Author Topic: Feeding Pollen Sub In January  (Read 273 times)

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Offline Jen

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Feeding Pollen Sub In January
« on: January 13, 2019, 03:01:16 pm »
We are having a week of 45- 60 degrees. A beek friend is putting out pollen sub. I was under the impression that pollen sub this early will ramp up the queen. Is it okay to feed pollen sub for a short spell until the freezes come?
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Offline iddee

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Re: Feeding Pollen Sub In January
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2019, 03:12:32 pm »
Once feeding pollen or sugar begins, watch the weight constantly. Ramping up early can be good if kept up with, but 20,000 new mouths to feed before the flow begins can use up a lot of stores and cause starvation if feeding is stopped even for a few days.
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Offline Wandering Man

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Re: Feeding Pollen Sub In January
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2019, 05:35:33 pm »
We've been feeding here in South Texas for a couple of months.  The temps have warmed up some (Okay, they never really got cold, except for one day) and the bees are out scrounging around.  I've not had to add any pollen substitute.  They are bringing in gold and white pollen right now.  We checked the hives Friday, and found the frames pretty full, and our feeders still 1/4 to 1/3 full.
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Offline Jen

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Re: Feeding Pollen Sub In January
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2019, 10:25:20 pm »
I threw out some pollen powder these last two days, temps got up to 55-60. Nice watching the bees have a picnic. But the freezing is starting up around now thru Feb.

But Iddee, due to drought, and the entire pacific coastline being on fire this year, the bees didn't have the goods to store enough for winter.  So, many of us have been feeding sugar cakes and winter patties since the beginning of Fall anyway. The trick here in CA is to figure out when the flow starts so we don't have to feed anymore.

Winter patties: I thought that winter patties would be less in pollen/yeast and that is why you can use them for feed without ramping up the queen?
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Offline iddee

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Re: Feeding Pollen Sub In January
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2019, 02:54:31 am »
What you are doing is fine. Just be sure to heft them regularly so they don't get light. Once the temps rise to flying weather most days, put a boardman feeder away from the hives in the yard. When a quart goes from lasting half a day, to lasting 2 or more days, the flow is on.
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Offline Lburou

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Re: Feeding Pollen Sub In January
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2019, 12:54:35 pm »
Quote from: Iddee
...When a quart goes from lasting half a day, to lasting 2 or more days, the flow is on!

Also, when a flow is "on" the hives smell different.  Get downwind or down breeze from the hives and take a whiff.  During a flow there is a musty/yeasty smell.  When i smell that, I feel everything is as it should be in the hive (although it is more complicated than that).  :)
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Offline Jen

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Re: Feeding Pollen Sub In January
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2019, 02:14:29 pm »
Thanks Iddee, I'm in that 'Need a spring refresher coarse mode'

Lee, I do know that yeasty scent, it's a rich more healthy scent. I love it!
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Online rober

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Re: Feeding Pollen Sub In January
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2019, 10:00:26 am »
 I have found that hive beetles are reeeeaaallly attracted to pollen patties & quit using them. ever seen a piece of food totally covered in ants. that's how I found some pollen patties but covered with beetles

Offline iddee

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Re: Feeding Pollen Sub In January
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2019, 11:42:19 am »
I feed pollen patties about 2in. X 3in., and remove and replace every 3 days. Any I take out, I freeze to kill the eggs.
“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
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Offline Jen

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Re: Feeding Pollen Sub In January
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2019, 06:09:12 pm »
Rob, that would make me sick right thar… ugh. So far, we don't have small hive beetles here un upper northern Calif.


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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Feeding Pollen Sub In January
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2019, 08:53:09 am »
I have found that hive beetles are reeeeaaallly attracted to pollen patties & quit using them. ever seen a piece of food totally covered in ants. that's how I found some pollen patties but covered with beetles

That's why I am leery about using them.  I don't want to feed the SHB.  The SHB will overwinter in with the bee cluster.  Usually we have natural pollen start in mid-February.  I have also seen pollen being brought in on warm days in December and January.  Not this year, because we are having a "real" winter. 

Offline Lburou

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Re: Feeding Pollen Sub In January
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2019, 11:56:52 am »
Hive beetles sure can use those pollen substitute patties to grow their larva! 

When I use pollen substitute, I've found that rolling the patty into golf ball or plum sized doses and placing them on a feeding shim with a half inch by half inch wire bottom, the bees can easily protect the ball  from hive beetles.

The spherical shape gives the smallest area per volume and denies beetles access to crevices the bees can't patrol.  Works for a hobbyist, but not a sideliner or commercial beekeeper.  JMO   :)
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Offline tecumseh

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Re: Feeding Pollen Sub In January
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2019, 06:16:34 am »
I do not feed much pollen substitute here.... If I took bees to the almonds I would but I have no plans to ever do that.  I have been told (no personal experience in this regards) that pollen patties are also highly attractive to feral hogs..

Offline Lastfling

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Re: Feeding Pollen Sub In January
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2019, 10:09:36 am »
Instead of patties inside hive could pollen substitute  be fed outside hive as dry feed in a pollen feeder thereby removing it as a hive beetle attractant in the hive.  Of course flying weather would be needed for bees to use. 


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Offline iddee

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Re: Feeding Pollen Sub In January
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2019, 11:06:48 am »
Yes, dry pollen sub can be community fed, of course, you will be feeding all the neighborhood bees, which may give you an extra swarm or two in the spring.
“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
― Shel Silverstein