it takes more than pollen paties. the presence of pollen paties is not what triggers egg laying. a healthy hive will have pollen reserves in the comb all winter yet mass egg laying is not triggered. i hope i have helped.
Depends where you live. A good rule of thumb is to add supplements about three weeks before real pollen is expected to come into the hives and then feed continuously until the weather is very settled and nectar and pollen is coming in steadily.
After Christmas, the queen will be laying already, since queens lay a little all winter, but ramp up when the weather warms and nectar and pollen start to come in.
Some strains of bees respond to feeding more than others. Word is that the Russians are hard to push and will wait for supplies to show up outside the hive, while Italians are willing to build up anytime you can afford to feed them
Feeding patties will ensure a steady supply of protein and maintain the workers in better health and also keep them from ripping out eggs and larvae if you get a cool or rainy spell.
If you want to stimulate brood rearing, then feeding 50/50 syrup in addition to patties helps.
Over stimulating bees too early can be hard on them, though, if there is nothing outside for them and there is not good flying weather.
a nectar flow is needed. this can be simulated by feeding syrup-but theres the catch. it must berelatively warm(50's) for the syrup to not freeze and for the bees to break cluster to get it. dandilions are likely blooming by then.
the best practice is going into winter with healthy bee and ample pollen and honey stores in the hive and the bees will know when to start mass laying.
This is why in hive feeders work well. Or like I use, a feeder in an empty super with lid. Is there some burr comb feeding this way...sometimes, but they have plenty of access to lots of syrup. Get the 1:1 to them and when the flow starts pull it. Just remember that once you start feeding you have to keep feeding until there is a flow on.
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