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Good evening ladies and gentlemen!

Quick inquiry - have a hive setup en-route and a nuc hopefully shortly after.

I live fairly far north and don't know if we have convenient flowering availability for forage across the board.

How does feeding work?

Pollen Patties - are they recommended?

Second - I also see different options for Sugar Syrop. How does this work? I see that some feeders are designed to replace a frame, whereas some are simply 5 gallon tubs with a hole cut in the top. I'm assuming the frames find their ways into brood boxes? Is the frame option better than a tub nearby?

Many thanks,
 

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You're the best judge of what is blooming. Actually, the bees are but you're second best! Feeding pollen is great if the bees need it and the natural stuff isn't out yet. Sometimes the bees will stop taking what you give them once the real pollen is available. If it were me...where you are...I'd give them some pollen patties and keep giving it to them until you see a pretty good amount of bees coming in carrying pollen. BTW, it's always a treat to watch the bees bring in pollen even though you don't see anything around that could be producing it!

As far as syrup goes, I'd do that too. There's a bunch of different ways to feed but I'd stick with something "inside" the hive for now. It's less convenient but the bees will be able to get to that valuable syrup even when it's too cold or rainy to fly. Once they build up their stores, it's not as important but I think you'll benefit from feeding. Use a frame feeder or a bucket or baggie feeder on top surrounded by a deep if you have one. Lots of options.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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>How does feeding work?

http://bushfarms.com/beesfeeding.htm

>Pollen Patties - are they recommended?

You may want to experiment, but here, in my location (very cold and unpredictable winters) it is not advantagous most years. It either stimulates them to raise brood too early and they get caught in a cold snap and "cold starve" or they want to swarm a month or two before the main flow. In some locations it may be necessary in order to get them to build up at the right time to peak out at the main flow.

http://bushfarms.com/beestiming.htm

>Second - I also see different options for Sugar Syrop. How does this work? I see that some feeders are designed to replace a frame, whereas some are simply 5 gallon tubs with a hole cut in the top. I'm assuming the frames find their ways into brood boxes? Is the frame option better than a tub nearby?

It's not that simple. There are a lot of pros and cons to various kinds of feeders. I used to hate the frame feeders before Mann Lake came out with the cap and ladder set up. It drowned too many bees. The first ones I had back in the early 70s had no rough surface and were the worst. Then they roughed up the sides, which was better, but not good enough. Then they came out with the caps and ladders and that works well. The advantage to the frame feeder is mostly storage. I leave them in the hives all the time, so I don't have to store them somewhere. Top feeders are kind of in the way when you want to do an inspection. The frame feeders are inexpensive and last very well. The top feeders don't weather as well. But the advantage is they hold a LOT of syrup. In an outyard if you need to really feed a lot in the fall you don't have to make so many trips. Advantages and disadvantages and issues:
http://bushfarms.com/beesfeeding.htm#feederissues
 
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