These patties were put on July 9th, 2009.
The pictures were taken on the 18th. That was just over a week
on the hives, and
during a strong nectar and pollen flow. There are hundreds
of acres of clover, alfalfa and canola in full bloom all around
these hives. (see the entrance activity in a typical hive,
Many people think that bees won't eat patties when
there is honey and pollen coming in. Here is the proof
that they will eat good, fresh patties.
These are Global standard patties with 15% pollen
-- that was what happened to be handy -- but these bees
would be eating patties even without pollen, but probably
not as quickly.
Consider that what I gave these hives -- and the
almost two pounds that some splits ate in a week -- is as much or more
than many beekeepers put on their hives in a whole year!
Keeping in mind that some of these hives are
temporarily queenless, and
some quite small, take a look at the consumption. Note
that one hive ate most of two patties already! Another is
just nibbling around the edges. I took these pictures at
random and did not open more than the first few hives I came to.
I was not wearing a veil or using smoke. One of the
pictures shows why I should have used a smoker last time I
peeked. Note the bees trapped and dead on top of the
patties. I normally smoke them down a little before
The point here is that bees will eat good patties at any time
of year. When it rains, at night, and when it is windy,
patties benefit the hives and keep them building.
Weaker hives especially benefit.
tangible, but very real, is the improved health and robustness of the bees and
the improved wintering that comes after a season of patty
For that you'll have to take my word, or try it
An Afterthought, Written
After the First Killer Frost - October 3rd
These 34 splits were made on July 3rd from
18 splits that were in turn made previously on May
17th from an original 9 overwintered hives.
None of them were given queens. They had to
raise their own.
splits continued to eat a pound a week
(approx) all summer and a pallet of four, chosen at random went
onto a platform scale and produced nearly 90 lbs each
in the one month I had them on the scale
at the end of the
calculates out to roughly 360 lbs for each
original overwintered hive during the time I
measured, and I only thought to measure during the
last month as summer ended. They had already
produced quite a bit of honey I did not measure.
think patty feeding pays.