March 2019 Introduction: This simple modification for a frame feeder is a stroke of genius. (Yes, I’m patting myself on the back for this one.) I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes standard with frame feeders some day because it works so well at preventing bee deaths and it’s easier than pouring syrup down a bee ladder that’s packed with bees.
I had to refill a frame feeder in one of my young 2-deep hives today and decided on the spot to record a demonstration video that could have been titled How To Refill a Frame Feeder, but isn’t. Here are some pics and then a video at the end. Here I am pouring in the syrup:
Here’s a simple recipe for pollen patties that works: Mix some pollen supplement powder (I get mine from Beemaid) with some 2:1 sugar syrup until it’s like Play-Doh, not dripping wet but moist to the touch. Spread it out flat on wax paper or parchment paper. Put another layer of paper on top, sandwiching the patty between the paper to help maintain the moisture. Scrape an X through the paper on one side and lay that side of the patty down over the top bars of the frames. The bees in my nucs have been scarfing it down like Doritos and they’re doing great. Okay, that’s enough. Here’s the video:
March 2019 Postscript: I order just about everything, including pollen patties, from a Newfoundland supplier now. His name is Gerard Smith.