feeding pollen
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Thread: feeding pollen

  1. #1
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    Default feeding pollen

    I'm wondering if the diy pollen patties are good for building up a hive or if the commercial ones are worth the money. My understanding is DIY don't actually have pollen, but use other protein sources. Do you have a favorite to suggest? This will be my first time artificially feeding as our winter is mild and pollen isn't hard for them to find most of the year. However, I want to do splits and build up this year.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    Aroostook, ME, USA
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    Default Re: feeding pollen

    Commercial ones don't have real pollen either, it's a pollen substitute (soy flour, nutritional yeast, etc) with each manufacturer having their own 'secret' recipe.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: feeding pollen

    Do you have a diy you can suggest?

  5. #4
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    May 2015
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    Vauxhall, Alberta, Canada
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    Default Re: feeding pollen

    Hello,

    Best way that I have found for small quantities is a Apiary in your area and buy from them, one would think they know what to use.

    Trick is not to use it to early, you should have flowers with nectar & pollen within 30 days from start, but that shouldn't be a problem in Florida, makes me wonder why you need it at all?

    Anyway, cheers, Joerg
    Summ Summ Bienchen summ herum

  6. #5
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    Default

    Feeding was suggested to boost splits. I hope to split twice this year. Starting with two nucs.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  7. #6
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    Aug 2011
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    KC, MO, USA
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    Default Re: feeding pollen

    If you can find the ingredients cheaper than the commercial ones then yes.

    IMO pollen sub is worth feeding at two times of the year; spring before real pollen is available and in the fall as they prepare for winter. For the slight difference in results of each pollen sub I would pick the cheapest, to get the best bang for your buck.

    fig-18.jpg

    http://scientificbeekeeping.com/a-co...he-pollen-sub/

  8. #7
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    Default Re: feeding pollen

    For my area, i'de let them grow this year and split next year. The problem is unless you get the nuc really early, by the time they grow up large enough, the flow is winding down and they won't grow much more. Food is scarce, etc, not good for a split. You'll have the best sucess splitting early in the season when swarms typically occur.

    Pollen sub is a waste of time IMO.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: feeding pollen

    Quote Originally Posted by burns375 View Post
    For my area, i'de let them grow this year and split next year. The problem is unless you get the nuc really early, by the time they grow up large enough, the flow is winding down and they won't grow much more. Food is scarce, etc, not good for a split. You'll have the best sucess splitting early in the season when swarms typically occur.

    Pollen sub is a waste of time IMO.
    I'm in NW Florida and will be getting the full nuc at the end of Feb.

  10. #9
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    Default

    Good look with that. Are the summers pretty hot there?

  11. #10
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    Default Re: feeding pollen

    Quote Originally Posted by burns375 View Post
    Good look with that. Are the summers pretty hot there?
    Yes, and swarms are seen late Feb./early March. We also have blooms and flying days very late in the year.

  12. #11
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    Pepperell, MA.
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    Default Re: feeding pollen

    I like pollen and sub but I'm not a fan of just buying it, tossing it on and waiting for the best to happen. Feeding should be well thought out; given at a time when the bees can both get to it and use it appropriately; and then not stopping until there's plenty of real food that the bees can haul in and use. If done correctly, your bees stand a good chance of building up soon and doing well. If you mess up, you may have a brood bump that mother nature cannot sustain and, if you miss continued feeding, you'll have a major drop in populations.

    Up here in New England I've had times when the hive came into early spring bursting at the seams and I stopped feeding, only to witness cold snaps that dried up the food supply forcing me to get back in and supplement. If I hadn't thought it out, I'd have seen some starvation (and I have in the past).

    When I fed, I preferred real pollen to subs although quality subs work better than none at all.

    Finally, don't ignore the space as you build your colonies up. For me, "dandelion time" is swarm season. On a built up colony, it could happen sooner and you may be caught off guard. How many of us have inspected a colony one weekend and found it satisfyingly healthy only to watch it swarm a week or so later. Feeding sub should make you adjust your late winter / early spring management plans to earlier dates......much the same way you've moved the natural buildup timing of your colonies.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    lee county, fl, usa
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    Default Re: feeding pollen

    This isn't an answer to your question, I just got this in my email today and thought it good reading about pollen.
    This morning I thought there was robbing attempts going on at my hives because it was so busy. Looking more closely, it was a lot of bees coming back in loaded with pollen. Good sight to see. I am in SWFL.

    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in868
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 50 hives, TF

  14. #13
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    Great Falls Montana
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    Default Re: feeding pollen

    Quote Originally Posted by Jadeguppy View Post
    I'm wondering if the diy pollen patties are good for building up a hive or if the commercial ones are worth the money. My understanding is DIY don't actually have pollen, but use other protein sources. Do you have a favorite to suggest? This will be my first time artificially feeding as our winter is mild and pollen isn't hard for them to find most of the year. However, I want to do splits and build up this year.
    Globalpatties.com have 15%irradiated pollen in them and the bees readily consume them. Go to the web site to find if they have a distributor close enough to you so freight won't kill you. $1.70 lb in ten and forty pound boxes. I am getting my normal five hundred pounds next week. I will start feeding mid February and never let my bees run out until those half frame patches appear in late April. It really makes my bees boom but I have a plan to use those numbers for splits and honey production off dandelions and fruit bloom. If you don't have a plan you are just making sure your bees will swarm.

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