The process of feeding pollen patties itself is simple, but determining if you need a pollen substitute and when to apply it can be a complicated process. The beekeeper must consider the colony size, weather and surrounding forage. The reason for feeding pollen patties to our bees is to stimulate brood production. The pollen provides the protein that is needed to rear new bees. Knowing this, a beekeeper can provide a pollen substitute to their bees and boost the population in preparation for the anticipated spring nectar flow. More bees equals more foragers, but more bees also means more mouths to feed. We need to be careful because a hive can easily starve due to large populations. And a highly populated hive could lead to swarming. If you are considering using pollen substitute, be sure to take in account the weather. The weather plays a big role in the beekeeping world. Your local climate really dictates when to apply a pollen substitute. In a northern climate, you might apply a pollen substitute in late February or early March, where as in a southern climate, you might apply a substitute as early as January. Another thing to consider is your local forage. Some varieties of trees bloom rather early. Pollen could be abundant and a substitute may not needed.
Here at Kelley Beekeeping, we offer two of the most popular pollen substitutes. The Bee Pro patties and the AP23. Feeding your bees’ pollen substitute is easy. – just open the top and slide the pollen patty on top of the frames. It will fit between the top of the frames and the inner cover. Try to position the patty toward the center because that is where the cluster will most likely be. If you happen to be utilizing other feeds consider our Mountain Camp Rim. The Mountain Camp Rim provides more space for the beekeeper to apply other feeds.