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They need pollen!

Updated: Nov 9, 2021

An inspection of my mid-to-late summer nucs recently showed they were deficient in pollen and honey. These "late bloomers" needed a little help gathering the necessary amount of protein to feed the brood that will eventually become winter bees. In beekeeping, one needs to mentally think and prepare six months ahead of time of what you're are currently working in. As of today, September 5th, there is only about a month left to for the bees to gather pollen from fall-blooming native plants like Jewelweed, various Goldenrods, Ironweed, Black-eyed Susans, Foxglove and many others you can find online by entering "native plants" and your state into your search engine.

I could very easily give these colonies a pollen patty and be done with it for the rest of the season, however; hive beetles are always on the rise in this time of year, so I still like to observe my hives and root out any hive beetles before they can gain a foothold before the upcoming winter season. Introducing a pollen patty can provided hive beetles a food source and a safe place to hide from honeybees. Before choosing to add pollen patties, I decided I would offer my bees a pollen powder substitute instead.

With a little help from the Internet, I located the designs of DIY feeders made from parts from a gutter and plumbing pipe, all bought at a local hardware store.

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