This year with some of my new hives, they became so filled with pollen that there was not much space left for brood rearing. (They were down to 2 frames at the hight of the season.) I was at a loss as what to do here becuase the pollen frames will spoil quickly out of the hive, and are then hard for the bees to clean out. I moved some of these into supers just to give them some room for brood, but of course they take up a lot of space where honey could be stored and are not great for extracting.
It they were honey bound, it's easy to deal with, but short of putting on pollen traps, I was a bit at a loss as what to do. (They had two full deeps below an excluder, but filled most of this with pollen.)
Anyone have experience with this?
Can you give more details? I have seen colonies with the broodnest bunged up with pollen in midsummer, but these were queenless. With some strains the bees just keep bringing it in regardless, and without brood to eat it it just piles up. Once they had a new queen it rapidly disappeared. Could they have been superseding?
Could these frames be frozen then distributed to the hives in the early spring?
Just a thought.
I'm with Robert. The only times I've experienced this the hive was queenless. Sounds like something is wrong. On the other hand, if you have room in a freezer these are great to give back to the hives in the early Spring or even, if you get a warm day, distribute them among your other hive's brood nests. That way they'll have a good pollen supply for early spring brood.
I am nearby in San Mateo, and have never been concerned with too much pollen. I think people try to manage their bees too much; they have been doing fine without us for several hundred million years. I think if you have a double brood chamber, and make sure in spring that the bees are not honey bound on Sebastobol eucalyptus honey, the pollen content will be taken care of by the bees.
[This message has been edited by odfrank (edited November 08, 2003).]
I'm also with Robert, sound like you have a queenless hive.. I only encounter this problem when I find a hive that has failed to requeen itself.
I usually find them at the far end of the flow, so I just shake them out. But if you find this in the frount end of the flow, you can salvage the colony.
[This message has been edited by Ian (edited November 08, 2003).]
These hives were definately not queenless and had good brood in the few frames that were not full of pollen.I think they were just carried away collecting pollen.
Odfrank: Yes they were working Sebastopol Eucalyptus, but were not honey bound.
Maybe you're all right, I should just leave well enough alone, but they got a late start from packages and were building out foundation, so I was trying to help them expand.
They have come through fine and now have good stores and loads of pollen, so they will probably build up well in the spring.