It has been fiendishly difficult to identify true pollen substitutes for honey bees. This is mostly because the insects generally don’t prefer whatever materials humans come up for them to eat.. Presumably they don’t taste like pollen; they are not phagostimulants.
Universally, therefore, beekeepers are coached to add natural pollen to all feed stuffs provided to honey bees. The resulting food is then no longer a substitute, therefore, but a “supplement.”
The supplement is usually fed as a patty of some sort. Again it may also contain sugar and natural pollen to improve acceptance by the bees. A wide variety of patties are available, and many recipes exist to make them from scratch. They are usually fed on the top of colonies, often wrapped in wax paper or some other material.
Research is continuing for the perfect honey bee protein food, Those interested in providing the best possible food of this nature should continue to keep up with developments in the field.