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My 2 hives (from packages) are about 4 weeks old now. Both have eggs/capped brood, pollen and honey in them mainly on the center 3-4 frames. I initially placed a PP on the top of the frames when I set it up and am using a top feeder. One hive knocked out all of a PP and the other about 80% of one so on my first inspection I replaced them with new. On the 2nd inspection very little of the PP's had been taken so I removed the remains and did not replace them. I plan on 'going in' this coming weekend. Thoughts on installing more PP? My thoughts for removing it were that they had plenty of natural pollen stored it seemed and I would prefer they use that, they haven't been taking alot of the 1:1 but seem to be working hard. I removed burr comb they built down thru the center of the top feeder as well, hated to but figured it would be better to in the long run, just alot of wasted time and work for them.

Thanks in advance,
Danny (the new beekeeper)
 

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Pollen supplement use seems to be a controversial topic. :)

My opinion is that - particularly in the region that you and I are in - there is normally adequate natural pollen available to forage and patties are not normally an advantage.

There may be some good reasons to use supplement, particularly if you are a migratory beekeeper and need young bees earlier than they might be raised without patties. The risk is that encouraging bees to raise early brood may result in chilled brood and dead bees if a cold snap happens.

But right now, in your area, I am confident there is plenty of pollen available and having patties in the hive may just turn into small hive beetle magnets.
 

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Thoughts on installing more PP? My thoughts for removing it were that they had plenty of natural pollen stored it seemed and I would prefer they use that, they haven't been taking alot of the 1:1 I removed burr comb they built down thru the center of the top feeder as well, hated to but figured it would be better to in the long run, just alot of wasted time and work for them.

Thanks in advance,
Danny (the new beekeeper)
My thoughts is Spring has Sprung and there is a lot of natural pollen for the taking, I would not put more in. However, do be ready to scrap off more burr comb:D Why not just leave it?
 

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My thoughts is Spring has Sprung and there is a lot of natural pollen for the taking, I would not put more in. However, do be ready to scrap off more burr comb:D Why not just leave it?
It would be a mess. It was attached to not only the inner cover (yes I used it with the feeder on) but also the feeder. I have since taken the inner cover off this hive and will see how it does in comparison to the other with the inner cover.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Pollen supplement use seems to be a controversial topic. :)

My opinion is that - particularly in the region that you and I are in - there is normally adequate natural pollen available to forage and patties are not normally an advantage.

There may be some good reasons to use supplement, particularly if you are a migratory beekeeper and need young bees earlier than they might be raised without patties. The risk is that encouraging bees to raise early brood may result in chilled brood and dead bees if a cold snap happens.

But right now, in your area, I am confident there is plenty of pollen available and having patties in the hive may just turn into small hive beetle magnets.
Everything in beekeeping is controversial it seems : ) Thanks for the input. The SHB issue was the other reason. I saw it somewhere on this forum and it made sense. I think I'll leave it off this next go round. Thanks
 

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I don't have shb to worry about but as long as I have bees actively feeding on patties properly placed close to open brood, I will continue putting them on. Of course the bees are not flying in the thirty mph wind with gusts to forty and forties temps today. I do not live in your balmy clime.
 

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I don't have shb to worry about but as long as I have bees actively feeding on patties properly placed close to open brood, I will continue putting them on. Of course the bees are not flying in the thirty mph wind with gusts to forty and forties temps today. I do not live in your balmy clime.
Balmy? lol. Not so far but I guess it beats snow.
 

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It would be a mess. It was attached to not only the inner cover (yes I used it with the feeder on) but also the feeder. I have since taken the inner cover off this hive and will see how it does in comparison to the other with the inner cover.
What type of feeder is it? With no inner cover will you be able to get the lid off, if they build under it?
 

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Discussion Starter #9

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Discussion Starter #11
Small Hive Beetles have to eat too...
I'll be sure to send them your way : ) While ya'll are looking in I have a question for you that pertains to my next inspection. For a few days following my last 2 inspections I have noticed reduced activity outside the hive. Coincidentally it is usually cool and/or windy the days following as well so maybe that is it. I have read that it takes them a few days to regroup after we go meddling. Am I imagining this or is it common?
 

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> Coincidentally it is usually cool ...

It depends what "cool" really means in temperature.

This study measures the temperature of the bee's bodies, rather than the air temperature, but does support the idea that if the bee's thorax temperature falls below 9-11 degrees C (about 50 degrees F), they lose muscle control, can no longer shiver to generate heat and will fall off the cluster.

http://jeb.biologists.org/content/206/2/353.full.pdf

If they lose some muscle control at 50 degrees, flying may not work out too well either. :) If below 50 degrees but it is sunny, that may help, but nectar availability may be reduced in cold weather too.
 

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> Coincidentally it is usually cool ...

It depends what "cool" really means in temperature.

This study measures the temperature of the bee's bodies, rather than the air temperature, but does support the idea that if the bee's thorax temperature falls below 9-11 degrees C (about 50 degrees F), they lose muscle control, can no longer shiver to generate heat and will fall off the cluster.

http://jeb.biologists.org/content/206/2/353.full.pdf

If they lose some muscle control at 50 degrees, flying may not work out too well either. :) If below 50 degrees but it is sunny, that may help, but nectar availability may be reduced in cold weather too.
My short experience with these hives has shown me that between 50-55 there are a few flying but not many, 55-60 a few a minute, 60-70 about twice that many, 70-80 and they are going strong, 80+ and up all bets are off. Now that I evaluate what my scale has shown it seems I was in the 65-70 range and even for that there were fewer than normal. I guess time and more experience will show me. Thanks for the link, all info helps.
 
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