Regarding pollen patties, I made a discovery. I had been putting them on with some cuts in the paper to allow access, over the crown board hole. Some loved them, others ignored them pretty much completely.
Then I put some on the top bars; there was more interest and they were getting into them.
Then I pealed them completely and pushed them down on the top bars. This resulted in them being rapidly consumed in all hives.
(At least I assume they were eaten – and not just thrown out.)
Also I have artificial swarmed two hives, so I am going to add additional patties to those to build up the numbers.