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Author Topic: pollen patty ?  (Read 679 times)
House Bee
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Location: Booneville, Arkansas

« on: March 22, 2009, 10:21:59 PM »

Howdy folks when I put in my new package bees the end of April will I need to feed pollen or since there will be no brood initially they can get their own before it is needed? Thank's, Brad

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Brian D. Bray
Galactic Bee
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Location: Anacortes, WA 98221

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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2009, 11:31:25 PM »

I never feed pollen or patties to packages.  In April there is plenty of pollen and nectar forage for the bees to work.  They  need comb to put it it so it is much more important to provide drawn combs or syrup so they can build combs.  Besides, wanting to get you're bees off to a good start why feed the bees a substance that is a dinner invitation to SHB?  Let them build some combs, lay some brood, hatch some new bees and begin rebuilding the population before feeding pollen or substitutes.  A package is not established. since it is a box full of strangers, enough to adequately defend itself against robbing or SHB and often Wax moths. 
The home grown bees are going to be the ones to provide the primary hive defenses so it is a good idea to let the bees focus on that first.  Once they've built up enough to cover 1/2 dozen frames completely and have several frames of brood, then you can think about it.  Just remember that the bees won't build more comb or lay more brood than they can cover with bees.  Now remember they cluster closer together during cooler periods which can leave portions of comb, stores, or brood uncovered. 
You hive is never stronger than what they can cluster over on a cold day.  Plan your build up around that concept.
When you get into your 2nd and 3rd boxes the hives won't need the extra feed anyway and will ignore it over natural forage which means any patty feeding is just ringing the dinner bell for SHB.

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Michael Bush
Universal Bee
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Location: Nehawka, NE

« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2009, 05:59:05 AM »

By the time we get packages there is a supply of pollen and they ignore anything I give them for pollen.

Michael Bush
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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