Bee Craft B-kids Facebook post January 19, 2016
Why feed pollen patties?
The thing to understand about pollen or pollen substitute is that it is used to feed larvae. Remember, bee eggs don't eat and pupae don't eat but the larvae are dependent on a good supply of nutritious, high protein food and this involves pollen. The larvae are not fed pollen directly; nurse bees eat the pollen, usually in the form of bee bread (a honey and pollen mix) and it is this rich diet that allows them to produce the brood food that they feed to the larvae. They cannot do this without eating pollen.
If pollen or pollen substitute is available, this will encourage the colony to produce brood. It is not such a good idea to encourage brood rearing in Autumn but it is an excellent idea in late January or February.
If you want to encourage your bees to produce lots of brood, especially if your apiary is in an area where there isn't much early pollen, then feed pollen patties in late January or through February when the queen is beginning to lay eggs ready for the new season.
(Taken from the B Kids pages in BeeCraft magazine, February 2016 issue)
Photo: Eric Lanning