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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Erie, PA
    Posts
    12

    Question Pollen to the Hive

    I have what seems like a simple question that might help answer a more complex question!(or not!) as to weather a hive is queen right.

    I see my bees bringing a lot of pollen back to their hives. I know that pollen is collected to raise brood. Does this mean that I have an active Queen laying, or will workers bring back pollen with no one to feed it to?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Mars Hill, NC
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Pollen to the Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig View Post
    I have what seems like a simple question that might help answer a more complex question!(or not!) as to weather a hive is queen right.

    I see my bees bringing a lot of pollen back to their hives. I know that pollen is collected to raise brood. Does this mean that I have an active Queen laying, or will workers bring back pollen with no one to feed it to?

    I'm just going into my second year, so I'm not an expert - but the last few weeks I've seen both of my hives bringing in pollen lately. When I opened the weaker of the two, I was surprised because there was absolutely no brood or queen to speak of. Just rows and rows of empty brood frames with pollen in them. It looked to me like a queenless hive with aimless workers not knowing what to do except get more pollen and hope for the best.

    One of the telltale signs you'll see of a queenright hive is evidence of a "hatching" where all the nurse bees suddenly become foragers and start their orientation flights. They'll venture outside (usually early afternoon on a warm sunny day), walk up the hive, take off, circle around a few feet, then come back to the hive. Usually there are scores of them, forming a cloud at the entrance.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,034

    Default Re: Pollen to the Hive

    Seeing them bring in pollen is a good sign that you have a laying queen, but not definitive.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,760

    Default Re: Pollen to the Hive

    A queenless or laying worker hive will both bring in pollen. John

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Algonquin, IL, USA
    Posts
    636

    Default Re: Pollen to the Hive

    I figure a lot of pollen coming back into the hive means a lot of brood.
    A little pollen here and there . .. IDK

    I remember a study where a hive with little brood was given brood pherome. The pollen being brought into the hive increased greatly once the brood pherome was applied.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,709

    Default Re: Pollen to the Hive

    This is just my observation:
    I've had my share of queenless and layer worker situations. Bees are going to bring pollen in, it is a job and a necessity. When you have several hives that are rollin in with pollen, and one that isn't, there is concern that something is up. IMO. When I see that, I go in to the hive. I have, more often than not, a laying worker situation. I have also found, a queen that was a drone layer. This time of year, I mostly find a queen that is slower to kick into high gear brood production.(lots of reasons for that) But, I still check.
    When in doubt, check it out. Lessons to be learned.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    924

    Default Re: Pollen to the Hive

    What about a hive that brings in very little to none and sister hive bringing in lots?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,709

    Default Re: Pollen to the Hive

    Warrants looking into to see why and if something needs to be fixed. Don't know what your weather is, but I've seen where a lower populated hive is slow to get up and go till temps are such they can spare the foragers from keeping brood warm. JMO

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