Pollen patties provide bees with balanced nutrition to support their efforts at creating healthy brood, especially during late winter and early spring when colonies increase brood production in anticipation of nectar flow.
These patties are ready-to-use and don’t require special mixing – proving beneficial in increasing brood production and increasing bee populations.
It is easy to prepare
Bees must rapidly expand their populations during winter and early spring to meet the needs of their queen and brood, but this may prove challenging with only natural pollen and honey stores available to them. Protein supplements provide an important supplement, and it is vitally important that they are provided at an opportune time and amount in order to ensure bee health.
Beekeepers can easily make these patties at home by mixing pollen replacement and sugar syrup together in a bowl before shaping into large patties and wrapping with wax paper for easier feeding of bees without disturbing their clusters.
These patties contain 15% natural, real US pollen with an approximate total protein content of 15.5%. Furthermore, they include HiveAlive which has been demonstrated to improve bee gut health while increasing brood and honey production.
It is convenient
Patties provide an easy and cost-effective way to supplement the diets of honey bee colonies. Patty-shaped protein substitutes encourage brood production while helping hives remain strong through winter and early spring months. Available for sale as ready-made products or homemade, pollen patties contain all of the proteins required by honey bees for healthful beehive operations.
Pollen subs with approximately 18% protein will provide sufficient stimulation to bees’ reproductive instincts and encourage them to raise brood. They should also contain yeast/soy proteins and sugar as balancers in their diet, making for an ideally shaped semi-solid rectangle placed inside a hive for bee consumption, possibly through wax paper layers left intact to keep moistness of their patties.
Colonies fed a protein patty begin rapidly increasing their populations as soon as daylight length increases after winter solstice, leading to significantly more brood production than their negative control counterparts.
It is safe
Pollen patties are essential tools for commercial beekeepers seeking to maintain high levels of brood production. Made from proteins and nutrients similar to those found naturally, their exact composition remains difficult to pinpoint due to honey bee nutrition’s evolving complexity and environmental variability.
Laboratory experiments have demonstrated that Arthrospira platensis microalgae, commonly known as spirulina, provide bees with a nutritious pollen alternative diet. Spirulina outshone other diets tested and provided all essential amino acids necessary for bee reproduction: eggs, larvae and pupae production.
Home beekeepers should use pollen patties with caution; overfeeding could overstimulate a colony and result in an unprecedented burst of worker brood, or attract harmful beetles into their colony. I suggest feeding pollen patties only after winter solstice when daylight hours increase naturally and brood-rearing can naturally resume.
It is affordable
Pollen patties are an efficient protein supplement for honey bee colonies. Available at most local stores or easily made at home with just four ingredients such as soybean flour, brewer’s yeast, sugar and pollen; pollen patties can easily be placed over colony frames in hives with their perforated side facing down and removed by bees when necessary.
Bees require both carbohydrates and proteins in their diet to thrive, with carbohydrates coming primarily from sugar syrup and honey while protein comes from pollen. Pollen’s proteins play an essential role in brood production – without it, brood production would stall and a hive may fail to grow at an adequate rate to meet survival requirements and swarm in spring.
Though most beekeepers understand the necessity of providing carbohydrates as bee supplements, few appreciate its significance as an egg production aid. While carbohydrates may provide enough sustenance until natural pollen becomes available again, an adequate supply of bee cells must also be supplemented to maintain an active colony and produce eggs efficiently.