This blog explains how I keep bees. It works for me, it might not work for you. Use my methods at your own risk. Always wear protective clothing and use a smoker when working bees.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pollen Patties

I love this picture. I threw this patty on a strong over wintered colony in March of 2007. The bees were instantly on it. You can see them on the edge of the patty getting the pollen substitute that they need so bad.

It is time to put on pollen patties. The weather is on the upswing and there is brood in the colonies. Pollen patties are an important spring food supplement that will make a colony prosper.
Good quality pollen substitute gives the bees protein that will not be available until the early spring pollen sources become available. Natural pollen in the spring is all weather dependent. So it is important for the beekeeper to have a protein source on the hive at all times. This protein helps the hive produce strong,healthy bees. It also promotes proper physical development of the bees.
Without this the bees will have a shorter life span, shorter foraging ability, poor gland development that leads to poor quality Royal Jelly production. Not producing good quality and ample amounts of Royal Jelly impacts the entire health and quality of the hive.
Pollen patties go on where the bees are, right next to the cluster. If the bees are still in a lower box, the patty has to go underneath the top box. Normally the bees have moved up into the top box and the pollen patty lays on the top bars under the inner cover.
A note on feeding syrup. I avoid feeding syrup until early April unless there is no feed in the hive. Feeding syrup gets brood rearing going into high gear. If it gets cold and the cluster contracts, the bees will not be able to keep all the brood warm. Some of the brood will get chilled and die and actually set the colony back in their spring build up time line.
Pollen substitute is well worth the money. It will help build a population up so a May divide is in the future.