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Author Topic: Pollen Feed discussion  (Read 2455 times)
specialkayme
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« on: November 12, 2009, 12:37:51 PM »

Being that it's November, and I would like to start feeding at the end of January or beginning of February, I think now is an excellent time to decide what pollen product I should be getting.

The question is: Which one?

Obviously alot of it deals with personal taste, but here would be an excellent place to discuss the pro's and con's of each product, as well as the pro's and con's of making your own. So what do you say?

Beepro? Beepro Max? MegaBee? Global Patties?

Is most of this stuff advertising fluff, or what do you think?
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Grid
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« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2009, 01:16:13 PM »

I'm considering going with FeedBee pollen substitute  feedbee dot com  (how many posts before I can post a link?)

It looks really good to me, but I am new to all this.  Anyone have any experience with it?

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2009, 01:42:12 PM »

Accept no substitute.  Use pollen.
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Michael Bush
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Hemlock
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« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2009, 02:13:09 PM »

Can I buy pollen from somewhere? 
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specialkayme
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« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2009, 02:22:12 PM »

Accept no substitute.  Use pollen.


http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/1-lbFresh-Pollen/productinfo/618/

I take your word as law Mr. Bush.  grin

But if you don't mind, a few questions. What advantages does real pollen have over pollen patties or pollen mix? Or for that matter, what possible advantages could pollen patties or pollen mix have over real  pollen, and at what consequences?

Do you use pollen that you have harvested, or do you purchase it? Do you put pollen straight into the hive, or do you mix it with something? Do you add sugar water, olive oil, vitamins, ect?
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Hemlock
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« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2009, 02:31:57 PM »

@ specialkayme,
Thanks for the link.  Brushy Mountain suggests only mixing it with sub but they say it's fresh.  Odd they don't mention straight feeding?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2009, 03:11:03 PM »

>But if you don't mind, a few questions. What advantages does real pollen have over pollen patties or pollen mix?

Bees raised on pollen live longer, and weigh more and are healthier than bees raised on pollen substitutes. 

> Or for that matter, what possible advantages could pollen patties or pollen mix have over real  pollen, and at what consequences?

Pollen substitute is cheap and bees won't live as long...

>Do you use pollen that you have harvested, or do you purchase it?

I have done both.  I have purchased pollen from Brushy Mt. as well as Mann Lake (who no longer stocks it).

>Do you put pollen straight into the hive, or do you mix it with something?

My normal method is to put it on a screened bottom board over a solid bottom board in an empty hive and let the bees gather it.  I have also mixed it with honey to make a thick dough and made patties, but I prefer open feeding.

> Do you add sugar water, olive oil, vitamins, ect?

When making patties I only add honey.   When feeding open I add nothing.
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jdpro5010
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« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2009, 03:24:12 PM »

I would like to also know how you keep your pollen fresh so that it still contains all the nutrients?  I have been told that pollen dries out and loses its food value when exposed to air.  I try to feed at least 1/2 pollen in my patties.
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« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2009, 04:25:52 PM »

Do they irradiate the pollen or something for AFB? Or don't you worry about that?
Alfred
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weBEE Jammin
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« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2009, 06:16:28 PM »

For those interested and cannot afford real pollen bought thru the mail you can make your own pollen substitute with engrediants such as; soybean flour, brewers yeast, powder milk, powder eggs, "Fruit Fresh"(vitamin C), antioxident vitamins, granulated sugar. You can add real pollen and honey in your recipes. I also put a few drops of essential oils in my patty recipe.
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« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2009, 07:10:00 PM »

The FeedBee pollen substitute is the closest thing out there to pollen that I could find on the 'Net - at least according to their marketing.  I haven't contacted the local supplier to see what it costs yet.  It was developed by researchers at the University of Guelph over a period of about 10 years, and is specifically formulated to meet bees' dietary needs.  From their web site:

"The <research team> paid unprecedented attention to bees’ dietary needs and to the nutritional value of pollen....Before now, most commercial pollen substitutes were unpalatable or nutritionally poor, made up mostly of sugar and soy flour or yeast.  The U of G diet, fed to bee colonies in patty form, includes a proprietary combination of ingredients that build up protein in bees’ bodies at the same rate as natural pollen. Better yet, the bees really like it."

So, that is some of why I want to give it a go.  I want to see if it is cheaper than real pollen, and hopefully it is better than the other stuff for the bees.  If it isn't significantly cheaper, then I'm going with real pollen.

Has anyone used this stuff?  All of the info I have is from the people selling this product, so it is suspect since they have a vested interest in making it sound great so as to part me from my dollars.

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rdy-b
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« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2009, 07:47:47 PM »

Feedbee is a product from DAdant-if you use them for your vender buy MEGABEE
If you use MAnnlake-I recommend the prochoices patties-although they recently added a PROMAX pattie-but it dose not have the essential oils like the pro-choice-remember if the bees dont consume it they wont get the benefit -I feed sub from last week in sept -feb- my bees pollinate almonds in Feb and are looking great this year-there is a cost associated with this of course
 cool RDY-B
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BjornBee
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« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2009, 08:26:50 PM »

a few tidbits....

Did you notice how some are advertising "No real pollen" in their supplements?

Seems strange doesn't it. What do producers know that would motivate them to include "No pollen"? Seems for anyone who ever made supplements, adding real pollen is a real benefit.

So lets back up two years ago. Through some on-line discussions, it was uncovered that most commercial pollen, was being brought in from China. I'm not going to rehash names at this point. But up till then, nobody asked too many questions.

I even sent off my own commercial bought pollen for testing, and was shocked at the various chemicals in the stuff. And the DDT blew my mind.

All this came about by beekeepers asking the right questions. Why is pollen substitute sold with no ingredient lists? What is the nutritional basis, and does it meet the standard set 56 years ago, by DeGroot? Does it have the essential amino acids needed for bees to fully utilize the proteins?

BTW...as a side note. It seems that some are pushing for one guy or another to get full credit for writing one article or another about bee nutrition. Fat this...skinny that. The real "skinny" is that DeGroot defined the standard that has stood for 56 years, with little change.

Anyway...back to the story....So what was disclosed, was that large amounts, and I could suggest MOST commercial pollen being sold, and the pollen used in major commercial supplements, was using pollen from China.

At that time, I was in the middle of an FDA recall, to which I felt was part of a massive cover-up, aimed at getting the tainted pollen off the market, but also sweeping it under the rug. To this day, unless in very close quarters, most will not speak of what really was going on. I still have an unopened bag of pollen just in case anyone wants to get nasty over what I say.

So here we are two years later.....and the supplements are still not sold with nutritional values, ingredient lists, origins of products, or any type of certified standard.

The ironic part of all this, that besides a few beekeepers asking too many questions, the real motivation of getting the FDA involved, and the product being recalled, had to do with one supplier, reporting another supplier, to get a leg up on the competition.  

I have previously stated.....I would NEVER buy again supplements or pollen from uncertified companies, and those that were not open and honest in the labeling.

Selling products, based on internal self testing, and based on how fast a product is eaten, is the wrong marketing approach. Unless the beekeeping community is willing to be screwed again.

Buy supplements at your risk. The history is littered with dirty little secrets. And it seems to me, nothing has changed to indicate much is changing.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2009, 08:43:11 PM by BjornBee » Logged

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specialkayme
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« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2009, 08:53:30 PM »

Thank you for the post Bjorn, very informative.

Which leads me to the questions I already had (even if I didn't say them tongue). The only studies I have seen about a particular supplement have been by the company selling or manufacturing it. The only time anyone mentions the supplements are in ads. So with all this 'misinformation' or 'lack of information' how is an average consumer supposed to tell what's snake oil and what's a good product? Unfortunately I'm probably left to listen to what the leaders in the beekeeping business tell me is important.

So, aimed somewhat at Bjorn, and somewhat at whoever wants to answer, who (in your opinion) is a good supplier?
I have previously stated.....I would NEVER buy again supplements or pollen from uncertified companies, and those that were not open and honest in the labeling.

Without bashing anyone, which ones are 'certified companies' and which ones are 'open and honest' in the labeling?
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BjornBee
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« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2009, 09:16:17 PM »

Special,
I have not bought any from a commercial source in a couple years. But I am staying up on the marketing and information they put forth. I can not answer your questions.

I still make my own. I actually sold a good amount a couple years back. But after being burned twice by two different companies, passing on tainted pollen, I stopped selling it. I had spent a good amount of time playing with different formulas, and was not convinced if I took out the 5% pollen I was adding, that it would not change the research I had worked so hard at.

I may revisit the issue again this coming year, although time may make it wait.

If enough beekeepers demanded proper labeling and open and honest listings, then maybe one of the makers would be willing to make the first move. That is the message we need to send.

Show the ingredients.
Show the nutrition values with FULL essential amiono acid listings. (This is what makes a good supplement...essential amino acids)
Show product origins, or certified testing showing it safe for bees.

Every beekeeper should read this site, which will show the importance of essential amino acids, and why if not for one, iso-leucine, the protein may never get digested.

http://www.honeybee.com.au/Library/pollen/nutrition.html

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rdy-b
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« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2009, 09:24:00 PM »

One thing that most everyone in the commercial beekeeping community and even suppliers of bee feed agree on -and this thinking has come to light in the past year -is THAT byproducts (which include trapped pollen and even honey)from the bees are at great risk of exposure to pesticides and there residue than ever before thought about -and the manufactures of supplements and there ingredients are staying away from use in there products and are seeking alternative measures for protein and nutritional needs of the bee colony with that being said check out this link for some lab test of a independent nature and gather the information you will also note that most of these recipes contain pollen -which the new school is drifting away from    http://www.scientificbeekeeping.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=70
                             

   cool RDY-B
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BjornBee
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« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2009, 10:07:31 PM »

One thing that most everyone in the commercial beekeeping community and even suppliers of bee feed agree on -and this thinking has come to light in the past year -is THAT byproducts (which include trapped pollen and even honey)from the bees are at great risk of exposure to pesticides and there residue than ever before thought about -and the manufactures of supplements and there ingredients are staying away from use in there products and are seeking alternative measures for protein and nutritional needs of the bee colony with that being said check out this link for some lab test of a independent nature and gather the information you will also note that most of these recipes contain pollen -which the new school is drifting away from    http://www.scientificbeekeeping.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=70
                             

   cool RDY-B


That may be true...but lets not attach to much admiration to this reality.

Is it the manufacturers, keeping in mind many of these are the same willing to pass along tainted foreign pollen for years, and their willingness to now all of a sudden get all righteous about not accepting pollen that is probably dirty no matter the source, or their inability to find clean, cheap pollen at all.

Sure is easy to pass along dirt for years, then when busted, suggest "we no longer use pollen" because it's all dirty...and were looking out for your best interest.

Problem is this.....foreign pollen got taken away, after being used for years without letting anyone know. Now, finding cheap clean domestic pollen (or at least anything NOT from China) is hard to do. So I'm sure the whole "We no longer use pollen" was from a business decision, and far from hanging on any health or safety issues.

If they could, and had NOT been busted....they would still be doing it!

And as I said, if they wanted to be up front and clean on their operations, they would list the ingredients and nutritional values....something NOT ONE major supplier is willing to do!

And I laugh at the thought that "commercial" beekeepers, came to the conclusion that (gasp)....bees are bringing in chemicals and pesticides. They have for the most part been dumping chems in hives for years, without much thought. But all my gosh.....bees are bringing in pesticides from down the street. And all this came about in the last year. This from a group that are the "professionals". It's not like comb rotation, chemical buildup, bees bringing in chemicals.....is new to the bee industry.

But imagine that....they just found this out. Truly amazing!
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rdy-b
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« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2009, 10:30:02 PM »

these leasons are learnd at cosiderable cost and yes it is a MONEY THING  grin someone once told me that they thought the best thing that could happen to small scale beekeeping is to outlaw the spraying of lawn area for dandelions  cheesy       
Happykeeping  cheesy RDY-B
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alfred
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« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2009, 07:46:26 PM »

I have a few questions for those that feed pollen early for build up.

My first question is to those who buy pollen from brushy mountain or other souces of pollen to feed. Don't you worry about AFB? Or is this not a problem with pollen? I have not collected any this year so I would have to use these sources if I feed.


My next question is that most people have said that any time after solstice is a good time to start feeding to build up numbers. I am concerned that right after solstice is when things begin to get very cold. Late Dec, Jan, and Feb are the coldest times. Won't the bees have a hard time keeping things warm enough? Will they be able to care for brood in the cold when they need to cluster the most?

These are my main questions on this. I will say that I am planning to provide some artificial heat using a night light set up I saw posted here somewhere. But it seems that many are feeding but not providing heat. The potential for AFB really worries me with using products from other unknown hives.

Alfred
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« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2009, 12:12:11 AM »

Anybody?
Thoughts on using bought pollen for feeding and AFB?
Alfred
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rdy-b
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« Reply #20 on: November 22, 2009, 12:32:37 AM »

wheres the AFB coming from -the pollen is not taken out of the hive it is trapped and gathered before entering the colony -it is trapped at the entrance of the hive -cant see it being exposed to AFB spores-they are in the hive and at the most extreme inside the bees gut-the big worry about the pollen is the amount of pesticide that AG is using -systemic-and residue- nobody can be certain about large or even small quantities of pollen being chem free-or the nutritional value- seams to vary greatly with environmental conditions shuch as drought- for the big suppliers it is just unpredictable what the source is exposed to -not to mention country of origin-RDY-B
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2009, 10:58:27 AM »

>Thoughts on using bought pollen for feeding and AFB?

I feed real pollen, often from other sources, and have never had AFB.  I'd say Chalkbrood is a bigger risk from feeding pollen collected from a bottom pollen trap.  A top pollen trap is much cleaner as debris falls down not up, but still if they are trying to haul the mummies out the top (as with a top trap) you could get pieces of chalkbrood mummies in the pollen.
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Michael Bush
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alfred
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« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2009, 05:07:17 PM »

Thanks for that. I have just heard so much that you don't want to use anything from unknown hive sources that I am paranoid about it. I guess that I will go ahead and order some from brushy mtn for  making patties.

Alfred
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« Reply #23 on: November 23, 2009, 12:28:48 AM »

Just my two cents worth....In 30 yrs of beekeeping I never fed my bees pollen.  My bees came through the winter just fine.  Did I loose any part of a honey flow?  I don't know but I allways managed to have honey later on in the season.  Personally, I think it is just extra work.
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