I am wanting to over wintered nuc's. I would like to use pollen to feed them. But I'm not sure how to go about managing the pollen producing hives. So here are some questions.
Are pollen traps the best way to harvest pollen to feed back to the bees?
One of the better ways, yes.
Hives are slower to build up with pollen traps on. True?
If you leave it on all the time yes. The idea is to gather a little at a time from each hive. If you have 6 Hives placing the pollen trap on each hive in rotation a week at a time gets you the necessary pollen in the quantity needed without shorting the bees.
How much pollen can you get from one hive?,
Depends on the floral mix and depth of flow. It can range from a few ounces to more than a pint.
Or how much should I plan on feeding the nuc's?
Use a pollen patty mix and feed a small hamburger sized patch at a time.
Will One hive provide the needs of one nuc? (More/ Less)
When are the best pollen flows?
Spring. Right now in my area I have Kitty willows, Hazelnut, crocus, with Alder, Birch, and Maple to follow in about 1-2 weeks.
Do they coincide with the nectar flow?
Often, but not always. Right now the forage is mostly 80/20 pollen/nectar which is needed to activate the brood nest. It will then shift to more of a 50/50 and then a 20/80 later in the season. Most overwinter bees are raised on the 20/80 forage.
Any other insight would be helpful as well.
With the Pollen starting up in my area I plan on beginning to feed syrup in a community feeder near a crocus bed. I will feed about 1 gallon every 3-4 days to 2 hives for the next 2 weeks and then double that amount for the next 2 weeks. Buy then I'm into March with strong Hives and wil do some splits and keep feeding for another 2 weeks. By mid-March the Fruit trees and a host of other plants will come on line and I'll be into more of the 50/50 forage when feeding pollen or syrup is no longer necessary.