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HomeBeeKeepingEasy methods to Make Pollen Patties for Bees

Easy methods to Make Pollen Patties for Bees

It’s possible you’ll be stunned to listen to beekeepers speaking about shopping for or making pollen patties. Don’t bees acquire their very own pollen? Sure, they do. However, typically the bees want extra protein than they will acquire. A big a part of protecting bees wholesome and productive includes studying when to assist your bees and when to depart them alone. Understanding the way to make pollen patties in your bee colonies is a helpful talent.

Feeding Bees Pollen Patties

In an ideal world, our bees are capable of get every little thing they want from the surroundings. That’s what each beekeeper desires to occur. Pure meals sources are the perfect for honey bees – identical to they’re the perfect for us too.

Generally feeding pollen patties will be the distinction between having a weak honey bee colony and one that’s robust, wholesome and able to work.

Nonetheless, carried out on the flawed time within the flawed method, a protein patty can contribute to the destruction of the colony.

Why Honey Bees Want Pollen

Pollen is the only protein supply for the honey bee colony. Whereas bees acquire plant nectar to make honey, nectar is pure carbohydrates. Sure, honey is essential to the colony and winter survival of the colony will depend on it.

However, they should have protein to increase child bees. No pollen – no infants. Underneath regular circumstances, foraging employee bees acquire pollen from blooming vegetation.

However, not all flowers produce protein appropriate for assortment by bees. Some flowers produce nectar solely.

When visiting a flower, the forager mixes pollen granules with saliva and enzymes from glands of their mouths. The sticky pollen is pushed onto stiff hairs on the hind legs – known as pollen baskets and brought to the hive.

Honey bee collecting pollen from flower image.

Again on the hive, this combination is saved in wax honeycomb cells. This course of converts the exhausting pollen granules right into a secure substance known as “bee bread”.

Bee bread is less complicated for bees to digest and it shops properly with out spoiling! However, there are events when the honey bee colony runs low and even out of saved protein.

Giving them further protein is usually useful for the colony however it have to be carried out in the best method on the proper time.

honey bee eating pollen patty


Pollen Patty Recipe for Honey Bees

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Step-by-step directions to make use of dry pollen to create a protein patty for beehives.
Key phrase beekeeping
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook dinner Time 30 minutes
Whole Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 items
Value $25


  • scissors
  • massive bowl
  • massive spoon


  • 2 cups dry pollen substitute-Extremely Bee I exploit the Mann Lake model
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp Honey B Wholesome (or different supplement-optional)
  • 6 items wax paper squares – 8" x 12"
  • 1/2 cup water – roughly – should alter
  • 1 piece small items of tape (non-compulsory)


  • A easy methodology of constructing patties is to start out with dry pollen substitute. Once more, I doubt model issues so long as it’s good high quality.

    Combine the substitute with a smaller amount of cane sugar. I typically begin with 2 cups of pollen substitute and 1 cup of sugar.

    Add water till you get a "thick" consistency. That’s it. You’ll be able to alter the ingredient quantities till you get the consistency you need.

    Ingredients for pollen patty recipe in large bowl image.
  • You need the combination to be moist sufficient to have enough moisture however not so liquid that it runs all over the place.

    I normally add only a little bit of "Honey B Wholesome" or different important oil bee complement recipe (you can also make your individual.)

    Adding essential oil food supplement to pollen patty recipe image.
  • Rolling Up the Pollen Patty – I desire to roll my protein combination up right into a “pollen taco” with wax paper.

    The honey bees can simply chew by way of the wax paper and it retains the combination from drying out too quick.

    I usually use a small piece of tape to carry the paper collectively. I’ll use a few small piece to maintain the ends closed till I get the pollen patty on the hive. Then, I lower these to have the ends open.

    Wrapping pollen patty in wax paper image.


** Use excessive warning in areas with Small Hive Beetles.  They love to put eggs in pollen patties.

Usually it’s higher to make use of small patties and change as wanted.

Advantages of Utilizing Protein Patties in Beehives

Most frequently, the beekeeper acknowledges a scarcity of saved pollen, throughout early Spring of late Fall. That is time to assist the bees. By offering a protein supply, the colony can proceed to boost new brood or infants. A colony that has ample shops of pollen within the comb doesn’t want pollen patties.

Why do beekeepers go to the difficulty to make or purchase protein patties? Wouldn’t or not it’s higher to feed bees recent pollen? Certain.

However the process of amassing, drying and storing recent pollen may be very time consuming. Additionally, recent pollen spoils simply – it will possibly get moldy in a short time. We simply can’t do the job in addition to our bees.

Most beekeepers use a pollen substitute when making patties for his or her hives. This excessive protein substance is a mixture of a number of compounds and can present wanted diet to the bees.

One can find a number of completely different industrial protein patties for buy. Are some higher than others? Possibly. Make sure to learn the ingredient label rigorously and know what you might be shopping for.

Generally, you’ll be able to’t go flawed so long as you purchase from a good firm. Mann Lake’s Bee Professional Patties are a buyer favourite. I’ve used them with good outcomes.

Whether or not you might be feeding bees sugar water – or protein patties, cheaper will not be all the time the perfect deal in the long term. Purchase good high quality from a good supply.

Worker honey bee eating pollen patty in Winter hive image.

The place to Put Protein Patties within the Hive

Feeding protein pollen patties to bees contained in the hive is a good plan for colonies in want. If the climate is cool or wet climate, your bees should not as more likely to fly exterior.

When pollen is contained in the hive, bees have entry to their protein supply 24/7. However care have to be taken when utilizing them with small colonies in the course of the heat months – particularly for those who dwell in a area with Small Hive Beetles.

Precisely the place to place the patty contained in the hive varies from one beekeeper to a different. Mostly, patties are positioned instantly on the highest bars close to the brood nest.

This allows nurse bees to have direct entry to the protein with out having to journey by way of the hive. If the patties should not too fats – they might squish down between the frames a bit to let you shut the hive and not using a shim.

In case your patties are thicker – you could want to make use of a shim. Nonetheless, you need to shut the hive to keep away from chilly air and intruders getting inside.

Whether it is too cool to open the hive and also you wish to add a little bit of protein – inserting a patty instantly below the inside cowl is best than nothing – bees will work the patty when temperature permits.

As a result of I’ve Small Hive Beetles in my area, I’m very cautious when including patties to the hive. I do nonetheless, embody a really small protein patty in my over-winter sweet boards.

How Many Pollen Patties Per Hive?

The choice of what number of or how massive a patty to place in your beehive will depend on a number of points. That is because of the honey bee pest referred to as “Small Hive Beetles”.

Small Hive Beetles LOVE these patties too! If the bees don’t devour all the patty inside a brief time period, hive beetles will lay eggs and lift younger.

Hive pests corresponding to Hive Beetles are why we don’t wish to have patties on the hives on a regular basis. And actually, a wholesome colony shouldn’t want fixed help.

If that’s occurring all yr, you have got different issues in your colonies. No honey bee colony ought to want fixed feeding.

Use small patties and change them at common intervals (if not consumed) and by no means use them in the course of the heat Summer season months.

Homemade pollen patty rolled in wax paper image.

When to Feed Pollen Patties?

Beekeepers generally feed patties throughout Winter. Late Winter into early Spring is the norm. That is the time of yr when a colony is ramping up brood manufacturing.

In very early Spring, we usually have sufficient gentle days to replenish the protein supply if wanted. This helps an over-wintered colony construct up a great inhabitants of employee bees in time to make honey.

When to Cease Feeding Pollen Patties?

Honey bee colonies that want the protein will devour the patties. In case your colony doesn’t use them – they most likely don’t want extra protein.

Usually, the bees have quite a lot of pure pollen obtainable to gather. They like that anyway – are you able to blame them? As soon as hotter days arrive and recent meals is coming in – you could not want them within the hive.

Cautions When Feeding Pollen to Honey Bees

Notice that each motion has a consequence. Feeding pollen patties to stimulate development will most certainly, properly, stimulate development.

Ensure that your bees have sufficient honey/meals to feed all these hungry mouths. And watch your colonies for indicators of early swarming conduct because the inhabitants builds.

Easy methods to Retailer Pollen Patties

Pollen substitute will not be low cost – don’t waste it. Whether or not you have got patties or dry substitute that you don’t want to make use of quickly, freeze it.

Each sorts of bee meals freeze and thaw simply and will be saved for months. Dry substitute ought to be saved in a tightly sealed bag and patties will be wrapped in wax paper or foil.

Feeding Bees Dry Pollen

Many beekeepers, myself included, feed dry pollen substitute to our hives. If I’m involved that my colonies could also be brief on sources, I place some dry substitute exterior.

It must be someplace shielded from rain, skunks, canine and barn cats. The bees will discover and acquire it. I discover it very endearing to observe my bees amassing the pollen substitute.

However they will solely acquire it when the climate is heat sufficient and dry sufficient to permit bee flight. This is the reason patties contained in the hive are typically a more sensible choice.

You can also make your individual dry pollen feeder! Right here is the hyperlink to how I made mine. DIY Pollen Feeder.

Extremely Bee is presently my favourite dry protein substitute. The bees actually appear to love it and acquire it properly from my selfmade feeder.

Pollen substitute lasts a very long time for those who use it appropriately and don’t put out an excessive amount of at one time – leading to waste.

Do all honey bee colonies should be fed pollen patties? No, that is simply one other a type of beekeeping administration duties to be taught. You’ll be able to alter it to the wants or your honey bees and your location. You probably have a colony that’s brief on protein sources, feeding bees pollen patties is one methodology of serving to a colony develop.

The put up Easy methods to Make Pollen Patties for Bees appeared first on Carolina HoneybeesCharlotte Anderson.



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