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For those of you who incorporate pollen patties into your spring management, when do you decide when the time is right to place the patty in the hive?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Rusty Burlew, www.honeybeesuite.com, suggests anytime after the winter soltice.
I use 6 weeks before maples as a guideline. I put patties in my nucs on first of Jan. and open fed sub all winter. Maples came early this year, so only a four week head srart. Virginia has a short but intense flow from the end of April till mid June. I want my hives very strong by the begining of April to take advantage of this flow. What I do may not work in other areas nor be a good idea for those who are concerned about swarming.
 

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Im planning to put them on end of Feb early march like i usually do assuming the weather is warming up a little by then.
 

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Rusty Burlew, www.honeybeesuite.com, suggests anytime after the winter soltice.
I use 6 weeks before maples as a guideline. I put patties in my nucs on first of Jan. and open fed sub all winter. Maples came early this year, so only a four week head srart. Virginia has a short but intense flow from the end of April till mid June. I want my hives very strong by the begining of April to take advantage of this flow. What I do may not work in other areas nor be a good idea for those who are concerned about swarming.
JW,
what size are your colonies? On average, how many frames they occupy and how much brood do they have right now? I know there'll be variation between colonies and between full size hives and nucs, but in general just wondering how big are your colonies are.
Maybe there's something I can gain from your build up that I can apply to my beekeeping. My main flow happens end of May through beginning of June. There's spring flows but colonies are not strong enough to take advantage of it.
 

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Just had a flash of conscience. What are you going to do with the enhanced population of bees you are producing by introducing supplemental protein and initiating earlier than normal brood rearing? I know what I will do, but if you cannot answer that question, think before you proceed new beekeepers.
 

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I am also contemplating adding Ultra Bee patties. My first year . I have two colonies that were a deep and a medium for brood boxes. I plan to make up MP style double Nucs from them. I figured the increased build up from the patties would help. I have equipment made for three double nucs. I`m not sure I can that many splits from my two hives. Two double nucs might be a more reasonable goal. My current plan is to make up the nucs the last couple weeks of June. I thought I would put a honey super on both of them hopefully getting a little honey from the maple and dandelion bloom in the mean time. Is this a reasonable plan.?
 

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If you have boxes with bees all the way across, you might be able to meet the six nucs goal alright. But, I would order queens to make the nucs with. When I have a mean or winter overeater, I break it into nucs of three frames of brood in each and give that split a caged queen. I do not know what you are using for equipment to make those nucs. I use a router and make a 3/8" channel thru the middle of a deep box the same depth as the frame rest and put in a plywood wall that is level with top and bottom and tightly divides the box. I shake the bees off frames of brood for nucs and put three frames in the center side of each, put a flat metal or plastic queen excluder over the donor hive and put a caged queen in each side. If I have killed the queen left in the bottom I give that group a caged queen also. Nurse bees come up thru the excluder and cover the brood above. If the weather is warm I put an excluder over the brood box and put a super under the nuc above. If it is cold, I wait for a day until the brood is covered before putting the super in between.

If the splits were strong enough and the spring flow hits in force or main flow, I put an excluder over the divided double box and the nuc will often store some honey. When I was expanding rapidly, I often put on a deep box of foundation and let the double draw the foundation above and fill it with honey. They I would extract that box or boxes and put a divided box on top or in your case, two nuc boxes with drawn comb and feed it full with syrup as I would take the main flow honey crop instead of letting the bees fill the second level with honey.

My bottom boards for the divided deep is a rim of 1/4" 1 by glued and stapled to half inch plywood with a center divider to keep queens apart and an entrance for each unit on opposite ends. I cut 1"slices of scrap 2"by ? for the bottom feet/runners whatever you call what keeps them off the ground. I have been doing variations on this theme for years. The colonies store surplus or mountain camp winter feed thru a queen excluder with no aggression.

Having the second story as separate boxes is highly desirable. I run these divided doubles but it is an added level of difficulty you don't want if you have room for another stack of specialized equipment.
 
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