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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have three questions about these protein/pollen patties.
I really wanted to talk to keepers and not a sales department at the catalog companies.
What exactly are they for?
When is the best time to use them?
Who sells the best?
Okay, one more- would they be good for boosting a hive back up right after swarming?
Thanks everyone
Ernie
 

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pollen is collected by bees to feed to brood. queens are restricted from mass egg laying if there is a percieved shortage of stored pollen in the hive- they will wait till the first blooms unless artificially stimulated. good luck,mike
 

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Pollen patties and pollen sub patties (no real pollen) are used to build up bees (keep them raising more brood) when little or no pollen is coming into the hive.

This part of the country I would say (for me) the most bang for the buck would be in fall, August on upto possibly November.

Who sells the best? No comment, I am sure someone else on this forum has the answer for you !!? If you buy pre-made realize that you are paying for sugar and factor this in.

If you can find someone locally buy it from them. I have found shipping is cheapest from Mann Lake CA to here so if you need a 50lb bag of dry sub I think they carry beepro. I have used in the past, the bees take it, I do not know personally which is best. ScientificBeekeeping.com Randy Oliver has a good write up on comparing patties under "bee nutrition" or "fat bees skinny bees" or something like that...

This winter/ spring in WA pollen is coming in (when the bees can fly) but if you inspect hives and find little to no pollen stored in combs then it certainly couldn't hurt.

After swarming... Well maybe but mainly used late fall (ie sept, oct) and/or late winter (jan, feb, MAYBE march? ...but this is an early spring in the PNW) to build up hives but realize once you start feeding you should keep a close eye on stores, good chance you will have to feed syrup all the way until flow begins.

Personally only time I feed sub during the summer is before grafting or queen mating flights in nucs.

hope this helps
 

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In my opinion the best pollen patties are those that contain all the essential amino acids needed by bees. There are some amino acids which bees cannot synthesize, meaning they cannot make them within their bodies, and therefore need to gather those amino acids from an outside source. Most pollen patty manufactures don't really know what is in there patties.

As for when to place patties on a hive, well that probably depends on your area. I get my patties on in late February and early March, otherwise the bees don't eat them. Sometimes trial and error is the only way to find the correct answer.
 

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Pollen sub or pollen patties are most useful for commercial beekeepers, those who need to deliver specified numbers or types of bees at specific times. For hobbyists, patties have less practicality. That's not to say that they can't be used or can't be used in ways that still benefit beekeepers, but they don't provide the same benefits that they do for commercial beekeepers.

My experience with them is that the bees will ignore them if natural pollen is available. Swarms are likely to occur at times when natural pollen is available; typically, strong hives swarm, and these hives will fare quitely nicely after swarming without much extra help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone, having a forum where we can ask questions and get answers to our concerns and "wonderings" is great. I have another question, see "When to switch brood boxes"
Ernie
 

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If you are going to feed patties and the bees are still in a cluster you must put the patties directly above the cluster. They may not move too far from the cluster to feed. Also, make sure they have an "open edge" to get to the patty through the waxed paper. As a hobbiest you can feed patties whenever. As previously stated, they will just not take it if a natural source is available. So you will know when they stop using it.
 
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