Winter patties are high carbohydrate food sources designed to fill in any shortfalls in stores during winter. Their composition includes sugar, AP23 and Honey B Healthy for optimal bee health.
Beekeepers shouldn’t feed bees to stimulate brood-rearing; rather, only feed when necessary and only then according to what beekeeper KAMON REYNOLDS shows us in this 1:30 video.
Pollen Substitute AP23
Protein supplements can be purchased to supplement natural pollen sources and boost honey bee nutrition and feeding stimulants. They can be made into patties or sprinkled dry over the top of a hive for maximum efficiency in early spring or fall when bee populations need to expand quickly to take advantage of heavy nectar flows or create long-lived winter populations.
AP23 is an artificial pollen formula with added vitamins and minerals available in powder form that can be mixed with sugar syrup to create patties or used as part of a hive supplement. Designed specifically to meet all the nutrient levels necessary for honey bees to thrive, AP23 offers high protein food options suitable for all levels of beekeepers.
Mann Lake makes this AP23 patty available in 3.5 lb pails for easy feeding in late winter when bees require both sugar and protein. A recent study conducted with colonies fed AP23 patty lost significantly less total colony biomass compared with control groups who received no patty whatsoever.
Bulk Pro Winter Patties
Beekeepers looking to supplement their colonies without disturbing and lifting their boxes may benefit from bulk dry pollen as a supplement source. You can easily create your own feeder from an old barrel, and feeding dry pollen won’t require disrupting hives or subjecting them to weather elements.
Mann Lake’s Pro Winter Patties are designed for emergency winter feeding as they contain minimal protein (around 4 percent) and will not encourage brood rearing, making it an excellent solution. Furthermore, each patty contains some Honey-B Healthy as a feed stimulant to aid the bees through their winter journey.
At a trial comparing this patty against other protein sources, the Natural Patty outshone all others by being consumed overwhelmingly by all colonies. Plus, it acts as an effective miticide! Colonies who consume this patty are more likely to draw comb in spring – making them better prepared to prevent swarming when spring emerges! Additionally, this patty works great for bees without syrup stores left.
Sugar patties provide bees with carbohydrates and proteins they require for flight fuel, winter food storage and mite protection by providing balanced nutrition to both adult and brood bees.
Sugar patties can be used throughout the year without needing special mixing; simply place them over the winter bee cluster inside your hive.
These food products contain high carbs without inducing brood rearing, making them an ideal emergency feeding solution for late winter or very low honey stores. Each package also contains AP23 and Honey-B Healthy to stimulate bee feeding activity.
Knead together 4-5 parts dry mix with 2 parts heavy sugar syrup while kneading, then let stand overnight before kneading again to flatten into a cake shape. Smear your rolling pin with flour before using to avoid sticking; cover in wax paper, place directly over bee cluster in your hive, store any extras in refrigerator. Alternatively, fondant made with hardened candy could also be placed within it instead of sugar patties.
Bee Grease Patties
Grease patties can help your bees survive winter by providing food and minerals when they need it most. In addition, grease patties may even help control Varroa Destructor Mites (current research at West Virginia University is being undertaken to test this theory).
Food grade essential oils like tea tree, wintergreen, thyme and eucalyptus act as safe natural mite control solutions when added while honey supers are in place on your hive. However, you should avoid adding them before placing honey supers onto it.
One potential drawback of feeding bee patties is their potential to promote brood rearing, increasing colony size and depleting emergency stores. While this might be advantageous in small colonies that need emergency feeding, this could prove counterproductive if enough food has already been set aside to make it through winter – therefore only use them in emergencies! For this reason it’s recommended that patties only be given to bee colonies when necessary.