Thoughts on feeding pollen sup in fall

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by ASTMedic, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. ASTMedic

    ASTMedic New Member

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    Give me your thoughts on feeding pollen sup in the fall. Would a hive strong summer hive with a now low brood count benefit from feeding sup?
     
  2. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

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    Here are my thoughts on that: when I look in the frames next to the brood area there is tonnes of pollen stored there. Also lots of bees are still bringing it in. Add to that the fact that pollen starts about 1 to 2 weeks before nectar in the spring. I want the available cells to be filled with honey, not pollen. I guess it can't hurt, but I can't see the need.
     

  3. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Some of my hives have packed the bottom deep almost full of pollen. I'm not sure why they do that but figure they must know what they want. As long as the top box is full of honey (like pistolpete suggests) I'm OK with it.
     
  4. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    I Will feed fall pollen patties on some colony's next week I will do an inspection was going to be this weekend but the weather calls for rain. The cryreria for weather a hive recieves pollen or not is how many frames in a hive have brood in them, the brood in the frames represent the bees that will survive until March, April. In April if i have 8 frames of bees I will be happy, this means i want 4 frames of brood in the hive now. If the colony has slowed brood laying and their are fewer than 4 frames I will give them 1/2 patty.
    Some colony's will produce brood until it gets to cold regardless of flow. Others will stop early due to no nectar or pollen being brought in.
     
  5. cheezer32

    cheezer32 New Member

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    You have to look at why the brood is low, are they backfilling with homey and pollen already and there shutting down naturally or are there open cells and a lack of stores? If there shutting down naturally let the bees be bees, if they have plenty of room and open cells I would consider some pollen sub and syrup for both stores and stimulation.
     
  6. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    No opinion on feeding pollen sub or not, but if you do, only feed what they move in 3 or 4 days. Longer and the SHB will raise larva in the patty.
     
  7. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    shb are bad enough, my bees have plenty of wildflowers to hit up for pollen, I have planted well.
     
  8. camero7

    camero7 Member

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    my nucs are ignoring the patties right now with the heavy pollen flow. Not feeding patties to any of my production yards.
     
  9. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    The Problem with letting bees br bees is that not all bees act and preform the same. Some times a hive will stop brood production early, why? Who knows could be because of drought conditions and slow nectar flow, but experience has taught me that if the colony shuts down brood early we had better have a warm early spring so they start making early replacement brood early to compensate for the rapid die off of the winter bees. If the weather in the spring is cold and wet so the bees have very few flying days they will not start to produce abundant brood until the the weather changes and warms up. The problem the hives that have shut down brood early have is the population of winter bees is old and at the end of their lives and are dieing off faster than the brood is being raised to replace them.
    By the beginning of March I know exactly what my fall management should have been. But because I don't have a crystal ball, to hedge my bet and give the bees every resource they need to make it thru the winter. I do want to see late fall brood in my colonies.
    Thanks for the reminder Iddee Of feeding the SHB. we don't have them yet so not a problem for myself but be causes if you have then.
     
  10. RayMarler

    RayMarler New Member

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  11. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Great article from Scientific Beekeeping. It is well put together from various studies done on bee nutrition and the effect it has on colonies.
    Thanks for posting it RayMarler
     
  12. ASTMedic

    ASTMedic New Member

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    See that's my problem, I don't know why. There's PLENTY of room, like 7-8 open frames worth so that's doesn't seem to be it.

    Roughly how long do "winter" bees live for? I know the average life span during the summer but couldn't find one for when they're mostly in cluster.

    Love those articles. I've gone through his whole site a few times.
     
  13. ASTMedic

    ASTMedic New Member

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    So shortly after starting this thread I cut a patty in half and stuck it on top of the inner cover. We'll see how it looks in a few days.

    My gut just said to give them something. They looked as if they want to keep raising brood due to the open cells but they just don't have the pollen coming in. I'll just keep adding small amounts to give them just enough and not attract beetles.

    We got a really good rain yesterday. I'm hoping this will bring out a few more flowers before it really cools down.

    Edit: After reading the Fat bee article again it looks like I should toss the syrup feeder back on too.
     
  14. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    I never feed pollen patties in fall. They will forage pollen even after a freeze kills off the nectar flow.
     
  15. bamabww

    bamabww Active Member

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    The only time I've ever had a problem with shb is when I fed a pollen patty. But I didn't know or do what Iddee suggested earlier. That was probably the cause of my shb problem. Live and learn.
     
  16. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    No experience from me with feeding pollen substitute, but my gut feeling says feed it to them when they need it for brood rearing and not for storage. When going through the hives in early spring you can see if they need pollen sub. Winter storage space would be better put to use storing honey/(syrup) since brood rearing is at a minimum and stored energy needs are at a maximum. This should also save some hive opening--when you look to see if the hive is low on pollen in the spring it should be easy enough to add a patty where and when needed.
     
  17. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip..
    My gut just said to give them something. They looked as if they want to keep raising brood due to the open cells but they just don't have the pollen coming in. I'll just keep adding small amounts to give them just enough and not attract beetles.

    We got a really good rain yesterday. I'm hoping this will bring out a few more flowers before it really cools down.

    Edit: After reading the Fat bee article again it looks like I should toss the syrup feeder back on too.

    tecumseh...
    still working on that 'gut feeling' thingee? and that's a good thing. on occasions when I have fed store bought pollen patties I have often cut them in thirds to get them consumed or moved by the hive as soon as possible and this seems to reduce any problem with shb unless a hive has other health issues. as I think Randy Oliver has suggested the failure of a hive to take up pollen patties may directly suggest problems with nosema.

    a rain in the interim can of alter your course of action but I at least would suggest that if you do place pollen patties in a hive you also need to feed a bit of syrup also. there have been several folks here (in central Texas) who have gone to feeding pollen patties material outside the hive which of course would at least move any possible shb problem external to the hive.