Beekeepers relying on pollen patties as an aid to brood raising when natural sources of forage are scarce are increasingly turning to these artificial supplements to aid their brood rearing efforts. But are these supplemental feeds effective?
We conducted numerous trials utilizing various kinds of patties fed to full-sized doubles to see their reactions and for consistency reasons, trials were held within cages.
Boosts Colony Productivity & Health
Addition of liquid pollen supplements or patties to hive diets during autumn can help strengthen colonies, populations and brood production. Their high protein content also benefits queen health while prolonging her longevity.
MegaBee patties outshone all other pollen substitutes in a recent longevity trial due to multiple factors; including its inclusion of feeding stimulants such as AP23 and Honey-B Healthy (two well-known feeding stimulants).
Formula ingredients for artificial pollen formulation were ground together and mixed with fructose corn syrup to form a dough-like substance, before drivert sugar was added and it was rolled between sheets of wax paper into patties that could be stored in the freezer until needed. Results from this trial suggest that bees consume directly instead of fermenting pollen into beebread; suggesting it might provide essential macronutrients that are absent from natural pollen as well as possibly providing artificial formulation with “factor X”.
Safe & Natural Ingredients for Brood Rearing
megabee pollen patties differ from sugar syrup by being free of all artificial ingredients, instead containing only plant protein products and water-soluble vitamins that will stimulate hive hypophrangeal gland activity while providing essential brood-building nutrients to bees.
This patty contains high-grade pollen from North America as well as plant proteins to provide honey bees with all of the essential amino acids required for healthy colonies and strong colonies. Furthermore, mineral salts increase bee access to nutrients when placed inside their hive.
At this time of year, bees begin foraging and building populations in preparation of spring comb building and swarming, making consistent pollen supplementation essential. Any premature discontinuation wastes valuable resources which could otherwise feed stronger colonies and can increase vulnerability to European Foul Brood disease.
Easy to Use for Bee Hobbyists & Sideliners
Many beekeepers rely on protein supplement patties in the spring to boost brood production and encourage an increase in brood crop size. It is important to remember that these patties should not be seen as replacements for natural pollen; rather they provide additional protein sources and contribute towards encouraging greater brood development.
Beekeepers must exercise extreme care when providing patties to their colonies. A large colony that consumes too much protein-rich food during early spring is likely to swarm, necessitating drastic methods of swarm prevention in order to stop it.
One solution for winter beekeeping is providing patties as “candy boards.” These can be made using 1:1 sugar syrup mixed with Complete Bee, MegaBee or Feed Bee and then molded over colony rim space to fit. After cooling sufficiently in the fridge until feeding time arrives, patties may also contain commercial products known as water-binding agents that keep their shape.
Year-Round Bee Nutrition
Honey bee colonies managed for agricultural pollination services are fed artificial diets to compensate for an absence of natural pollen forage in their environment, in order to stimulate brood production and colony population growth – particularly prior to providing almond pollination services in early spring when beekeepers will be paid according to how many bees they deliver to the field.
Sugar in bee diet formulations acts as both a feeding stimulant and energy source, as well as viscosity enhancer to make the diet less susceptible to separation by bees. Furthermore, its presence reduces water activity within the diet to stop microbial growth while slowing chemical reactions that degrade diets.
MegaBee is designed with an abundant protein content to promote honey bee health, life expectancy and productivity. In addition, Honey Bee Healthy contains essential oils which boost immunity.