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British Beekeepers Association Official Forum 

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More advanced beekeeping discussion forum.
 #12235  by AdamD
 25 Nov 2021, 09:43
The post title is pretty obvious, however research has compared suppliments and demonstrates that one of the four tested resulted in significant impact on the colony. (Published in the BBKA magazine that's just out).
Here's the 'paper.

So if you want to make your own substitute, there's a recipie with proven results, it seems. Just need to find a supplier of Date Palm pollen!
 #12237  by AdamD
 27 Nov 2021, 10:39
We don't know whether the pollen was the deciding factor in the best mix. (I recall reading that pollen added will increase the take-up of a substitute).
Assuming that pollen from other plants is equally as good as date palm pollen, pollen can be purchased as a food suppliment for humans - Ebay has some from Poland and Latvia, for example which were the first two I looked at. Question is, can we trust the pollen to be free of disease - could it contain, say, AFB spores?

Even if pollen is not added to the mix, it would appear that the suppliment does help grow the colony - unless they already have a decent diet, perhaps, when it's not needed at all. My own experience of a pollen substitute with a mixture including brewers yeast and soya flour was that it wasn't of much identifiable use.
 #12238  by NigelP
 27 Nov 2021, 13:04
Randy Olive has been playing around with pollen substitutes and adding various additives to them.....but nothing beats real pollen. But if there is no other source of protein then the subs do provide some. But there is something missing in the substitutes that is present in real pollen that seems to make a difference
It's the main reason I have a freezer full of pollen frames to give back to the bees in early spring when pollen is in short supply.
 #12241  by MickBBKA
 02 Dec 2021, 00:23
I use pollen sub in the Spring when its often too cold and windy for the bees to fly and gather pollen and the bees demolish it. I stop feeding it as soon as the bees get chance to switch to the real stuff as they completely ignore it once its warm enough to gather pollen. The bees know which is best when they have a choice.
 #12256  by MickBBKA
 04 Dec 2021, 00:51
Patrick wrote:
03 Dec 2021, 11:35
What mix recipe do you use Mick or is it ready rubbed?
Hi Patrick, I use the paste method. I use 1:1 syrup and mix in the pollen sub then put it in a squeezy bottle and squeeze it on top of the frames and the bees go mad for it. Getting the consistency right is a judgement call. It needs to be thick enough to not run off the top bars and drip onto the comb. I have tried powder and patties and the bees ignored all of it.

Cheers, Mick.