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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morris Plains, NJ USA
    Posts
    638

    Default Pollen stores for winter; necessary?

    As the cold weather arrives I'm checking out my hives stores. Curiously, the lower deeps are filled with lots of pollen and no honey. There's a full super of honey on each hive so I'm not worried about a honey shortage. As for the deeps with only pollen, should they be left on? Will the bees be using the pollen over winter?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk, NY, USA
    Posts
    2,444

    Default Re: Pollen stores for winter; necessary?

    normal.
    used mostly in spring for build up.

    what is your winter configuration? sounds like 2 deeps and a medium.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morris Plains, NJ USA
    Posts
    638

    Default Re: Pollen stores for winter; necessary?

    Yup, configuration is two deeps, one super. So should I remove the pollen-filled lower deep? It's just more space for the bees to heat and that's my concern.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    6,933

    Default Re: Pollen stores for winter; necessary?

    Leave them alone. That's what they do. The pollen will be used in the spring.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk, NY, USA
    Posts
    2,444

    Default Re: Pollen stores for winter; necessary?

    I'd leave it. The bees heat the cluster (themselves) not the air in the hive, don't worry about that.
    The empty bottom box will create a 'dead air' space dampening wind coming in.
    I almost always leave a empty on the bottom for just that reason and it works.
    I like to put it under the hive late though so the bees store the pollen above it, works either way and I have many that way this year
    Crazy Roland taught me this.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    3,219

    Default Re: Pollen stores for winter; necessary?

    The bees will use that pollen when they start to brood in the early spring. It ensures the brood will never want want for pollen even when there's a downturn in the weather and the bees can't forage for fresh stuff. I keep a medium in that position specifically to function as a pollen box under my deep brood boxes. The bees rarely use it for brood; they sometimes fill some frames in that box with honey if we have a late strong flow, in addition to pollen, but they move - and stay - above it for most of the winter.

    Enj.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    5,990

    Default Re: Pollen stores for winter; necessary?

    The bees also use them for raising the big fat winter bees.
    Though they will not use much but does provide feeding to fatten up the
    winter bees. This will help them being fat going into winter to keep the
    cluster warm burning through their fat reserves. Just leave it anything they
    don't use up for winter will be fine for the Spring broods. And don't worry about
    the extra space inside as they all cluster together in the cold anyways. There will always
    be some extra space unless you packed them inside full of bee like my deep nuc hive double queen
    set up going into winter.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Mammoth Cave, KY
    Posts
    187

    Default Re: Pollen stores for winter; necessary?

    Please research what a winter bee is and the term fat bee. Vitellogenin

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