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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Sioux Falls South Dakota
    Posts
    58

    Default mystery"pollen"/1st year 100% survival

    Well, I think my two hives will make it. We are past any really cold days. We have had 50-60s for a week.

    I used the “mountaincamp” method and feel it is the thing to do in my area. I noticed them on the hard crusty sugar on warm (40ish) days for the last month. The upper entrance on my top shim is another thing I will be sure to repeat. They have been using it exclusively all late winter since the bees are up high in the top box.

    This week we finally got out of cold 0-30’s cold snap. It has been in the 50-60’s for one week. The 2 hives have drank a gallon of sugar water and continue to clean up the sugar on the top bars during this warm spell.

    Question 1: I noticed today they were bringing in “pollen” at least their pollen sacks had a grayish /white pollen looking on it!!! I saw several come in with this…We have NOTHING even close to blooming here in south east South Dakota..What the heck could this be?? My Salix crap willows will be the first and they are dormant as heck.

    Question 2: I have bee pro patties. Should I give one to each hive now?? I am not wanting a BIG build up yet since June-July seems to be the flow months here for clover. I don’t want to fight swarming, that is the main reason I am leery to give them pollen..but if they are finding some old crap left over from fall, should I not give them what they need??

    Gun—who wants to thank those that push the sugar on top/upper entrance/wrap/ insulate the top cover crowd who saved his bees this year.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Volga, SD
    Posts
    2,790

    Default

    They'll bring in "substitutes" for pollen at times. Sawdust, grain dust, other bits of stuff.

    I would wait for another 2 to 3 weeks before giving them the bee pro patties. That timing would be just about right to build them up for dandelions here. They might ignore the patties if the maples are blooming right about the time you put the patties on, but putting them on now could mean that you'll have a booming population for 2 to 3 weeks before a nectar flow starts.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    248

    Default

    I had a neighbor call me a couple of weeks ago about bees that were all over and inside his bird feeder. A little research on the web and this forum made it clear that it is not uncommon for the bees to collect the dust off of the seed in lieu of pollen. That is the first thing I would suspect in my area but as Kieck mentioned, they will visit and collect other things too.
    Carl

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    South San Ysidro, NM
    Posts
    503

    Default

    My bees collect dust from my neighbor's chicken/goose feed until the real pollen is around. It is usually pale yellow (the color of the feed). They also collect tree bud husks for an unknown reason.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Sioux Falls South Dakota
    Posts
    58

    Default

    Thanks for the replies....NOW I do remember reading about them bringing in "crap" instead of pollen...I hope they don't mix it with honey and feed it to the young

    I will wait 2 weeks and add Bee pro packet to each

    They drank a gallon of sugar water and have stopped

    Kieck--I have 4 people I think I can talk into the new club

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Jenison, MI
    Posts
    1,514

    Default

    Do you have any maples around? a week of 50-60 and they are all open and the bees are bringing it in like crazy.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    mineral county,Montana USA
    Posts
    805

    Default

    we just had our first couple days of 55 f. for the hi,around 35 for the low.the bees were flying like crazy.i was cutting firewood for my neighbor and the bees were collecting sawdust all around me. trying not to hurt bees while splitting wood.they were bringing in bright orange pollen, and i know nothing is blooming, unless its the douglas fir, or ponderosa pine.the maples dont even have buds yet.the lilacs are budding a little.poor bees are over in the compost on a winter squash shell.the bees are also using the dry sugar on the top bars.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,911

    Default

    If there is nothing in bloom, and they seem to be finding something, its probably a perfect opportunity to provide them with some soy flour or some other feed. If not to feed them, but to keep them busy and out of the neighbours yards.

    That and there seems to be something satisfying about providing a feed to the bees, which they readily feed on it,
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

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