The problem with the pollen substitutes on the market, is NONE of them lists the nutritional values, allows you to know WHERE the products are from, and WHAT is in the product.
The values should be real easy to provide. And they should conform to a standard written more than 56 years ago by DeGroot. This is the same information that many others have used to write books and articles. If you read this article, you may understand why just listing or knowing the protein level means nothing, without having essential amino acids at certain levels. See.http://www.honeybee.com.au/Library/pollen/nutrition.html
The "where" part is important as I was burned last year TWICE by companies that did not list, and kept secret the origins of their ingredients. And my own testing confirmed tainted and chemical fill product from China.
The "What" part needs to be known because some items like foreign pollen, whether it is soy based, and other information is needed so consumers can make informed and intelligent decisions. Is the product which is hyped to be consumed faster than the next product on the market, just 60% sugar? If foreign tainted pollen being added?
I made pollen supplement last year. Twice I was burned on ingredients I was adding, only to find out later that it contained tainted with chemicals. That is why I will not buy pollen supplements as marketed. These ingredients were from the same places selling patties and supplement.
I played around with many ingredients over the past three years. The base started with air dried brewers yeast that had nutritional values far exceeding those listed by deGroot. The Soy was added, keeping in mind some studies have shown long term feeding of Soy harmful to bees. I never exceeded 10% soy mix. The bees actually love the stuff. But then again, they will collect sawdust also. The powdered eggs, again not more than about 5%. Then various other items to include salt, vitamin C, and a host of other ingredients.
Going beyond the first 3 ingredients will make some great individual recipes. If you start with the first three ingredients, you will find that the bees easily collect and eat the dry mix from platform feeders.
When making patties, you need to add enough 1/1 sugar syrup, to make it like natural peanut butter, keeping in mind that about 10% of the liquid you add needs to be in the form of canola oil. This keeps the patties pliable, and actually adds some nutritional factors I'm not getting into here.
It is about time the bee industry demands a CLEAN product, one that LISTS the nutritional values, and LISTS the ingredients. The day of buying feed in unmarked brown bags full of marketing hype and testing from the very same makers should come to an end.
I think there was much more pesticide tainted pollen floating around the bee industry and being added to various pollen supplements on the market, then most willing to admit.
heaflaw, if you make your own, things you should be focused on are: a air dried powdered brewers yeast, with verified nutrition values. And adding your own pollen. This is where I was burned twice last year.
Too many industry secrets and too many little lies out there to take for granted anymore. Too many dead beehives and we all should be asking questions and demanding better from those peddling their products. It's that simple...but very crucial!