Back to the topic people.....
[...depends upon if the bees have gathered enough pollen....]
[...in the spring that the bees really rely heavily upon pollen...with mass brood rearing.]
[The bees require pollen as a nutrient to live.]
More specifically, there are fats in pollen that aid in insulating bees for the winter.
These fat store also tend to increase the minimal immune system bees have.
So it could be said that the fat helps to ward off winter sickness too.
In spring, the protein is associated with brood rearing.
It should also be considered as necessary for rearing drones for healthy mating for spring queens.
Likewise, it can be fed later in the year in attemp to retain drones longer for later summer queens.
The area of dispute is one that neither side can really win.
The question is "Can a suppliment/replacer equal the nutrition found in nature?"
(it really should be can it support nutrition found in nature)
One arguement is that nature supplies what is needed (tell that to people in the desert).
But different pollen has different mineral/vitamin/fat values.
So hopes are that enough variety is collected to hit all the base values needed.
However, man like to swap combs around and extract honey and force extra brood rearing.
These all cause what we might construe to be more than natural draws on stores.
Bees do work hard to compensate for these losses. But that effort is a stress too.
And once a pollen is lost or washed out by rain, it sometimes doesn't return.
The other arguement is man is smart enough to establish a minimal diet.
While we might not be as complete as a variety of pollen, we are likely better than a single source.
And if you combine that with regular normal forage, there is a fair chance that a diet could be more complete than a gathered diet alone.
There is the arguement, and I know there is this study and that study that state that artifical diets lead to a shorter life span in the bees. (I don't trust studies as they can be slanted however anyone wants an outcome to appear)(and repeated lies, repeated enough, become construed as truth).
Well... lets think about this:
When is a bee's life normally shorter? Summer.
So what is more plentiful in the summer? Pollen and nectar.
Ah, so pollen and nectar (or its replacement) signal to the bees that its summer (or near it).
This messes with hormone levels that regulate the age of the bees.
So while as shorter life might be more pronounced with a good quality replacer, it may be actually signaling that the diet is more complete (like in summer) than with a single pollen variety (spring or fall).
The real trick is when to feed pollen.
You don't want to disrupt natural collection, you want to support it.
You don't want to extend the support too long because the bees construe it to a longer or new season.
So there is a window of operation, unfortunately that varies by region.
I also don't believe that everyone stores pollen the same. There are a number of nutrients that degrade with time, temperature, and increases/decreases in humidity. So just because it is 'real pollen' doesn't mean its 'really healthy pollen'.
You can see where opinions get to be a bit like religion here.
Eventually you will see results that cause you to build and accept your own doctrine as gospel.
That's all fine and good, because if we all kept bees the same, a single disease could wipe out everyone.