Winter Honey Bee Patties

winter honey bee patties

Winter honey bee patties provide colonies that have low stores during the winter with an easy, high-carbohydrate solution for their honey bee needs. Patty contents typically include sugar, Mega Bee and Honey-B-Healthy for optimal performance.

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Honey bees should be fed between late Winter and early Spring before temperatures become too low; their protein and carb needs allow them to forage efficiently as well as store nectar reserves for later use.



Winter honey bee patties contain high concentrations of protein, making them perfect for feeding during late Winter to early Spring when colonies are increasing brood production, yet have limited access to natural pollen sources.

Bees may also be used to bolster weak or queenless colonies by providing extra population; this should only be done with an overcrowded hive that has enough room for all of its extra inhabitants before new pollen becomes available in spring.

One way to regulate how much patty is fed to honey bees is using low-protein patties such as Dadant’s AP23. Created to closely mimic natural pollen’s nutritional makeup, beekeepers have reported this artificial alternative being easily digested by honey bees.


Many beekeepers feed pollen patties during winter, but these should only be provided when their colony’s population has reached an insufficient point. Such treats stimulate brood rearing, increasing numbers within a colony – an undesirable action when feeding small hives, where overpopulation can quickly deplete stores and leave it unable to sustain survival.

Winter honey bee patties contain high concentrations of carbohydrates with just a pinch of protein to prevent brood rearing. They should be placed into your colony’s brood box in fall or early winter before temperatures get too cold to open the hive.

Be sure to purchase these patty mixes from a company who tests and stands behind its products; Mann Lake’s Bee Pro patties are an excellent example and come ready-to-use.


Pollen patties contain high protein levels that promote brood rearing and expand colony size, however it’s essential to monitor how many bees are receiving pollen patties during winter – too much could result in overproduction that leads to starvation for your colony and should therefore be limited as required along with additional hive food supplies.

Pollen patties should be placed directly above hive clusters where bees can easily consume them, replacing the outer cover, and monitoring consumption throughout winter to ensure bees receive sufficient protein intake.

To create your own patties, mix sugar syrup and water until all sugar has been dissolved and add pollen for an elastic texture reminiscent of wet peanut butter. Betterbee also offers pre-formulated winter patties which can be easily utilized.

Stimulates Brood Rearing

Winter patties provide colonies with emergency food when temperatures become cold and damp, and also facilitate brood rearing and health in springtime.

These hive patties are comprised of sugar, artificial pollen substitute AP23 developed by Dadant and honey-B-Healthy as bee health aids. Shaped like hockey pucks for easier consumption and storage by bees.

Introducing patties too soon can cause too much brood rearing; too soon can stimulate too much brood rearing; which can quickly spiral out of control and overwhelm a colony’s ability to raise their own young bees. Patty feeding should only occur several weeks before its expected that colony starts rearing its own brood; use caution when feeding global patties which encourage expansion that could cause strong colonies to split early in spring.