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My package went in on Monday on drawn foundation. Right now (Wednesday), they're finishing up the syrup can they came with. Queen has been released, so I plan to check the end of next week for eggs (and hopefully some larva if she's a good girl).

When is the optimal time to place the brood builder patties? I'm just now starting to see the girls returning with some pretty yellow pollen. Want to make sure the baby bees get the best start possible.
 

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i usually start patties the same day that i install the bees -

but if they are bring in the pollen - i would not give patties -- the patties are not as good as the natrual pollens in your area

most patties are used for over wintered hives to simulate the queen into laying eggs earlier then normal

hope this helps

also - keep feeding for at least a month if not more - the more feed the faster they can get comb built
 

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If they're bringing in lots of pollen they probably won't eat the patties. Keep feeding syrup until all the frames are drawn out. Save the patties for next spring or any possible dearth.
 

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I have no experience with that brand of patty, but if they are any good and you place them correctly, your bees will eat them and benefit at almost any time of year.

If you keep them for a year, they may do more harm than good at that time due to chemical changes over time. Patties should be fed as fresh as possible. If they have to be kept time, they should be refrigerated or frozen.
 

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In my experience once there is pollen out there they ignore the patties and they go to waste. Even if they are real pollen. This time of year (or anytime you are able to get packages) there is almost always pollen available.
 

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In my experience once there is pollen out there they ignore the patties and they go to waste. Even if they are real pollen. This time of year (or anytime you are able to get packages) there is almost always pollen available.
If that is the case, my guess is that either you are doing it wrong or you are feeding the wrong patties -- or there is something odd about your location or bees.

Once the season gets going, the weather is warm, I hear that in California they can even feed patties at the entrance. I have no expereience with that, but my bees will eat a pound a week at any time I have tried during the active season. I always place them directly above the brood and as close as I can get to it.

They don't consume much from September to March in our region (52 degrees N), though, so I don't even try then. There are other good reasons not to feed patties then, too.

http://www.honeybeeworld.com/diary/a...sApril2010.htm

http://www.honeybeeworld.com/diary/articles/patties.htm

http://www.honeybeeworld.com/diary/a...onsumption.htm

http://www.honeybeeworld.com/diary/a...s/dontstop.htm
 

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Say, I have a question about all this. I am getting some packages in a day or two. Our weather will be a high of 58-59 F. for the next 2-3 days and only 60 F. around monday through wednesday. A kind of unusually long cool stretch. I have some substitute on hand. Would this be a good time to use it? Normally I wouldn't do this or be concerned. Dandelions are blooming and others. In the spring/summer with the sun higher, it's warmer than the temps show; like the wind chill index in reverse--maybe.
 

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If you have supplement on hand, it will never be fresher than today. In a year it maybe worthless or even harmful, so I say use it now or freeze it. If it is old, throw it out.

Even if there are flowers outside the hive, can the bees get to them? Sometimes it rains or gets windy for days on end. Sometimes it even snows.

How much pollen do you see in your hives? One days's supply? Less? Enough for overnight? When the supply runs short, the bees strip protein from their own bodies to feed larvae, but that cannot go on long and they then begin to tear out brood.

Feeding supplements is insurance. We cannot predict the weather accurately for more than a few days ahead.

One other thing: Be careful about what you put into the hive with the package bees when hiving them. Some supplements may drive them out or confuse them. I've seen that, however any well-known commercially produced patty or bee feed should be OK, IMO. YMMV. To be safe, I would add the patty at the first queen check, several days after hiving.
 

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Put the patties on now so that the bees have access to it 24/7. When the bees have inclement weather and they can not forage they may consume brood and you do not want that happening.
Good luck,
Ernie
 

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"To be safe, I would add the patty at the first queen check, several days after hiving."

OK.! Thanks for the tip about that. We will have a couple of days with rain and mostly cloudy in the next 6-8 days also-- forgot about that. The sub I have is still in powder form. Will be feeding syrup also.
 

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> The sub I have is still in powder form.

Good point, and that brings up an interesting question: Does supplement keep better in dry or patty form? Or neither?

I know from an experimental glitch a few years back that dry supplement material does deteriorate to zero value in a year or two (not sure how long). Here's what happened:

To save money, a beekeeper participating in a field trial made his own patties for using the same formula as the commercially produced patties used by the other beekeepers in the test, but his patties gave no improvement. The other patties uniformly gave a significant (30%) improvement in the factors measured.

On compiling the results, our leader was mystified by the obvious anomaly. On questioning the beekeeper, it was found he had used leftover material from a previous year. Ah Ha!

Do made-up patties degrade at the same rate? I don't know. The problem is not as simple as just measuring protein in aged samples. That is being done as we speak. However, various amino acids degrade at different rates and we do not know if the products of breakdown ar noxious. Moreover, any lipids in the mix definitely can go rancid and become toxic.

My best advice is to get factory-fresh material and feed it fresh. That way the benefit is there. Otherwise, supplement feeding may have reduced benefit and even be harmful.

I suspect that may be why we get mixed reports on feeding results.
 

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Yes. Freezing or refrigeration is bound to prolong the storage life, but we don't know how much. What is the rule? I recall that (very simply) chemical reactions slow by 50% for every 10 degree celsius in temperature reduction? Don't know if this applies, but might be a rough guideline.

If so, then storage at freezing would give four times the time than storage at room temperature.

FWIW I checked Wikipedia and it says: The 'rule of thumb' that the rate of chemical reactions doubles for every 10 °C temperature rise is a common misconception. This may have been generalized from the special case of biological systems, where the Q10 (temperature coefficient) is often between 1.5 and 2.5.
 

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FYI:
The Q-10 law staes that a chemical reaction rate can be 2x and more for every increase of 10 degrees C.
But that mostly has to do with reactions in the lab and we do not know how it applies to the degrading of proteins. The sugar in the patty is a well known preservarive.
But, it's like we know to use freash materials.
Ernie
 
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