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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Fremont, Colorado, USA
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    6

    Default Bees throwing pollen out of the hive?

    Yesterday I noticed little yellow balls on the ground in front of one of my hives. I squished one of the balls between my fingers and i was mostly powdery. It looks like pollen. Today there are alot of the little balls in front of both of my hives. It looks like the pollen that the foragers are bringing in, but it also looks like the bees are actively throwing the pollen out of the hives. They look very intent on throwing the pollen out. Why would the bees do this? Is this something to be concerned about?

    Thanks,
    Shellie

    2012_09_20_0209.jpg2012_09_20_0211.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Novato, CA
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    554

    Default Re: Bees throwing pollen out of the hive?

    I am curious about this too and hope you get some replies...

    Have you been in the hive to see what you can see?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Fremont, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Bees throwing pollen out of the hive?

    I plan to open the hives this weekend. I will report what I find.

    Shellie

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Novato, CA
    Posts
    554

    Default Re: Bees throwing pollen out of the hive?

    Oh good. I'm thinking the pollen may be contaminated, have fungus or something like that. You may want to take note of what pollen is still in there and where it is in relation to the brood nest...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,064

    Default Re: Bees throwing pollen out of the hive?

    I've read about poisonous plants...They surely have pollen...I wonder if the bees have rejected the pollen for cause? Someone will chime in to illuminate us all soon.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    825

    Default Re: Bees throwing pollen out of the hive?

    Could it be trying to make room for the last round of winter brood and rather chuck pollen than nectar or honey?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    1,274

    Default Re: Bees throwing pollen out of the hive?

    Bees are not perfect, they sometimes drop pollen when they are placing it in cells. When they drop it, instead of picking it up and returning to the pollen cells, the house bees take it out as trash. This action is common when much pollen is comming in.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Liberty, Ms.
    Posts
    139

    Default Re: Bees throwing pollen out of the hive?

    I agree with AR. I have noticed a lot of pollen in the oil trays under the SBB's. Its just what gets knocked off the bees legs or what falls out of the comb.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Fremont, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Bees throwing pollen out of the hive?

    The bees have been very busy chucking "pollen" today. There is quite a pile of it. There are not as many foragers bringing it in now. I did see foragers bringing lighter pollen. I waned to add some more pictures.
    2012_09_21_0238-2.jpg2012_09_21_0219-2.jpg2012_09_21_0223-2.jpg2012_09_21_0227-2.jpg2012_09_21_0231-2.jpg

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,492

    Default Re: Bees throwing pollen out of the hive?

    Remove the screen, it's knocking the pollen off their legs as they attempt to get in the blocked entrance.

    I left the top cover lifted up a bit on my hivetop feeder and ended up with that same ragweed pollen in the bottom, the bees were getting in and couldn't get through the screen and dropped the pollen trying.

    Peter

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,297

    Default Re: Bees throwing pollen out of the hive?

    I concur with Peter, you need to get that screen off of the entrance or your hive might end up being short on pollen stores going into winter.
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Wright, MN, USA
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Bees throwing pollen out of the hive?

    You made an impromptu pollen trap with that screen. It doesn't really hurt any thing, the bees will just work a little harder at collecting pollen.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,142

    Default Re: Bees throwing pollen out of the hive?

    I think it's more likely that it is contaminated with fungicide and it won't ferment. It's supposed to ferment to make bee bread.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,297

    Default Re: Bees throwing pollen out of the hive?

    Michael, I considered the possibility of contaminated pollen as well but with the amount of wire mesh that was in front of the entrance that the bees had to traverse over it seemed more likely that the pollen was being pulled off by the wire as the bees made their way to the entrance. Contamination is always a possibility however and it would be a good idea for Shellie to keep it in mind.
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,339

    Default Re: Bees throwing pollen out of the hive?

    I vote for wire stripping. If you look closely at the pellets, you will see that they are streamlined by airflow in flight. Shaped like a cyclist helmet. If packed in a cell, pollen loses that shape. So, not rejected internal to the hive.

    Note that normal loss on the landing board is often retrieved for use inside - sometimes overnight. That lodged in the wire might give the bees some problem with retrieval.

    Walt
    Opinion is my worst enemy.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Fremont, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Bees throwing pollen out of the hive?

    The bees were throwing pollen out of the hive before the wire was put on. Also, The pollen is on the ground before it would get brushed by the wire. I will say, that there is some pollen that is getting brushed off by the wire, however, that pollen is on the landing board, underneath the wire.

    Micheal, If the pollen is contaminated, will that affect the bees? I have been considering moving them. Maybe now is the time?

    I put the wire on the hives as a mouse guard.

    Thank you!
    Shellie

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Fremont, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Bees throwing pollen out of the hive?

    My husband just reminded me that during our observatation (after I posted this), we both saw a bee throwing pollen out.

    Thanks!

    Shellie

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,858

    Default Re: Bees throwing pollen out of the hive?

    Sometimes pollen falls out of the frames when you're going through them, especially the new stuff. We're probably never know why, they don't like it for whatever reason. Maybe the pollen was old.

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