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i know alot of you talk about pushing your bees in jan and feb (i am sure that is way to early for here) but here in Montana we didn't see dandelions blooming until after the begining of may. i was going to get some global patties how soon should i start putting them on the bees do you think? i was wanting to push them a little so i can split them.
 

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There's actually a lot to pushing bees. It's more complicated than just giving them pollen patties. Certainly, that protein helps a lot and the timing...as you indicate...is important. You need to know your area but if it were me, I'd be feeding well in advance of the dandelions. Here's a great article by Kim Flottum that discusses the concept quite a bit. It's wonderful reading and although it won't give you a date, it will get your feet on the ground from the standpoint of being committed to an artificial and early diet. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

http://www.beeculture.com/storycms/index.cfm?cat=Story&recordID=532
 

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I think that the best time to feed pollen patties is in the fall just after the natural pollen stops coming in. I googled Feeding Pollen Patties but could not find a study that I had read that said the later you wait until after the fall, the less benefit that you'll receive. Clarence Wenner of Glenn, CA was able to solve his Fall Collapse problems in the late 1970's by feeding pollen supplement in late summer and early fall. He did a lot of experimenting and found that torula yeast was way better than brewer's yeast.
 

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It takes a bee 40 days from the time the egg is laid until it is a forager. You might try to schedule feeding your pollen sub and syrup 40-50 days before your first estimated bloom date. You are right, you will have to adjust your schedule according to your area.
 
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