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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Vernonia Or
    Posts
    87

    Default Feed just syrup or syrup AND protein

    I'm speaking of 3 newly installed packages and daytime temps of barely over 50 deg. Syrup seems to be a given on new hives but I hear different things about pollen replacements/protein supplements.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,473

    Default Re: Feed just syrup or syrup AND protein

    Feed them a patty in several small increments (half or quarter at a time). You have a small cluster of bees that are of unknown age, it's much better to help them get established than to have them limp along all summer due to low numbers.

    A fairly large percentage of your package bees will die before the first new brood emerges since they only live about 6 weeks and it takes 3 weeks plus the time it took to get cells drawn for the queen to lay in for new bees to replace them to start emerging, and those bees won't be flying for a while. By the time you get new nurse bees, you will likely be down to half the bees that came in the package.

    Peter

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    460

    Default Re: Feed just syrup or syrup AND protein

    I agree, feed both. I did 3 package installs last Sat., (6 Apr. '13), with a half patty, and 1:1 syrup with Honey Bee Healthy & Amino Bee Booster. Wed. (10 Apr. '13) I did my check to be sure the queens got out and I could see comb on 3-4 frames (3 all med. frame hives) in each hive. We just got a cold snap here, 55 F, but they are still flying anyway. The sooner they build comb, the sooner the hive will boom/grow.
    Best of luck!
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    965

    Default Re: Feed just syrup or syrup AND protein

    Joel,
    I probably wouldn't spend money on pollen sub if i were living in as temperate a place as Vernowhere.

    I'm sure skunk cabbage and a lot of other stuff is blooming by now around you, though you might not see much of it.
    It's quite a bit cooler here, but there was a warm day Tuesday.
    Being quite a bit cooler in winter here than Columbia county, things bloom later, but my bees were still finding plenty of pollen. And the real stuff is MUCH better than expensive supplement, both for bee health and your pocket book.

    Feed them 1:1 sugar, so that they can get comb drawn. Most of the reason for pollen supplements in the north is to make sure bees have plenty of protein for early build up when they haven't got enough pollen stored due to drought the summer/fall prior or poor management, or to stimulate early build up in late winter/very early spring to have a bigger population for the flow.

    Neither of these apply to your situation - until some comb is drawn for the queen to lay in, not much pollen is needed, and there is probably plenty for the bees to find.

    Most eastern and mid western beekeepers have a hard time imagining how much grows on the wet side of the cascades in such a moderate climate. Most places don't get mossy roofs, and seeing the huge blackberry brambles that so quickly over take abandoned buildings in columbia county is foreign to them as well.

    After 3-4 weeks, when comb is drawn and the queen has been laying, if there is not a band of pollen stored btw brood and honey on combs that have both, then I might consider a pollen suppl where you are, but still likely wouldn't use it.

    The bigger challenge in Columbia County, and another big difference from more eastern climates, is that rain limits the number of flying days. Getting a population too big too fast might have you feeding when you might not otherwise have too.

    Another thing to consider is not taking honey this year, but leaving it for when things dry up July/August this year.
    Next year when your colonies are established, you would get a good blackberry flow starting late April/May, and that will get you some honey to harvest.

    Wetsern Oregon and Washington are much different then the climate anywhere else on the continent except lower BC.
    When you look for feeding or wintering advice and such, I strongly advise you to give 98% of your attention to folks who live there. Minz, TeeDee, and others are local to you. (Vanc/Portland area).

    Think about getting a local queen from Old Sol, or one from Tarboo Bees up in Quilcene, WA - those queens are raised in your climate, and likely will do well with the rhthym of the rain, midsummer drought and flows you experience.

    Have fun, and don't worry too much.
    A lot of bee people buy and do a lot of stuff they don't need.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Vernonia Or
    Posts
    87

    Default Re: Feed just syrup or syrup AND protein

    Quote Originally Posted by Beregondo View Post
    ...................Have fun, and don't worry too much.
    A lot of bee people buy and do a lot of stuff they don't need.
    Agreed, though it's hard not to worry and wonder about the "would'a should'a could'a" kind of things. My tendancies still are toward what you've said.

    Much of what I hear says feed both but I hear little about why to feed pollen or a substitute, especially in our present weather conditions. My motto in life's always been "if in doubt, don't".

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,473

    Default Re: Feed just syrup or syrup AND protein

    The bees will store pollen patties just like pollen, and in the wet side of the Cascades you are likely to get considerable numbers of days of "no fly" weather -- too wet. Far better to spend a couple bucks on a protein patty they really don't need that to have a hive starve out on you and require replacement -- bees are MUCH more expensive than supplement.

    That doesn't mean keep a pollen patty on forever, just a quarter when you hive them and another quarter if the weather stays bad. The less foraging the bees need to do while raising that first round of brood the better, since foraging is what ages bees more than anything else. If you feed them well to start with, you get more and healthier bees sooner, and that larger hive will forage more than a weak one.

    Peter

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    southwest colorado
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Feed just syrup or syrup AND protein

    What is the best way to make a patty that the bees can take if the night time temps are still a bit low ? Can you just put the pollen sub on a tray or paper towel and let them take it dry? I have a pail of bee-pro and think it wise to supplement the bees my first go around till comb is drawn and I see how much stores the bees can put up.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Vernonia Or
    Posts
    87

    Default Re: Feed just syrup or syrup AND protein

    It's only making it close to 50deg long enough for the bees to stretch their legs. No pollen coming in yet. The weather's supposed to get around 60 with some sun in the coming week and that may change things but..... I'm curious too of what the recipe for pollen substitute patties is should I decide to use them.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    watertown,wi.,USA
    Posts
    449

    Default Re: Feed just syrup or syrup AND protein

    Here is Wisconsin, many people are putting pollen patties on now. Sort of similar temps. and currently quite wet conditions as you Joel. I was also advised to put a whole patty in with each of my 3 pound packages that I will be installing this coming weekend.

    As for making patties, I am not sure how, I just buy them a the local bee shop for about 2 bucks each. They looked so interesting(taste wise) I just had to try a small piece of one myself. And then I got stung 3 times!

    Over the past weekend I put a whole patty in my 1 year established hives. Psfred- should I have only put a fraction of a patty on that hive instead? I figure they will take only what they think they can/will need. Could you explain a bit more why a small amount of a patty is advised over placing a whole patty? Thanks, juzzer

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,379

    Default Re: Feed just syrup or syrup AND protein

    If they are bringing in pollen, they will have no use for the patty. I see no reason to give a package a pollen patty as there are almost always things blooming by the time they arrive.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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