How To Make Pollen Patties

Why Do Bees Need Pollen?

Honey bees need food, water and nutrients just like humans. Bees get their energy from nectar and they get their protein and nutrients from pollen.  Most pollen is fed to larvae but queens also eat pollen to help increase brood production.  

When Do You Feed Pollen?

A good time to feed pollen is when temperatures have warmed up in the spring and you see foragers bringing pollen in on their back legs.  A popular way to feed pollen is mixing sugar with pollen to make patties(scroll to the bottom to see how they’re made).  Also after a hive has been split, the colony needs to grow in numbers and pollen patties will help the queen produce more eggs.  If you split in the latter part of the summer, patties may draw in SHB’s so keep a lookout.  Feeding Pollen too early can also cause problems with “Chilled Brood.” This is when a queen is over producing eggs and there’s not enough nurse bees to keep all the brood warm and they end up freezing to death.  

How To Make Pollen Patties

Pollen Patty Recipe

2.6lbs of sugar = 6 cups
1 lb of water = 1.90 cups
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
3.9 cups of pollen = 1.7 lbs.

Mix and refrigerate for 24 hours. If you’d like to use the mix right away mix in a little more pollen to thicken it.  I use a ladle to scoop one scoop onto a piece of parchment paper. The bees will quickly eat through the wax paper. I always scratch the patty with my hive tool before placing it in the hive. 

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  • Comes in 10-pound pail

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