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My new bees are bringing in a lot of pollen, and it is coating our cars. There are a few wildflowers blooming, but I do not have a good feeling there is a strong nectar flow yet. I am feeding 1:1 syrup now.

I understand that bees use pollen as protein to raise brood and nectar to make wax and honey, as well as for energy. My question is: When they are bringing in a lot of pollen can I stop feeding, or do I need to wait until there is a strong nectar flow? Or do I just wait until they slack off feeding on the syrup? Are they still using the syrup to make wax in which to raise the brood?
 

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How much honey do they have in stores? If none or very little, keep the syrup on till some nectar becomes available. Dutch clover is coming in strong here, so I don't expect to feed any more. I had to because a new hive I started from a cutout was very light on honey.
 

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If you have combs with mostly pollen, I suggest you put a couple in the freezer for each hive (if practical) for next spring so the bees can get an early start. If there is pollen , there must be nectar in the flowers. They would be building up a supply of pollen. By putting in the pollen combs six weeks before the anticipated bloom in spring ( along with a sufficient food source if not in the hive) your hives will be bursting with bees to use the bloom.

If you do try , please let me know how it works.
Geoff
 

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One thing to keep in mind is that the bees feed the brood both pollen and nectar before capping it off. The mixture of pollen and nectar\honey is called bee bread. So yes, they need nectar for their energy, but also for raising the brood.
 

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Pollen supplies protein to build larvae and newly emerged bees. Nectar/honey/sugar supply the fuel that runs the whole engine. They need both to thrive but will die sooner from lack of sugars. Spring Pollen coming in is a sure sign that need for sugars is radically increasing. You can lose your very best fast building colonies first by assuming that nectar is coming in with the pollen.
 

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Or do I just wait until they slack off feeding on the syrup?
I would say wait for them to slow down on the syrup. They likely won't stop eating it completely, but if you've been paying attention you should have a decent idea about how long a set amount of syrup should last them when they're hungry. For one of mine, they can easily empty a mason jar in a day when they're really hungry. Right now I've got a jar on them thats still a third full after nearly a week. Clearly they have found a real flow, and I don't need to bother with more syrup after this.
 
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