Monday, March 1, 2010
Feeding pollen to bees in the fall helps insure that the young bees will have fully-developed glands necessary for them to make the brood food needed in the late winter and early spring. The queen is stimulated to start laying eggs when the workers bring pollen into the hive. For this reason I like to place some dry pollen substitute in a feeding station in the bee yard where I will be raising queens. Supplemental feeding of pollen can also be done inside the hive by making patties of pollen substitute and syrup. These patties are useful for feeding the brood during build-up. They should be placed directly above the brood nest. If the patties are not consumed rapidly by the honey bees, small hive beetles are attracted to their protein. The picture shows a simple arrangement for feeding dry pollen substitute. A pet feeder is placed inside a five gallon pail, which is open toward the east. The feed is pollen substitute mixed with natural pollen that I trapped and froze last summer. Some powdered sugar is added as well. Bees love this mix.