Bees need both protein and carbohydrates. Feeding protein patties in the spring will ensure colony health, good build-up of brood and produce large honey crops.
Patties ensure a balanced diet when bees are unable to forage due to weather, when there is a shortage of stored pollen, in monoculture areas where only a few pollen sources are to be found, are subject to competition from stronger hives in the yard or stressed by weather, pesticides, mites and diseases.
In the Spring, we recommend 15% for a faster build-up so that the hive is strong and ready for the honey flow. However, if you start feeding early then 4% would be sufficient for a steady-build up until natural pollen is available.
In the Fall, 4% patties is a sufficient amount of pollen to have a steady consumption rate to build up strong winter bees.