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This is my first year trying protein patties. Last week I put a regular megabee protein patty on all of my hives. My question is if the patty alone is enough, or should I feed syrup or sugar patties as well for the hives that are light? It is usually warm enough hear in late February and throughout March for the bees to take syrup.
 

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I would think if your concerned about hive weight, you should feed them a bit until your flow starts or they quit taking it. The protein patties will support the brood development that is starting, are they bringing in pollen?....We are behind you in my area by several weeks with temps still in the middling 40's...but my bee's that are flying on the odd day over 50 are bringing in early pollen and so I've put both protein mix and sugar blocks....I may do some supplemental feed when it gets consistently over 50 during the day until we hit our flows...
 

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Protein (pollen sub) and sugar syrup (honey) are not interchangeable bee food. Bees need sugar/honey/nectar on an every day basis. Pollen is mostly used by nurse bees when raising brood.

An excellent reference on bee nutrition:
http://www.beeccdcap.uga.edu/documents/CAPArticle10.html

In order to get a good answer to your question, you need to know what the hive already has, so you can determine whether you need to supplement that.



P.S. I think Mark is having a little fun with you. :lookout:
 

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If you re-read the question you'll see that it was a two part question. Your "yes" isn't very helpful...
You are correct of course. I was simply answering the question posed in the title of the Thread, figuring that it was the question the Poster wanted an answer to. My fault.
 

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This is my first year trying protein patties. Last week I put a regular megabee protein patty on all of my hives. My question is if the patty alone is enough, or should I feed syrup or sugar patties as well for the hives that are light?
If you feed protein patties you will stimulate brood rearing which requires more energy from the bees, so they need sugar syrup too. I was taught that it takes a frame of honey and a frame of pollen to grow a frame of brood. So it has to come from somewhere.

Another "rule" is, feed them all, especially the strong ones. The light ones need it, but so do the strong ones.
 

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If you feed protein patties you will stimulate brood rearing which requires more energy from the bees, so they need sugar syrup too. I was taught that it takes a frame of honey and a frame of pollen to grow a frame of brood. So it has to come from somewhere.

Another "rule" is, feed them all, especially the strong ones. The light ones need it, but so do the strong ones.
You can take that to the bank Jon11 :thumbsup:
 

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I put small pieces of patty on, no syrup, hives are still heavy with stores, although likely low on pollen. I probably won't feed syrup at all thru spring, I want them to use up all the stores.
 

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Take Mark's advice because he's been doing it a lot longer than I have...but this is what I've found:

I don't know what your bees are doing in KY this time of year, but mine in GA are bringing in pollen by the basket full (get it?). They started trickling in pollen around early to mid Jan, now they're just going nuts with it. I wish I had saved the money I spent on brewers yeast and BeePro. I've decided that buying protein supplement in my area is just not worth it. Natural pollen is better for the bees, and costs a heck of a lot less. I do keep syrup out for them all the time, however.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the replys. It has been colder than normal here this year, in fact the news said it was the coldest January since 1985 and I'm guessing February might be the coldest for a generation as well. Last year by this time, when it was warm enough for bees to fly, they were bringing in pollen. Yesterday it was warm enough for them to fly, but I didn't see them bring in anything. Hopefully things will change soon, but the cold has set everything back. I've never fed any protein suplement before and never felt the need, but this year is a different animal. I know bees need both protein and carbohydrates, but what I didn't know was if the megabee patties contained enough of both so that I didn't need to give them syrup or sugar patties as well. I've been giving them the sugar all winter long. To be on the safe side I'll keep giving it to them.
 

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Feed the light ones to try to keep them going. Feed the strong ones so you can split them to replace loss. Some of those light ones will still die even if you do feed them.
 

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I'm also in KY, and I could be wrong, but I think its overall been too cold to feed my bees. The last 2 or 3 days have warmed up, but its supposed to get back into the teens next week.
Didn't see a lot of activity around the hives even on these warm days. From what I can tell, I've lost one of 10 hives so far. I think the dead hive was lacking in ventilation.
 

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Perhaps temps are too cold to feed in KY, but I know someone in SC who has been feeding patties and syrup for more than a month and has foundation being drawn. One thing is for sure, if the syrup isn't on the hive when the bees can get to it they won't be able to get to it. So if you wait until you think the temps are warm enough you may be too late. It's tricky. I know.
 

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Another Kentuckian here.
Although the last few days have been warmer I haven't seen any pollen coming in yet.
That could change any day now though.
I want to give syrup to mine, but I am going to air on the side of caution and hold off a bit.

Edit: Correction, this evening I witness the first pollen coming in.
 

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I'm in KY also, we haven't had the sustained temps for liquid feeding yet. It's best not to feed until you have sustained temps in the 50's. You might be able to feed inside the hive at cooler temps but I usually don't unless it is an emergency.
 
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