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Author Topic: Pollen Patty question  (Read 3803 times)
LocustHoney
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« on: January 08, 2008, 03:57:54 PM »

Just bought some pollen patties and I was excited to give it to the girls. But the gentelman whom I bought them from told me that if I feed it to them now then I will be raising bees instead of going for honey. My question is if I feed it to them now will the queen start laying now and will there be enough bees in the hive to keep the eggs and larvae from being chilled?
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randydrivesabus
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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2008, 03:59:28 PM »

the only way to know how many bees are in your hive is to look...
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LocustHoney
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2008, 04:05:54 PM »

I have done that. I don't think there are enough to cover both sides of a frame. Once again...I said I don't think there are. I am worried if it gets cold will they be stuck down with the brood and not move up. Therefore dying. And I don't feel comfortable with the amount of pollen stores.
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CBEE
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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2008, 04:18:39 PM »

Well, maybe I'm wrong but it sounds like if you feed them to bees now you will compound your problem because they will start raising brood and then just like you said they will stay with the brood and now go to the honey when it gets cold. HuhHuh
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LocustHoney
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2008, 04:20:03 PM »

That is what I am afraid of. I will then hold off until the first of March. So sugar water 2:1 for now???
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kathyp
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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2008, 04:22:35 PM »

feed pollen when it gets warm enough for them to begin brood raising.  here, that will not happen until the end of February at the earliest.....unless we have an unusually warm late winter.  

i have heard the argument that if you feed  the bees will raise brood and not make honey.  my (limited) observation is that in an established hive, that's hogwash.  the more bees, the more workers, the more honey.  the bees can do both the brood raising and the honey making.

others may argue differently.  i want strong hives because my winters are longer than my honey season.  if my hives don't come out of winter strong, there won't be any honey making for lack of bees.
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LocustHoney
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2008, 04:24:10 PM »

Ok.. what temperature range would I be looking for. all the bee "raisers" around here have already started to feed pollen patties.
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NWIN Beekeeper
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2008, 04:33:40 PM »

[I have heard the argument that if you feed  the bees will raise brood and not make honey.]
[I don't think there are enough to cover both sides of a frame. ]

Bees must have themselves well established before concentrating very heavily on foraging.
If your population is as small as you say, their likely focus will be brood rearing anyhow.
You will cause them no damage by providing them with better nutrition.

While some older bees could be pulled from foraging, the colony will never pull more than it needs and never more than would cause detriment to 'needed' colony stores. Colonies don't like taking older bees, they get beyond a point of providing good larval care (less royal jelly production, etc.).

If it impacts the honey crop you were going to pull, then likely the colony is in a weak enough state that you should nurse it first.

[My (limited) observation is:]

If you are observing the bees, that's as professional as advice gets.

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kathyp
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« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2008, 05:03:35 PM »

i think randy is right.  you need to know if they are raising brood.  temps might be an indicator.  even in warmer climates there is a winter slowdown in brood production.  if your area is warm and your queen laying, you may very well need to feed.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

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rdy-b
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« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2008, 05:06:03 PM »

I have done that. I don't think there are enough to cover both sides of a frame. Once again...I said I don't think there are. I am worried if it gets cold will they be stuck down with the brood and not move up. Therefore dying. And I don't feel comfortable with the amount of pollen stores.
  your colony lacks the critacal mass needed  to keep it warm for your sake i hope they are in a small box one frame of bees?-giving them a patty is only going to help if it dose anything-RDY-B
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tig
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« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2008, 05:41:22 PM »

if the colony is weak they won't make honey anyways...
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LocustHoney
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« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2008, 07:15:47 PM »

So I gather that the majority agrees with the patty idea. I want to throw one more thing at you guys for helping me. ALL the honey stores in the brood box are gone. They (all the hives) have about a full medium of capped over honey. Which means if a cold front comes in them they won't move up to eat the super.....then death?Huh
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rdy-b
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« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2008, 07:25:41 PM »

what makes you think they are not going to move up -which is the next move for them right-and they will be on honey when its cold -I am thinking not enough bees to generate heat will be death whether they are on honey or not  Undecided  RDY-B
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LocustHoney
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« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2008, 08:21:26 PM »

They won't move up because of the eggs and larvae...right?
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rdy-b
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« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2008, 08:35:25 PM »

it is posible-but i dont think your colony is on brood -if they where you would see more frames of bees -not all bees will stay on brood -if you think the patty is going to jump start a population explosion -that is not going to happen over night-it is posible that your bees will be ok-but around here anything under five frames gets combined-or at the least placed over a strong colony for warmth moving up -paties and light syrup -i want my boxes full of bees -but in the wintertime that can come with its own set of problems your bees your call -  RDY-B
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LocustHoney
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« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2008, 08:40:57 PM »

I see. I will feed one hive to see what happens. The uncertantity is killing me. To bad beekeeping isn't cut and dry. But then it wouldn't be this fun!!! grin
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LocustHoney
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« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2008, 08:42:54 PM »

By the way, how would you combine the hives with less than 5 frames at this time of the year? Wouldn't there be conflicts on intrest in that new hive?
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rdy-b
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« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2008, 08:59:58 PM »

when it is cold out and the bees arnt flying there is no conflict the bees are slowed down and i think they actually welcome the the new bees to the cluster -if they are flying you can do the regular regiments of a news paper combine or you can move boxes from one spot to the other -by switching positions you will pick up the bees from a stronger box into weak one - but i think in your case we are just talking about placing frames of bees from one hive to the other -this is something i do in the winter months and not to be done for any reason other than to save a small colony from freezing - RDY-B
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LocustHoney
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« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2008, 09:11:47 PM »

Thanks for the explanation. Didn't know that was an option.
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Keith
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« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2008, 05:44:09 PM »

Why not just move a frame of honey to each side of the cluster. Then they dont have to move up.
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LocustHoney
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« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2008, 05:54:53 PM »

There are no frames of honey left in the brood box. It all sits above them in the medium super. Now would be a great time for someone to throw their...It would be better if all your boxes were the same!!! Now I am seriously considering it.
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rdy-b
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« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2008, 07:41:22 PM »

  Wink  cheesy  cool
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2008, 08:01:30 PM »

You know, if you had all the same boxes.......  grin
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LocustHoney
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« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2008, 08:45:47 PM »

I am a ROOKIE!!! And it shows. grin
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BMAC
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« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2008, 10:36:32 AM »

Locust,  I dont know where you live in NC, however it looks like Greensboro is going to stay for highs between high 40s and mid 60s from here on out.  I personally would be feeding them thin Spring syrup and pollen patties now. 

Even if you get a cold front that moves through it probably will not last more than a day or 2.  Let them raise brood. 

Also another note on the pollen patties.  If your hives are weak then split the pollen patty in 1/2 and place the pollen patty as close to the nurse bees as possible.  Let them raise brood so you can split or atleast have overwhelming force to collect nectar........
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2008, 11:51:25 AM »

If you give them a patty and they need it, they will eat it. If they dont, they wont. By supplying pollen now, you will jump start the brood process giving you more bees when the flow does arrive and a jump start on spring. Will also promote swarming if not monitored as polpulation increases

As for brood reducing honey, it is true. I lost a queen during the flow, by the time a new queen was laying, this hive had clearly out produced the one next to it w/   a laying queen. Nonetheless, I would give up a little honey any day for a stronger bigger hive. If you want lots of hioney, combine a hive right before a flow, and do a spli afterwards.
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LocustHoney
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« Reply #26 on: January 10, 2008, 11:54:43 AM »

Greensboro is it.  That sounds like what I will do. This has helped me so much. Now I can tell my boys we get to mess with the bees!!!! They will be very excited. Patties and spring syrup. Here goes.
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BMAC
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« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2008, 12:06:32 PM »

Outstanding.  Greensboro was a lucky stab.  I just picked a northen city in NC. 

I dont think you will have any problems.  Do the bees a favor and when you make your syrup mix it with hot tap water instead of cold.  1 this will liquify the sugar faster.  2 this will add some heat to the colony and encourage the girls to suck up the sugary mix.  It will also allow them to place the syrup all around the brood.  by doing so this should eliminate the need for the rest of the stored honey.

Do note.  It sounds like you are going to go ahead and start feeding them.  You will have to keep feeding them until the flow starts, otherwise you may lose the entire colony due to starvation.  Remember it takes 1 frame of pollen and 1 frame of honey to make 1 frame of brood.
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LocustHoney
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« Reply #28 on: January 10, 2008, 12:17:39 PM »

I heat my water on the stove and mix the sugar in that way. NOT to a boil though. Then I cool it and feed. How cool can it (the temperature outside) be before I can't slide the pollen patty in the top??? Would you put it in if the temp was 50 degrees??
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BMAC
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« Reply #29 on: January 10, 2008, 12:29:31 PM »

In a heart beat.  50 is fine.  Just make sure you put it in the center of the cluster of bees.  Also it is better to feed them a smaller than you htink amount.  Remember you can always check 1 week later and feed more if needed. 

Pollen Patties are expensive so waste not, want not.  The full size patties are for really really strong colonies.
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #30 on: January 10, 2008, 02:26:23 PM »

I use half a patty for big hive, and less for smaller hives. When pollen becomes available, they tend to abandon patty. I freeze the patty when I dont need them.
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« Reply #31 on: January 10, 2008, 02:31:13 PM »

amen
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LocustHoney
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« Reply #32 on: January 10, 2008, 06:18:29 PM »

Would you combine any of the hives if there are less than ---- frames???  Fill in the blank.
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Cindi
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« Reply #33 on: January 10, 2008, 10:28:26 PM »

LocustHoney.  OK, I feel like I have to jump in on this thread.  The bees throughout the winter will raise little patches of brood, as those brood hatch and are able to tend the larvae, the hive grows, bit by bit.  This is my take on what happens.  If you feed pollen patty, they will only use it if they do not have enough pollen stores of their own. Their preference is for the natural pollen that they collect.  There, in my opinion, is absolutely no harm to feed pollen patty, if they need it they will use it, plain and simply.  There have been some pretty interesting comments made here in this thread, it was a good read.  Have a great, wonderful day.  Cindi
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rdy-b
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« Reply #34 on: January 10, 2008, 10:59:21 PM »

>If they need it they will use it<   Dont worry they will eat it even if they dont need the supplemental pollen -it is made with sugar as an ingredient so they will take it-my bees take a minimum of three rounds of patties -you need to keep making some young bees or the old bees wont be able to make bee milk and feed the larvae -so you need enough bees to keep it warm for some brood -if they dont raise any then all you got is old weak bees that cant take cold very good and cant feed larvae- it is all relevant RDY-B
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LocustHoney
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« Reply #35 on: January 11, 2008, 05:02:32 PM »

Thanks for the info Cindi. That explains why I see capped brood in small patches near the top of the frames in the brood box (just below the honey supers). I am going to have to agree with all that I have been reading from you guys. I need to feed pollen.
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LocustHoney
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« Reply #36 on: January 11, 2008, 09:20:17 PM »

One last question!!!!!!!! Should I be concerned about the temps that dip down into the twenties?Huh
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NWIN Beekeeper
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« Reply #37 on: January 12, 2008, 05:09:58 AM »

[One last question!!!!!!!! Should I be concerned about the temps that dip down into the twenties?]

What are you talking about?

I have twenties as a high during the day!

When it gets into the 30's its Hawaiian Shirt and Shorts Time!!!

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« Reply #38 on: January 12, 2008, 07:33:32 AM »

>When it gets into the 30's its Hawaiian Shirt and Shorts Time!!!

Agreed.  I look forward to temps in the 20's...
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