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How to make a pollen patty for a backyard beehive to boost the production of baby bees and improve the vitality of the colony in the weeks preceding the Spring honey flow.
I recently made a pollen patty for the very first time to provide additional nourishment for my backyard beehive.
You can see all of my beekeeping articles and videos at the link.
Why Make a Pollen Patty?
As a new beekeeper, the goal of this pollen patty is to nourish the colony in the weeks preceding the Spring honey flow.
The pollen patty encourages the production of baby bees and growth of the hive.
I plan to split the hive in the Spring. This additional nourishment provided by a pollen patty will facilitate this process.
There are many different recipes for pollen patties to try if you are a novice beekeeper like me.
One school of thought is to leave the bees alone and not provide a pollen patty at all.
Others suggest pollen patties that are boosted with essential oils. I have not used this approach yet as I am still in the process of researching the pros and cons.
For now, I’m using the basic pollen patty recipe provided by my beekeeping mentor.
This is the recipe he uses in the management of the half dozen or so hives he maintains at our community vegetable farm.
Pollen Patty Recipe
How to make a pollen patty to nourish a backyard beehive in the production of baby bees and improve colony vitality before Spring honey flow.
Mix the Bee-Pro, sugar, honey, and optional Apis Biologix powder with the filtered water in a bowl to form a dough ball.
Line a small pan (I use 12×8) with a similarly sized sheet of wax paper or uncoated patapar paper (NOT parchment paper).
Pour in the pollen patty dough and spread to roughly 1/4 inch thickness.
Place the pan in the freezer for at least 4 hours (this makes removal the easiest).
When ready, remove pan from the freezer and cut a small square of the frozen patty including the paper. The square should be about 1/6 of the whole pan (about 4×4 inches).
Place the patty face down in the beehive you are feeding, ideally on top of existing brood frames. This patty will be consumed within about 2-3 days.
If your hive has multiple levels, place the patty face down on the queen excluder between the primary bottom box and the box immediately above it.
In one week, remove the paper left from the consumed patty and replace it with a freshly cut square.
Repeat every week for 6-7 weeks until the entire patty is gone and Spring honey flow season begins!