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When to feed pollen substitute to honey bees

Right now, many northern beekeepers are asking when they should begin to feed pollen substitute, as if it’s a necessary step. But pollen substitute is an option you don’t always need. If you determine your bees need it, then “right now” is the best answer. If they don’t need it, don’t give it to them. […] Read more

Up next: bird blood in bee feed

If you haven’t heard, the Purina company is marketing a new protein supplement for honey bees, called Hearty Bee. The ingredients include something called “spray dried poultry blood,” which may sound unsettling. Since my mail is running strongly against feeding animal blood to vegetarian bees, I decided to look at the issue more carefully. Rewriting […] Read more

A hive population wake-up call

Overwintered colonies that starve usually do so in early spring, just before the first nectar flows. In the northern climates, colonies may starve as late as April, even though everything appears green and lush. Part of the reason is that many pollen plants bloom before nectar plants. Here in the Pacific Northwest, red alders flower […] Read more

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