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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a!
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Monday, September 29, 2008

Pollen Substitute and Greg Rogers

At one point at the GBA meeting I decided to go outside and found a fun-filled workshop with Greg Rogers from North Carolina. He has 300 hives and runs his company, Haw Creek Honey in Asheville.

His workshop was on making pollen substitute. He began feeding his hives pollen substitute because in the last couple of years he had lost a number of hives and attributed this to their being weak and in need of more nutrition.

He said that the biggest problem in the south with feeding pollen substitute to the bees is the small hive beetle. The SHB has a breeding cycle of about 21 days, similar to the honeybee. So his reasoning is that if you put a pollen substitute patty on the hive, the bees should consume it within 5 - 7 days to avoid it being a constant food source for SHB to use for their young.

The pollen substitute patty is placed on the hive about 2 inches above the brood to allow ease of reach for the bees.

Here's his recipe:
1/2 bag of Megabee
10 lb dry sugar
1 cup canola oil
24 lb corn syrup or 2:1 sugar syrup

He adds the oil to the syrup and then puts the wet ingredients in the dry ingredients. He uses a masonry hoe to mix these things in a large vat - I didn't get a picture on the slideshow of the mixing but it looked like making bread on a very large scale. It takes him about 4 minutes to mix the whole thing up.

He greases the bucket that holds the finished 54 pound mix with some oil poured in the bucket and then swiped around with a paper towel - just like you would oil the pan for bread to use to rise.

I tasted the patty and it was really good. The Megabee has a citrus flavor and it looks like ginger bread with a citrus taste before it is baked. This was the most fun of all the talks and workshops I attended. Greg is practical and funny in his presentation.

Here are the slides. Click on the picture to see the whole show enlarged and with explanatory captions:

Making pollen patties

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous11:52 AM

    Concerning feeding sugar water with megabee in the baggie:

    I've said before, that instead of cutting a slit, that I poke little holes in the baggie to keep from killing the bees, and it worked.

    Now, days later, I find a baggie empty of sugar water, but a layer of soft, flat megabee candy. What to do? Using a razor blade cutter, go around the top of the baggie cutting the top layer of plastic, then pull off this thin piece of plastic and what's left, a nice thin layer of megabee candy.

    ReplyDelete
  2. BeeXXXStalker10:52 PM

    Oh Randy... such a BA. That's k cause i totally luv (<3) ur blog. U guys r my fav blog. 21st century...such a good beekeeping century.

    XOXO,
    BeeXXXStalker

    ReplyDelete

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