UltraBee vs. AP23 vs. Homemade
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Plumas County, California, USA
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    251

    Default UltraBee vs. AP23 vs. Homemade

    I have a couple of questions and looking for opinions or recommendations and anything else along the way.

    I was going to make my own pollen sub this year, but I can't find a price for brewer's yeast that I'm willing to pay, plus all the other ingredients. It seems that going with a commercial product would be a better bet.

    I've used Dadant AP23 in the past, and the bees seemed to like it just fine. But I know that on this forum UltraBee seems to be the favorite. And in Randy Oliver's test it was found to be the best. So I'm thinking about using it this year. Has anybody tried AP23 and UltraBee, and how did they compare?

    Another question is about mixing the UltraBee. Mann Lake suggests using their Pro Sweet or HFCS. I'm trying to keep costs down so I would prefer not to use, but I also wonder if there is any advantage to using these? An advantage say over just sugar and vegetable oil (Michael Palmer's recipe)? What other additives would be good for UltraBee or AP23--for example apple cider vinegar (as in Lauri's recipes) to invert the added sugar?

    I'd be interested in other product recommendations as well. Thanks much.
    Year 4
    Zone 7b 3500 ft.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    7,854

    Default Re: UltraBee vs. AP23 vs. Homemade

    Check and see if you are close to any distributors for globalpatties.com I get the 15% pollen patties, the top of the line for 1.77 a pound. They bees eat them any time you put them on. A lot of my home made offerings and other brands sit there. You will like them The lower end without pollen are a little over a dollar a pound. The bees eat them too.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    5,536

    Default Re: UltraBee vs. AP23 vs. Homemade

    I like the Global 15% patties, too.

    Nancy

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Plumas County, California, USA
    Posts
    251

    Default Re: UltraBee vs. AP23 vs. Homemade

    Vance and Nancy, Thanks for the recommendation. I was not familiar with them, but just went through everything on their website. The bees really like them that much? Do you know anything about the supplemental ingredients aside from the yeast, soy, an sugar? The price is certainly good. There is a distributor in California, though a bit out of the way for a drive. I'll check into it.

    I think probably a mix of non-pollen and pollen would be wise. Winter finally arrived here--supposed to get down to 11 F tonight and there's 2 feet of snow on the ground. It's hard to know how quickly it will warm up when it finally does.
    Year 4
    Zone 7b 3500 ft.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Stevens Point, WI
    Posts
    228

    Default Re: UltraBee vs. AP23 vs. Homemade

    I have no information on the the other patties. All I can say is I made my own Ultra-bee patties and after calculating the cost, it came out to $0.96/lb. Bees seem to love it. Recipe came out to 16.5% protein.
    Help is here to never misplace that hive tool again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvwlSiOzgOU

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Gainesboro, Tennessee
    Posts
    1,467

    Default Re: UltraBee vs. AP23 vs. Homemade

    Laurel and I just purchased 1500 lbs of dry ultrabee we love it and the price is right.
    Feeding early patties. https://youtu.be/bUDd3vk7bgY

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Plumas County, California, USA
    Posts
    251

    Default Re: UltraBee vs. AP23 vs. Homemade

    Tenn Bees--do you feed the UlteBee dry, or do you mix it and make patties?
    Year 4
    Zone 7b 3500 ft.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Oklahoma USA
    Posts
    88

    Default

    I use ultra bee. I set it out dry a ways from the hives and they love it when there is not fresh pollen. When there is fresh pollen coming in they dont touch it. I made the mistake of putting it to close to the hives in the beginning and they never found it but when I moved it they found it and use it. I made patties with it this year and put them on but the bees aren't touching it as of now at least but we are in full red maple bloom right now.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    2,672

    Default Re: UltraBee vs. AP23 vs. Homemade

    Quote Originally Posted by JustinS View Post
    I use ultra bee. I set it out dry a ways from the hives . . .
    How far is "a ways"?
    --shinbone
    (1975-1980, and now since 2011; maintain about 10 hives; Zone 5b; 15" rain; 5500')

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Portland,Tennessee
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: UltraBee vs. AP23 vs. Homemade

    KevinWI, Mind sharing your recipe?

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Gainesboro, Tennessee
    Posts
    1,467

    Default Re: UltraBee vs. AP23 vs. Homemade

    Quote Originally Posted by cconnell View Post
    Tenn Bees--do you feed the UlteBee dry, or do you mix it and make patties?
    We use it in Patty form. Occasionally we feed it dry but I see the results I want from patties.
    Feeding early patties. https://youtu.be/bUDd3vk7bgY

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Massac County, Illinois
    Posts
    174

    Default Re: UltraBee vs. AP23 vs. Homemade

    In winter months, I feed Lauri's recipe and feed inside the hive. I have used both named substitute products and both work well. Price dependant.

    In late winter (daytime temps above 50), I increase the substitute content to 4 oz to every pound of sugar. This helps early brood rearing and normally thru two complete brood cycles prior to springs nectar/pollen flow. Add four oz additional apple cider vinegar with this mix. Substitutes are very hydroscopic.

    Stop feeding when spring flow begins.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania/Florida
    Posts
    474

    Default Re: UltraBee vs. AP23 vs. Homemade

    In my opinion Mega Bee is the best pollen sub, however i use Mann Lake's ultrabee because i find it to be the best value for the investment.

    I've used just about every pollen sub that has been available over the last 20 years. But ultrabee took over as my go to easily based on a combination of good results, good price, and availability.

    I feed it in candy, and our own homemade soft loaf recipes. We also open feed it dry when we are particularly are trying to encourage brood rearing.


    Aaron

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Oklahoma USA
    Posts
    88

    Default

    Shinbone- the hives I have in my backyard are about 10 yards maybe from it, the yards that are bigger are 30+ yards away. What I do is I feed it in a quilt board type set up with a inner cover and round rapid feeder elevated on cinder blocks with a corrugated metal cover cut to size (I have extra laying around from a barn built) add a block on top and the bees access it from the sides under the lid. Works great keeps rain out.

    The one thing I do is set it up when it is going to be nice for a few days. I fill the rapid round feeder up and leave it uncovered for a few days so they find it and then add the cover and leave it from there on out with a brink on top. I have it set up year around our winters are to crazy (up and down constantly not good) so our queens never really have 100% brood break. They work it year round when pollen is scarce. I also add a pollen patty to it too just in case they want some of that while they are out and about in the dead of winter

    The whole set up is built from scrape wood and I have the top and blocks around. The bottom is a inner cover with feeder hole or a sheet of plywood with a hole, the rapid round feeders need a hole so it will drop down, they stick up about an inch or so from the bottom. The rapid round feeders are about $6 or so ( all my hives have one, Ebay the cheapest I have found to get them) from Ebay seller Simon the Beekeeper free shipping from Europe (takes about 3 weeks or so to get them to me) so easy under $10 simple build or under $20 if need to buy inner cover. Very easy to use and the rapid round feeders hold quite a bit. I like this set up way more than the PVC pipe (dont hold as much, and I have no use for 4"+ pipe) and the blue pollen feeders are to much for me at over $100. I was looking for something that is more useful for me, if it didn't work I could reuse the quilt box and round rapid feeder on another hive, couldn't find anything so just made this up.

    I only have one picture but can take more after work if you want to (or anyone) see more of the set up I use.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    7,854

    Default Re: UltraBee vs. AP23 vs. Homemade

    Quote Originally Posted by cconnell View Post
    Vance and Nancy, Thanks for the recommendation. I was not familiar with them, but just went through everything on their website. The bees really like them that much? Do you know anything about the supplemental ingredients aside from the yeast, soy, an sugar? The price is certainly good. There is a distributor in California, though a bit out of the way for a drive. I'll check into it.

    I think probably a mix of non-pollen and pollen would be wise. Winter finally arrived here--supposed to get down to 11 F tonight and there's 2 feet of snow on the ground. It's hard to know how quickly it will warm up when it finally does.
    Go to global site and read and call them! They will answer your questions. Most service oriented business I have ever done business with. That is why I recommend them.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Hampton Arkansas
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: UltraBee vs. AP23 vs. Homemade

    AstroZomBEE: Would you give up your soft loaf recipe.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    New Paltz, New York, USA
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: UltraBee vs. AP23 vs. Homemade

    Hi Aaron, I got some of your nucs through a local retailer. Each one had a frame feeder with some kind of feed in them. Was that the soft loaf you mentioned or something else? It was sugary and slightly orange colored.

    Just wondering because I've been thinking about reusing those frame feeders, perhaps filling them with something similar to winter patties to avoid drowning and provide a little protein without stimulating brood rearing quite yet. Whatever you put in there, I noticed they had already eaten maybe half of it, but totally ignored it once there was pollen and nectar coming in. And it wasn't a SHB sanctuary like unused pollen patties tend to be.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania/Florida
    Posts
    474

    Default Re: UltraBee vs. AP23 vs. Homemade

    GregG and cfalls, i answered you both in private messages, as to not hi-jack this thread. if someone else would like the same info start a new thread asking those questions and i will post openly.


    Aaron

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    2,643

    Default Re: UltraBee vs. AP23 vs. Homemade

    Randy Oliver ran an experiment to determine which is the best pollen substitute patty a couple years back. There were 4 good ones - 3 were knock-offs of Dr. Gordon Wardell's "Tucson Diet" currently marketed as "MegaBee" through Dadant & Sons, and, of course, Megabee.

    To review this, go onto Randy's website, www.scientificbeekeeping.com , on the right, click on Bee Nutrition, scroll down to "A Comparatitive Test of the Pollen Subs" and click "read more". It would be a good idea to print out that entire article.

    If one studies the graph of bee population vs time, the group of 18 colonies with the fastest recovery rate (steepest slope in January) is the group fed MegaBee all Fall & Winter.

    For my money, one cannot yet beat the original. The product is not yet perfect - pure real pollen IS still better - but MegaBee still gets better results that the knock-offs from Mann Lake, Brushy Mountain, etc. I do not work for Dr. Wardell, this is just from my experience with my own and others' bees in Southern California in the Mojave Desert, along the coast and in the foothills range in San Diego, Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Kern Counties.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    2,672

    Default Re: UltraBee vs. AP23 vs. Homemade

    Quote Originally Posted by JustinS View Post
    Shinbone- the hives I have in my backyard are about 10 yards . . .
    Thanks for the excellent explanation. I plan to give dry open feeding a try this year.
    --shinbone
    (1975-1980, and now since 2011; maintain about 10 hives; Zone 5b; 15" rain; 5500')

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