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Beekeeping related articles, information and recipes

This is an easy to make pollen substitute recipe for your bees, enriched with vitamin C,  that you can feed your bees to boost brood production when natural sources are scarce.

Pollen substitute is not as good as real pollen. So we do not recommend feeding this when natural sources of pollen are available to the bees. It is great however in early spring before pollen is available to spur brood rearing and increase brood production so that you have lots of bees for the early spring nectar flow.

To boost health in the winter sprinkle the powder directly on the top of the top bars of your frames, alternatively, you can place it in a hive top feeder. In the spring you can place it in a container near the hive. The bees will find it and use it as a protein supplement when pollen is low or hard to find. Bird feeders made for feeding seed seem to work well or place it in an aluminum pie tin or 5-gallon bucket even in your yard!

To convert this dry pollen substitute to a pollen patty: 

simply mix it with 2:1 sugar syrup until a putty consistency is achieved, form it into patties, and stack them with wax paper between them in a freezer bag. It can be frozen and kept from year to year. Simply remove a single patty, let it thaw and place it inside the hive to feed the bees.

Recipe:

Ingredients:

3 lbs Soy flour (or whole wheat) Soy is better.

1lb Brewers yeast (get this from your local homebrew supply store).

1lb Fat-free dry milk powder

1 teaspoon crushed vitamin C tablets per 6 cups of dry mix.

Directions:

Mix the flour, dry milk and yeast in a large bowl.

Measure out the dry mix to see how many cups you have.

divide your total cups dry mix by 6, the quotient will be how many vitamin C tablets you need to crush up. Just round up. Then add the pulverized vitamin C tablets to the dry mix.

thoroughly mix the dry ingredients again.

Store in a ziplock back in your pantry until needed.

If you prefer to use patties as opposed to dry pollen substitute, simply take the dry mix above and mix it with 1:1 sugar syrup until it forms a wet this paste. This can then be weighed out and formed into patties. Once you form it into patties simply take each patty and press it between 2 layers of wax paper. Place all the wax-paper separated patties into a zip-lock® freezer bag and store in the freezer until needed. Make sure to completely thaw them out before use, as you dont want to put ice cubes into your hives on those cool spring mornings and nights!

 

When ready to use, you can place the pollen substitute directly on top of your inner hive cover, or leave it in an open dry container outside for your bees. All of your hives will be able to access it this way and benefit from an early spring boost of pollen substitute for early build-up and brood rearing. Placing it out in the open, rather than in individual hives will also discourage robbing between hives for the pollen substitute.

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