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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Pomfret, MD, USA
    Posts
    242

    Post

    Every spring the trees around my house (maple, oak, sweet gum, tulip poplar) explode with pollen. It literally covers everything in a fine dust. Now, my idea is to put down 4 or 5 black plastic sheets and collect the pollen as it falls. Has anyone ever done this, and where were your results? Is the pollen that bees gather somehow modified by the bee, increasing its value to bee or beekeeper?

    Thanks,
    Kai

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,466

    Post

    Pollen in that form would be useful for feeding to the bees.

    When the bees gather pollen they mix it with nectar to make little pellets that they fit in the pollen baskets on their legs. So pollen from a pollen trap looks like pellets instead of the dust you see fall from the flowers. The nectar also helps some in preserving it. Then the bees pack it in cells with some honey to make a solid paste in the cells.

    But if you have a lot of pollen dust in an open feeder the bees will roll in it and bring nectar to pack it into pellets.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Macon, GA USA
    Posts
    942

    Post

    I never thought of that. Here pine tree pollen turns everyone's cars yellow every spring. I'll have to sweep up a bag of it and save it for hard times. Great idea.

  4. #4

    Post

    I would say two things on this. 1. The trees you mention sound like the kind of trees that bees would get nectar and perhaps pollen from. 2. At a local NCSBA meeting, one of the long time inspectors (Bill Shepherd for those of you that have heard him) said that airborne pollens like pine are not useful to bees. Around here, lots of stuff gets coated yellowish in the spring from the pines. I collected some, tried to feed it to bees and they ignored it.

    As an experiment it sounds okay, but it sounds like an airborne pollen to me.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Huntington, West Virginia, USA
    Posts
    438

    Post

    I think I read that pollen begins to degrade in nutritive value almost as soon as it's collected. The bees pack it in cells with some nectar to protect it from rapid degradation. Freezing also slows it down if I remember correctly. So, you might want to freeze what you collect till you are ready to use it. Please let us know how the bees accept it later on. Good luck!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    McMinnville, TN, USA
    Posts
    716

    Post

    Oak is a wind pollenated plant so it may fall under the same class as pine pollen. I was told also pine pollen is not used by bees.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Macon, GA USA
    Posts
    942

    Post

    Well that just figures. Actually (useful) pollen is rarely in short supply here.

    [This message has been edited by GaSteve (edited December 21, 2004).]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    North Salem, NY
    Posts
    329

    Post

    I am thinking of buying some pollen traps and trapping myself some pollen on weekends, so i can feed the bees in early spring

    justgojumpit

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