So it is my first year of trying to notice when things are blooming. So far I don't think much is, as there is no rain. Hasn't been rain in months.You are in the mid to upper 70's these days (if not low 80's)....Aren't they bringing in pollen of their own? If you see pollen going in, they are certainly not going to touch a man made knock off.
Could it be that I have too much flour and not enough brewers yeast? I am thinking of putting out a little brewers yeast by itself. I watched them this afternoon and could not see any ladies with pollen on their back legs.Here in Tucson, we're having a small flow. Mostly creosote bush (orange pollen) and wild rape/mustard (yellow pollen). The rains that inspired this, happened several months ago. Despite that lots of natural pollen is available, and being harvested, mine are also busy eating the pollen sub patties I've placed on their Top Bars, and they're also quite busy, during daylight, collecting dry pollen sub, from bowls on my porch. BeePro and Brewer's Yeast, alone, and some mixed together. They work both, but seem to prefer the plain BeePro, best.
I had been feeding small quantities of 1:1 sugar syrup, but they are now bringing in plenty of nectar, so I've stopped feeding syrup, so I don't crowd out the brood they're starting to expand in earnest.
My wife and I spent most of the day, out in the yard. She, sitting in her wheelchair, in the shade, reading a book. I, building bee equipment. When a swarm flew into our yard from the North-East. It looked like it would alight in a nearby creosote bush, but, alas, it continued West, beyond our property. I had no time to chase it any farther.