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Oct 27

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Making Your Own Pollen Patties To Feed Your Bees


Raising Bees is not an inexpensive hobby…..just ask any of your Bee Keeping friends.  I still remember our excitement when we first picked up our bees!  Not everyone agrees with feeding the bees but my husband feels strongly that this is what our bees need.  Purchasing Pollen Patties from a vendor or online proves to be very expensive.  A half pound of Pollen Patties run around $9.95 plus shipping.    You can also purchase bee pollen as well which I have heard from local Bee Keepers have gone up in price recently.  Of course everything has…..just about.   We can make a half pound for much less than that although we use Brewers Yeast and our local Co-op it is not cheap.  However Brewers Yeast is loaded with nutrients and all we add to this is soy flour and dried milk and some inverted sugar water.  Basically this is really a protein supplement that we are hoping will give our colonies the boost they need to winter over well.    I will post the recipe from the Scottish Beekeepers Association but the ingredients are such that we are comfortable with feeding this product to our bees and they love it! Some websites I have taken a peek at put their pollen patties in freezer paper and then cut a v in it for the bees to get to.  Our pollen patty was firm enough that we did not have to do that.   I know we will learn what works best for us just as you will for your own hives.  Feeding your honey bees is very subjective and depends upon the preference of the beekeeper.  Here is the video of my husband placing our homemade pollen patty on the hive.

Here is the Pollen Patty recipe we used from the Scottish Beekeepers Association:

It’s basically:

The dry mix consists of the following:
x Soybean Flour, 3 parts by weight
x Dried Brewer’s Yeast, 1 part by weight
x Dry skimmed Milk, 1 part by weight

http://www.scottishbeekeepers.org.uk/learning/documents/number%209%20pollen%20substitute.pdf

Thanks for stopping by our Lil’ Suburban Homestead! Let me know if you decide to try this recipe……and oh yes if you hear my voice on that video I have a cold I think I caught it in the mountains ;)

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PS: If you enjoyed this post you may want to check out a previous post :   “As we trek on our Bee Keeping Adventures”

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8 comments

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  1. mysimplecountryliving

    Karen Lynn,
    That was very educational. I hope to have bees too, someday. After we retire to the country somewhere. I am following everything you write about concerning bees. Thank you for sharing so much information.

    1. Lil' Suburban Homestead

      I will definitely keep you updated as we tweak things with our Bee Keeping its constantly evolving! Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Larry Wyatt

    thanks for posting the ingredients for the pollen patties however since I am a man and not used to following recipies the question arises do I add any liquid to the mix and if so what and how much ?
    I am getting 4 nucs soon and would like to have this made and ready to feed as needed
    thank you

    1. KarenLynn

      Larry no liquid is needed for this recipe….where are you located my husband The Viking in my life & Resident Bee Keeper says that in our area the pollen is plentiful and during this time of year you would not need to put them in. We do not use them typically until late fall here in Coastal NC if the bee hive does not have sufficient quantities stored. My husband told me to tell you to keep us posted on your journey and he will be happy to answer any questions you have he has loved the journey of becoming a bee keeper and now we are in our 3rd season of raising bees! Thanks so much for the question! I am so excited for you with the adventure you are embarking on!

  3. maureen mcguire

    I am wondering about this recipe and others that use soy bean flour. It is so hard to find non GMO soybean these days and isn’t the GMO pollen what is contributing to the demise of the bees? What GMO’s have in their DNA is insecticide. Would organic buckwheat, or some other non GMO flour work? I read that the was paper on the bottom of patty keeps it from crumbling into the hive when the bees start eating it. The top paper comes off. They will eat through it, although some bee keepers make slits with a knife edge (or any such tool). Appreciate your thoughts.

    1. KarenLynn

      Maureen first of all we used soy flour and it was organic we also took both papers off so our bees did not have to go through the paper I am sure organic buckwheat or some other GMO flour would work…try it and let us know if your bees like it.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and Happy New Year!

      1. maureen mcguire

        Thanks for info. I have read blogs for days and am more confused than ever, so many opinions and ideas. I haven’t supplemented them before but I am at 7000′ feet in NM and it was a hard summer of drought and few flowers, and unusually cold winter. I did not take any honey, let them keep what they had, there was none in the super which had been full in other years. I will give your suggestion a try. I like your blog. Thanks again.

        1. KarenLynn

          Maureen it is confusing the info out there and I do think we have to do a lot of our own trial and error. Try the pollen patty recipe with your own substitutions I would love to hear how your bees liked them! It’s learning from each other that is so helpful…so nice to meet you! :)

I Love Hearing From All Of You! Thanks for sharing!