
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: Pollen patty question

    Pollen and pollen substitutes are used to provide protein. Protein is needed for raising brood, so pollen patties are often fed in the spring before natural pollen is available and the bees have started (or to get the bees started) raising brood.
    Like us on facebook This is the place to bee!
    Ralph

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,001

    Default Re: Pollen patty question

    Ideas on supplimental feeding of pollen substitutes are rapidly evolving. Commercial beekeepers who have to maximize their colony numbers and per colony production are feeding more and more suppliment. This tells me that it pays. Of course, those often migratory bees are put under far more stress than the colony sitting year round in a good location with many sources of pollen. Commercial bees are mostly moved from one monoculture to another either to pollinate it or collect a honey flow. I plan to start feeding mine substitute from Global Patties four weeks prior to when my bees should start collecting pollen this spring. They have one formulation that contains 14% actual pollen. I am not saying it is what should be done or needs to be done, it is just what I have decided is in my best interests.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Plainfield, NJ
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Pollen patty question

    Quote Originally Posted by MelanieWoosley View Post
    Nothing causes me to think they need one, I just need to know why people use them, and if they need them, when?
    Sorry, originally read it too quickly..

    I second ralittlefield.....also, pollen substitute is inferior to the real thing (in my understanding).

    Thanks
    Chris in NJ

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,182

    Default Re: Pollen patty question

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    one formulation that contains 14% actual pollen. I am not saying it is what should be done or needs to be done, it is just what I have decided is in my best interests.
    Vance, just becareful, that is one way of spreading unwanted pestes.
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,867

    Default Re: Pollen patty question

    I've never been one to feed pollen patties, but I trapped my own pollen this year and have quite a bit in the freezer, would like to use it in the spring when making splits/nucs, giving each nuc some pollen to get them off to a good start. I'm thinking of just pouring the pollen granules into an empty brood comb, or is there some reason that mixing it with honey or syrup and making a patty would be better? John

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Slidell, LA, USA
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: Pollen patty question

    Down here the club and old timers are talking about feeding pollen away from the hive because of the hive beetle problem. It was in the mid 60s day before yesterday and the pollen feeders where chock full of bees.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,778

    Default Re: Pollen patty question

    I made some fondant last night - half a batch, 5 lbs sugar - and dumped in twice the recommended pollen substitute. My bees have what I plant in my yard, what's in the nursery at home depot, grass weed and tree pollen, but the last 3 are all subject to drought.

    Last batch of fondant (cooked to hard shell level) went over quite well, only one hive had much left and their numbers are low, started out that way, and they still have plenty of honey in the super. I did plan on making a pollen feeder tomorrow and putting it out with substitute. The other 4 hives had a boatload of bees so I'm thinking the queen is laying already in them.

    BUT when I went out this evening, the bees were returning with groceries, crowding the entrances. Guessing my elm tree might be in bloom...
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,770

    Default Re: Pollen patty question

    Feeding pollen (or pollen substitute) can be used for a few reasons. Around here, mostly to "kickstart" a colony in the late winter / early spring before there is a lot of (or any) pollen being produced naturally. In my opinion, starting a colony early on pollen of any kind is a committment to the bees that they'll continue to get it so long as they need it to feed the brood. It's not right to give them reason to think that nature is bountiful...but only to the extent of the patty that you've tossed on the top bars. If you start letting them raise brood early, you need to follow through. The other reason is when you have an early but truncated spring season. In that case, the bees begin the natural process of foraging and raising brood and then weather interrupts everything for a while. Here, feeding pollen can help sustain the brood buildup, albeit nothing seems to beat the natural stuff. I'm not a fan of pollen feeding to get a colony going quicker. It's great that suppliers can sell it and show awesome pictures of colonies on what I believe to be "pollen steroids" but the committment is fragile for me with my time constraints and it's expensive. I do offer pollen in those situations when I feel a brood cycle is in danger due to weather and colony conditions. I have to KNOW that each is suspect. That means inclement weather over a longish period of time and an early, booming colony that I might already be feeding nectar to which also shows a scarcity of pollen. Finally, pollen patties can be used to introduce various other substances to treat a colony. The last time I fed pollen, I fed it from an overturned pail across the yard and let the bees find it "naturally". Of course, this won't work if you're dealing with weather but to me, it's more natural, requires less work and is less intrusive to the hive itself.

    I enjoyed this article by Kim Flottum and I hope you do as well:

    http://www.beeculture.com/storycms/i...y&recordID=532
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Dexter, Missouri USA
    Posts
    96

    Default Re: Pollen patty question

    My bees consume them best in January when there is no pollen coming in. There is also no risk of hive beetle infestation this time of year. If I wait closer to Spring, they don't eat them as readily and I end up pitching the remains of some into the field. The patties are much lower in nutritional value than real pollen. I'm hesitant to use them in warm weather, as they normally don't need/utilize them, along with giving pesky hive beetles a place to hide, and nutrition.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Vancouver, B.C., Canada
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: Pollen patty question

    Quote Originally Posted by MelanieWoosley View Post
    When does one typically feed pollen patties?
    One theory is that you should begin protein feeding 8 weeks prior to your main spring bloom. Protein feeding (pollen or pollen substitute patties) stimulates brood production. Once the eggs are laid it takes 3 weeks for the girls to emerge as bees (Maternity Ward), another 3 weeks to become foragers and at least 2 weeks of brood production to build up the hive population. This is assuming you have not allowed enough food in the hive for your bees to winter over.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,778

    Default Re: Pollen patty question

    Upon checking local pollen count, they were bringing in sawdust. Reckon pollen substitute is better than sawdust. Putting some out tomorrow, either hung from my front porch, or in the garden, a bit away from the apiary.
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,581

    Default Re: Pollen patty question

    you're bees will have fun with that. i plan on putting a day's worth at a time out on the good flying days between now and the red maple blooms.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Columbia, Maryland. U.S.A.
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Pollen patty question

    John, I wonder if a little distilled water to form paste with your pollen might be gobbled up off the top of a frame with enthusiasm ? or buttered on comb ? perhaps a dab of yours on one side and something else on other see what gos first

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,581

    Default Re: Pollen patty question

    don't know. they eat it well when mixed in a sugar patty, but might not take just pollen paste.

    if it's warm enough to fly, they go crazy over it in the dry powder form. they not only load up their pollen baskets, but get it all over their bodies. pollen 'frenzy' is how i would describe it.

    (not necessary or desired once natural forage becomes available)
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,992

    Default Re: Pollen patty question

    I tend to avoid using pollen when feeding supplements . Im afraid of spreading disease, viral infection to be specific
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,581

    Default Re: Pollen patty question

    can you be more specific ian? natural pollen or pollen substitues, and are you aware of specific cases where this has happened?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Baytown, TX., USA.
    Posts
    651

    Default Re: Pollen patty question

    Ian said he was AFRAID of spreading, not that he had or knew of a spreading.
    Julysun elevation 23 feet. 4 Hives, 2 years.

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