A dry pollen feeder is used to supplement bee colonies during specific times of the year when natural food sources become scarce, such as Winter or early Spring. A dry pollen feeder plays an integral role in keeping colonies strong through such times as these when natural forage becomes limited.
Black gram diet combination was found to be superior to both Bee-Pro (supplementary feed) and natural pollen in terms of consumed food, closed brood area usage and honey production.
Pollen contains essential components such as proteins and amino acids, lipids (fats and oils) and sugars that support honeybee growth and reproduction.
A dry pollen feeder allows bees to access protein supplements without traveling too far from their hives, making life easier for beekeepers who monitor protein intake as well as diagnosing issues in colonies.
While commercial feeders are available, making a homemade feeder using an upside down plastic pail nailed to a board can be just as effective in times of short spring or when colonies need extra protein due to weather conditions.
Dry pollen feeders not only help raise healthy bees, but can also serve as an effective deterrent against aggressive foraging robber bees in late summer – this allows queen bees to remain safe inside the hive without being killed by foraging bees.
Dry pollen feeding has quickly become one of the more popular strategies used by beekeepers as it allows them to feed protein without opening the hive. Unfortunately, however, dry pollen feeding comes with some disadvantages; most significantly it attracts Small Hive Beetles (SHB), potentially spreading disease between colonies in a feeder; it’s difficult to control how much pollen is fed as bees may spread it around without your knowledge; controlling it all becomes much more challenging as pollen can easily be dispersed through bees’ wings.
Pollen is an exceptional functional food as it contains an array of vital nutrients such as carbohydrates, amino acids, proteins, lipids and minerals as well as many phyto-metabolites such as vitamins, carotenoids and phenolic acids. These compounds possess antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, and hepatoprotective properties and may be useful in the treatment of nonallergic diseases like benign prostatic hyperplasia and chronic prostatitis. Pollen can also be used in functional foods and animal diets.  However, its digestibility can be compromised by its hard shell (intine and exine). Dried pollen uses different drying techniques like vacuum, microwave and cold air treatments which have varying impacts on its nutritional value, including diastasis activity as well as increased levels of hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF).
This feeder allows you to easily distribute pollen substitute to the colony without it being affected by rain, wind or other elements. Holds an entire 50lb bag of pollen substitute; perfect for speeding up colony build-up early in spring as well as increasing brood production before and after honey flow.
A dry pollen feeder provides an easy and convenient way to supplement protein in various weather conditions, particularly when few flowers are blooming. This device is especially helpful during times when temperatures become hot and dry or when colonies may run short of stored protein reserves in late summer.
This method has become increasingly popular as an effective replacement for pollen patties, which have fallen out of favor due to Small Hive Beetle reproduction in pollen patties. Furthermore, it saves beekeepers time and energy because no suits, opening, or disturbing of hives is needed in order to feed colonies. Instead of making individual protein patties each time for each colony in their yard, a beekeeper simply fills a bucket and places it outdoors at a location accessible by all colonies in his or her yard.
Making and operating a pollen feeder are relatively low cost endeavors. The primary costs involve purchasing components for your hive from home improvement stores; PVC pipe can easily be cut to length for use as the pollen feeder’s frame material and quickly available in 4′ lengths for this task.
Pollen collected by bees must be dry and stored carefully, as its exposure to sunlight depletes many essential vitamins. Furthermore, beekeepers could damage it further using chemicals or drugs from their beekeeping supplies.
If your bees lack access to natural protein sources or you lack the land required to grow their own pollen, dry pollen supplements like Ultra Bee or Bee Pro may be invaluable. With convenient packaging that makes feeding into hives simple, these dry pollen supplements may save time, effort, and money!