Tips & Tricks for Patty Feeding
Looking to get the best value out of your feeding? We’ve got you covered. Whether you are mixing your own or not, there are a few simple tips that you can follow to make sure that your hives are getting the most of their patties.
For those who mix their own:
Add a little oil – Not only can it make you patties easier to work with and stay fresh longer, but our studies have shown that bees LOVE the taste of a high-lipid formulation. Even adding as little as a tablespoon or two per patty can make a big difference. Which oil to use? Check out our MegaBee U article on oil.
Make them the night before – MegaBee is designed to absorb moisture overtime, and because of this we have many beekeepers who like to make their patties up early and give them time to rest. Our formulation on our bags is intended to be an instant-mix recipe. So if you plan on feeding this way be ready to add a little extra syrup to your mix.
Score your wax paper – Bees are more than happy to chew through any wax paper that might keep them away from their MegaBee, but a quick cut with your hive tool can help speed up the process. If you put your homemade patties between wax paper, try scoring them next time and see if it helps. If you’re buying our pre-made patties then don’t bother…our patties are pre-perforated to ensure the bees have easy access to the patties.
For those who buy pre-made patties:
Place near the brood – For beekeepers that work with two deep boxes as their brood chamber this means placing the patties in between the two boxes. The goal here is to get the patties close to the bees that need it the most…the nurse bees. Ultimately, when we are feeding supplemental nutrition we are targeting the hypopharyngeal gland (which is responsible for royal jelly production) so getting the nutrition to the nurse bees is paramount. If you run a two-deep setup with multiple honey supers on top then you know how far the bees have to travel to get that patty down to the brood chamber. When feeding patties: the closer, the better.
Consider adding a spacer – If you are worried about smashed patties or bee space try adding a small spacer in between boxes (or your hive cover if you only work in one box). This will ensure that the bees have enough room to get at the patty without sacrificing space inside the hive. Most spacers are generally about 3/4”.