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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Leander, TX, USA
    Posts
    4

    Default Feeding with Pollen Patties?

    New beekeeper here. I am planning on feeding my bees this winter using the bag method. I also have some pollen patties but I read the label and they said "Do not use if honey supers are present". Can someone tell me what is the reason for this? Also, am I overdoing it by feeding pollen patties and syrup in bags?

    I have not harvested my honey yet because I'm in Texas where it's still 90 degrees+ everyday and the bees are as active as ever. If I leave some honey for them, I'm pretty sure I still need to feed since it probably won't be enough.

    Help is appreciated! Love reading this forum.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    900

    Default Re: Feeding with Pollen Patties?

    You feed or not based on what is happening inside the hive. If you haven't even harvested yet, and you start to feed, that syrup is going to get packed away in any open cells. This will likely be right along side the honey. There will be no way you'd be able to harvest honey without getting syrup too. Same thing with pollen sub. Without inspecting to see what pollen you have and where, you don't know if you need more or that the sub won't end up in your honey supers.

    Now if these are first season hives, most times the honey is left for the bees. If you do that, then feeding or not becomes a question of how heavy your hives already are. If they have sufficient stores, then you may not need to feed. If they are light, it won't hurt anything to go ahead to feed once you've already decided to leave them all this year's honey. Otherwise, you need to take what honey you want BEFORE you start feeding.

    JMO


    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper & Rusty's Bees ( LC and T)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,350

    Default Re: Feeding with Pollen Patties?

    Whenever I'm feeding with pollen sub patties, I make my own, and make them with lots of sugar, so the bees get many of their carbs from my pollen sub patties, and I can then feed less sugar syrup. I find there is much less robbing, when I do my feeding this way.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: Feeding with Pollen Patties?

    The recommendation not to take honey from first year hives is because a good percentage of them have trouble drawing and filling more than the brood boxes. Feeding is recommended in order to get those boxes drawn. You really need to inspect in order to determine whether you need to feed. Here is an article that mentions the various hive configurations and what to expect as far as brood, honey and pollen stores.

    Keep in mind that bees prefer nectar to sugar syrup and pollen to patties. If they ignore the syrup and patties, they will attract SHB, so if you decide to feed, then feed the patties in small amounts and make them thin.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Leander, TX, USA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Feeding with Pollen Patties?

    Thank you all for your responses. Very informative. The most important thing I have learned about beekeeping so far is that there is no black and white. No hard and fast answer to ANY question I have. I love that and I hate that. But I think I have enough input to make informed decisions thanks to this forum.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    900

    Default Re: Feeding with Pollen Patties?

    There is a rhythm to beekeeping. It's all about the rhythm of the nectar flows, one into the next, and most decisions are based on that rhythm. For example, I have a nice strong flow in August from sumac and a shorter flow in mid September from goldenrod. Goldenrod honey crystallizes easily and I don't much care for it, so I extract right after the sumac flow and leave all the goldenrod for the bees to winter on. From one year to the next, the dates may change and the amounts the bees collect may vary because of the weather, but I still have an idea of what to expect from one flow to the next.

    As you keep your hives you will learn your flows and adapt to their rhythms, and a harmony will develop between you and your bees and the world around you. It just takes a few seasons!



    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper & Rusty's Bees ( LC and T)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Durango, Colorado
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Feeding with Pollen Patties?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Hills Farm View Post

    As you keep your hives you will learn your flows and adapt to their rhythms, and a harmony will develop between you and your bees and the world around you. It just takes a few seasons!



    Rusty
    I love this.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: Feeding with Pollen Patties?

    I just finished a blog post that you might find interesting: Fall inspections: Do I need to feed and how much?

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