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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Sacramento Ca
    Posts
    29

    Default Pollen production

    I was wondering if there are any pollen producers on the forum?
    I am wanting to get into selling over wintered nuc's in the spring. I would like to use pollen to feed them. But I'm not sure how to go about managing the producing hives. (i.e.)

    Hives are slower to build up with pollen traps on. True?

    How much pollen can you get from one hive?

    About how much pollen is needed to take a nuc through 3 cycles of brood?

    When are the best pollen flows?

    Do they coincide with the nectar flow?

    Thanks for any info you can provide.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
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    1,347

    Default

    Personally I've always preferred placing frames of pollen in a nuc. One good slab of pollen plus time equals 3 frames of capped brood. You can collect frames of pollen by keeping the queen with a queen excluder in box #2. The bees naturally store pollen in box #1. Some beekeepers do that late in the season (august) before the end of honeyflow. The brood gets a chance to hatch and the combs get filled with pollen. Depending on the area you can get 4 frames or up to a full box with heavy slabs of pollen.

    If you insist on trapping pollen, I think I would trap for the human market and purchase chinese to feed my bees. Depending on volumes etc... you can likely get 2-3 times more for your pollen than the chinese pollen will cost you.

    Jean-Marc

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Swalwell, AB
    Posts
    579

    Default

    Last I heard, selling Chinese pollen for bee feed is illegal in the US, but not in Canada.

    It is OK to sell Chinese pollen for human food in the U.S., though, apparently.

    U.S. pollen sells quite cheaply in the U.S. compared to Canada.

    They are two different and separate markets, due to border restrictions.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
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    1,347

    Default

    I'm not sure that it is illegal to feed bees chinese pollen in the U.S. I believe beekeepers can but the pollen has to be treated before it can be fed. Treatments would include irradiation or ETO, on account od disease issues. Glorybee used to sell ETO treated pollen. I think it was of chinese origin.

    In Canada you can only feed pollen that has been treated either E-beam or gamma. I remeber years ago trying to bring some in and reading the specs on irradiation of pollen. The gamma irradiation dosages were sky high and would probably have rendered the nutritive value of the pollen close to useless. The e-beam irradiation dosages fell way lower than the gamma dosages so the border agents responses were more or less "no can do". Now, the other tricky part is the pollen has to be bonded and goes straight from the ship to Iotron (the electron beam irradiation company). Good planning required here. Iotron does there thing and you can get your pollen. The 2 major obstacles to overcome if you want to do this is the large volume needed to make it all worthwhile. The other issue is the paper trail to keep Big Brother happy. Best to hire a broker.

    The option we use is to purchase the pollen from another beekeeper who purchases a container load yearly.

    Jean-Marc

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Swalwell, AB
    Posts
    579

    Default

    I don't think it is illegal to feed, just sell.

    Glorybee used to sell ETO treated pollen. I think it was of chinese origin.
    Used to. They got into some trouble over that and it cost them, and some others. I'm guessing, but I assume the pollen was imported as human food, then downgraded to animal feed. This is normally not a problem, but due to the unique nature of pollen and the rules around importing pollen as animal feed, the government stepped in. I think they may have had a push from one particular bee supply and bee feed manufacturer.

    In Canada you can only feed pollen that has been treated either E-beam or gamma.
    AFAIK, you can feed any pollen you like in Canada, so I assume that you are meaning that Chinese pollen cannot be imported without going through radiation in Canada, which is as it should be.

    There are number of sources. Actually your neighbour, Ron, has Chinese connections and can get a supply from sources he knows personally and trusts for competitive prices.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
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    1,347

    Default

    Allen:

    I suppose Ron would.

    The irradiation process is indeed what makes it all possible.

    So on the US side sounds like someone got their wrists slapped. But unless the laws changed which I kinda doubt, but don't know for sure, the process to do it legally is still in place. Like you pointed out it was probably imported as human grade and then became animal grade and the beaureacrats did not like that.

    While on the topic of pollen I recall that in Canada pollen destined for human consumption could only be imported in consummer sized packaging. I wonder how all the chinese and or spanish pollen ends up here seeing as how it comes in 25 kg drums. Hardly what I would call consummer sized packaging. Most consummers would purchase 250 g (more or less 1/2 pound) or perhaps 500g (about 1 pound).

    Jean-Marc

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    souris, manitoba, canada
    Posts
    770

    Default Spainish pollen

    Odem sells pollen imported from spain........8.50/lb plus, 52lb box, for human consumption I would say

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    1,162

    Default

    Hives are slower to build up with pollen traps on. True?

    No, not if it is a good hive

    How much pollen can you get from one hive?

    Varies a lot by location

    About how much pollen is needed to take a nuc through 3 cycles of brood?

    A strong worked hive can consume up to 50kg in a year, so if I feed protein I like to think of what contribution am I are making on a percentage basis of the hive's annual protein economy? (ie 1 lb in a hundred pound economy is only 1% contribution to the annual nutritional requirements of the hive)

    When are the best pollen flows?

    Varies by location

    Do they coincide with the nectar flow?

    Around here the pollen flows first

    Thanks for any info you can provide.

    Hope this helps some, trapped pollen may be worth more as people food, but as Keith says an 8 framer in the right place and time can be "priceless"
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Chesterfield, NH
    Posts
    503

    Question Re: Pollen production

    Quote Originally Posted by JBJ View Post
    Hives are slower to build up with pollen traps on. True?

    No, not if it is a good hive

    How much pollen can you get from one hive?

    Varies a lot by location

    About how much pollen is needed to take a nuc through 3 cycles of brood?

    A strong worked hive can consume up to 50kg in a year, so if I feed protein I like to think of what contribution am I are making on a percentage basis of the hive's annual protein economy? (ie 1 lb in a hundred pound economy is only 1% contribution to the annual nutritional requirements of the hive)

    When are the best pollen flows?

    Varies by location

    Do they coincide with the nectar flow?

    Around here the pollen flows first

    Thanks for any info you can provide.

    Hope this helps some, trapped pollen may be worth more as people food, but as Keith says an 8 framer in the right place and time can be "priceless"
    I would like to know where you got the references for how much A strong colony use (50 kilos) for pollen ???


    BEE HAPPY Jim 134
    Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA.
    http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,802

    Default Re: Pollen production

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Dick View Post
    Last I heard, selling Chinese pollen for bee feed is illegal in the US, ... .
    Isn't that also true about pollen from any other country? Isn't it an attempt to avoid the possibility of disease transfer?
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Chesterfield, NH
    Posts
    503

    Question Re: Pollen production

    I also would like to know what kind of resources do bees need to make one pound of bees looking for how much pollen and honey?? will you give your references that you use ??



    BEE HAPPY Jim 134
    Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA.
    http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/

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