Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Jamaica. W.I.
    Posts
    21

    Default Bee Myth or truth?

    I have always heard if your bees are carrying in pollen then a queen and or brood must be present. Is this a myth or a truth?

    The reason for this question is this post http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...d-I-be-worried. As you can see from the mentioned post the colony is filling cells with nectar like crazy. However I am seeing a bit of pollen on a few frames also, and the pollen seems to be wet i.e. mixed with honey or nectar. Therefore does this mean there is a queen present? I still haven't seen any eggs or any brood. I haven't added any brood to the colony as yet.

    I will monitor the colony for another two weeks before I add eggs/brood in an effort for them to draw out queen cells, then. The colony is also very strong with bees all over the frames in the brood chambers and the honey supers.

    The question is if your bees are carrying in pollen then a queen and or brood must be present. Is this a myth or a truth?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Algonquin, IL, USA
    Posts
    637

    Default Re: Bee Myth or truth?

    My guess is that you always have bee foraging for nectar and pollen, no matter what your queen situation is. HOWEVER, it has been proven that the number of foragers collecting pollen dramatically increases when brood is present.

    Whenever I see boat loads of pollen entering the hive, I always have a feeling that there must be a lot of brood present. . . . . you know the days . . . the days when it seems like every bee entering the hive is loaded down with pollen . . .

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    683

    Default Re: Bee Myth or truth?

    The amount of brood pheromone in the colony seems to determine how much pollen bees consume and collect as well as nectar.

    http://www.contech-inc.com/pdf/super...ic-Summary.pdf

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Alabaster, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    164

    Default Re: Bee Myth or truth?

    I had a hive waiting for a supercedure cell to hatch and mate. During this time only 1 in 50-60 bees was bringing in the pollen. after the new queen was laying it was 3 out of 8 or so bringing in the pollen.

    During the same period my other hives were in the 3 of 8 range for bringing in pollen. I think it's not just a myth.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,630

    Default Re: Bee Myth or truth?

    >I have always heard if your bees are carrying in pollen then a queen and or brood must be present. Is this a myth or a truth?

    Myth. I've seen colonies hauling pollen like there is no tomorrow that were hopelessly queenless. But there is a grain of truth in it. Brood pheromones do trigger more pollen gathering...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Washington, AR, USA
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: Bee Myth or truth?

    Mr. Bush,

    Do you think the "hopelessly queenless" hive that was "hauling pollen like this is no tomorrow" was doing so because laying workers were beginning to produce drone brood?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,447

    Default Re: Bee Myth or truth?

    Even when a hive is queenless / broodless, they continue to forage, albeit sometimes not as vigorously. If while collecting nectar, they get coated in pollen, what are they going to do, throw it away before they go back into the hive?

    Best I've been able to tell from watching bees at the entrance, the bees in a queenless hive are bringing in similar proportion of pollen to the queenright hive next door.

    There are a few myths around beekeeping, the "bees only collect pollen if they have a queen" is one of them. Since the internet has become widely used for information sharing it's helped dispel a few of the old myths, but it's also propogated a few new ones. Human psychology is an interesting thing.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    central mn
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: Bee Myth or truth?

    However I am seeing a bit of pollen on a few frames also, and the pollen seems to be wet i.e. mixed with honey or nectar.

    they do have pollen fall out of the leg sack's ,, the pollen they drop is moist ,,

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Lafollette,Tennessee,USA
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Bee Myth or truth?

    I have a booming hive right now that I know has a new virgin queen, and is broodless, or was four days ago, and they are flying like crazy. Almost none of the bees are bringing in pollen. I don't think it has so much to do with queenlessness, but lack of brood. Of course, like everything else in beekeeping, there are exceptions and variables, like weather and which way the smoke went up the holler at sunrise.
    Integrity - Doing the right thing when no one is watching.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,630

    Default Re: Bee Myth or truth?

    >Do you think the "hopelessly queenless" hive that was "hauling pollen like this is no tomorrow" was doing so because laying workers were beginning to produce drone brood?

    Perhaps, but they had clogged two ten frame deeps with pollen in the process...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Jamaica. W.I.
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Bee Myth or truth?

    Thanks everyone, another myth busted.

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads