Pollen Feeder

I bought some of Mann Lake's Ultra  Bee pollen substitute earlier in the winter.  I had planned to make pollen patties to feed the bees, but after thinking it over I decided I didn't really want to make patties with high fructose corn syrup, which is what the Mann Lake recipe calls for.  Now there may be other recipes out there that don't call for hfcs, but after some reading I thought I'd give dry feeding a try.  I looked at various feeders, and probably didn't go with the simplest one out there but this one didn't take much to make either, though it was a little pricey.
I used 4" pvc, with the white T at the bottom, a tube extending vertiaclly with a reducer to 3" pipe, with a removable cap on top of that, for feeding.  The horizontal tubes I cut at an angle to help reduce rain from getting the powder wet.  I cut semi-circles from 3/4" pine (attached with screws) to fit inside those to allow the feeder to hold more feed yet allow the bees plenty of room to enter the feeder.
It took no time at all for the bees to find it, on this February day in the low-fifties.  The bees were flying like crazy, and not just out doing cleansing flights but I saw a number up by the front of our house, a long ways from the hives, looking for any type of pollen.  The crocuses are still snug in the ground, though, so there just isn't much for them to find except for the bird feeder.  I hope this will keep them busy and allow the birds to feed in peace as well.  It probably was a couple weeks early for pollen feeding, but I will make sure they don't run out and the 10 day forecast, at least, is for above-normal temps and dry, so I'm hopeful.  I won't remove the winter wraps to check on brood production for at least another 4-6 weeks.


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