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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to gorge my bees on protein this year to increase my overwinter success. I have had protein patties that they have been consuming but as we still have flying days i wanted to make some feeders. I made the 4" tube hanging ones and put them out but zero interest. of course the pollen got wet and moldy. those big blue feeders are out of stock. should i just continue patties or is there some trick to get them to start foraging and taking up the pollen substitute?
 

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My bees have never touched the dry sub I've put out. Finally threw in the towel and went to patties.
 

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I had less than a cup available to them for about a month. Very few bees loaded up each day. Last Wednesday we had a deluge and the next day they cleaned up what was out. Our goldenrod is about spent so natural sources are dwindling. I think the heavy rain also played a role in washing available pollen to the ground.

On Friday I placed a pan near the area where the established feeder had been emptied the day before. The link below contains shots at 1min, 5min, 10min, 2.5 hours. This represents around 25 colonies of varying strengths and a few ferals as well. I don’t feed patties this late as they are prone to hive beetle eggs/larvae. Many people do, but this is also easier. If there is any fresh pollen they usually won’t gather pollen sub.

http://instagr.am/p/CUyVhsrtBhR/
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My bees have never touched the dry sub I've put out. Finally threw in the towel and went to patties.
I've been feeding patties on my hives for a month. Just ordered more. Spent a bunch on big bag of sub hoping they could do some of the work
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
They won 't touch sub till Winter, then they'll be all about it.
I have another month maybe of flying time so hoped they would start on it now. Not going to be flying after that to get it.

are your queens still laying?
I consolodated my boxes and am top feeding so i have not gone down and checked. I'm focused on oav and feeding syrup right now. One of the group's critiques on my last years losses was me not feeding protein to fatten up the winter bees. I'm still getting orientation flights so i know they are emerging at least.
 

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The weather just dropped from sixties/seventies to forties and pattie consumption on the top bars has ended at least for now. I may just pick them up and freeze til mid february when I normally start encouraging my bees to start brooding up.
 

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Mine won't stay out of my chicken feed so I started mixing dry sub with the feed and they take it well.
 
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I have another month maybe of flying time so hoped they would start on it now. Not going to be flying after that to get it.


I consolodated my boxes and am top feeding so i have not gone down and checked. I'm focused on oav and feeding syrup right now. One of the group's critiques on my last years losses was me not feeding protein to fatten up the winter bees. I'm still getting orientation flights so i know they are emerging at least.
If I recall, the conversation around feeding protein and the winter loses last year had to do with the severe drought, and lack of quality forage, experienced by so many areas in new England during the summer and fall proceeding those loses.

This season just passing has not seen those conditions, so the bees may have collected what was necessary without touching the dry supplement. I can say if the dry supplement you offered was better than anything they could forage in the field they would have taken all you could offer them.
It is more attractive to them if kept dry from the weather though.

Did you notice them returning with the typical big pollen loads in late summer and so far this fall? How about what was stored when you combined boxes?
My last thought is that when the natural pollen sources have ended, they'll take your sub right off if they need it to kick off next year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If I recall, the conversation around feeding protein and the winter loses last year had to do with the severe drought, and lack of quality forage, experienced by so many areas in new England during the summer and fall proceeding those loses.

This season just passing has not seen those conditions, so the bees may have collected what was necessary without touching the dry supplement. I can say if the dry supplement you offered was better than anything they could forage in the field they would have taken all you could offer them.
It is more attractive to them if kept dry from the weather though.

Did you notice them returning with the typical big pollen loads in late summer and so far this fall? How about what was stored when you combined boxes?
My last thought is that when the natural pollen sources have ended, they'll take your sub right off if they need it to kick off next year.
I've been doing oav so my blocked entrances have allowed me to be able to watch for pollen It was weeks without anything and then one hive was bringing something in last time i was out so maybe there is still pollen sources.
my home made tube feeders have not kept the pollen dry. even set up on an angle and built correctly i need to be able to keep pollen dry in out yards. Any one have a line on those big blue feeders? do those keep the pollen dry?
 

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I've been doing oav so my blocked entrances have allowed me to be able to watch for pollen It was weeks without anything and then one hive was bringing something in last time i was out so maybe there is still pollen sources.
my home made tube feeders have not kept the pollen dry. even set up on an angle and built correctly i need to be able to keep pollen dry in out yards. Any one have a line on those big blue feeders? do those keep the pollen dry?
This home made style has served me well. Hanging on a angle with the entry lower is necessary, as is the position of the fitting at the opening end. Load the feeder with the pollen tapped down slightly into the back end, just firm enough so it doesn't slide forward.

Sky Fence Wood Plant Twig
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
This home made style has served me well. Hanging on a angle with the entry lower is necessary, as is the position of the fitting at the opening end. Load the feeder with the pollen tapped down slightly into the back end, just firm enough so it doesn't slide forward.

View attachment 65776
That is exactly what mine are and installed like that but with tape on the 2 joints as well and i got rotting pollen sub. i'll try putting it just in the back as you say.
 

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That is exactly what mine are and installed like that but with tape on the 2 joints as well and i got rotting pollen sub. i'll try putting it just in the back as you say.
Try installing the fittings with ample amount of adhesive caulk or silicone caulk all around the tube prior to putting on the entry and closed end fittings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Try installing the fittings with ample amount of adhesive caulk or silicone caulk all around the tube prior to putting on the entry and closed end fittings.
will do. i was making it so it could come apart but obviously not keeping water out
 
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