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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Hartford County, Connecticut
    Posts
    55

    Default How to know if they are getting enough pollen?

    Howdy all.

    Both of my hives are still draining the top feeders in 2-3 days, but that isn't a major concern as they are both brand new hives. What I'm concerned about is if they have been living so much on the feeders, how can I tell if they are getting enough pollen? Also, I want to make sure we have enough food sources in the area that they can survive without the feeders next season. We have had an incredibly rainy spring/summer so I am chalking a lot of it up to that but still, I am concerned they won't be able to survive without the feeders next year. Should I just throw some pollen patties in there? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    1,067

    Default Re: How to know if they are getting enough pollen?

    I wouldn't unless you don't see any at all, check them, there is usually a frame or two on either side of the brood nest that is a mostly mixed frame of pollen nectar. Pollen doesn't seem to be a problem in a dearth, it's the nectar that dries up. I'm sure you will have some sort of fall flow and that should be enough to get them through winter, Check on a warm day early spring and if they have none to little, put a pollen patty on at that time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Bloomfield,KY
    Posts
    279

    Default Re: How to know if they are getting enough pollen?

    Pollen patty at this time of year is an invitation for Small Hive Beetle here in KY. If the bees are bringing in natural pollen most times they won't touch the patty anyway.
    "Of all God's creatures, only the honeybee improves its environment and preys on no other species."--Haydon Brown

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Accomac, Virginia
    Posts
    189

    Default Re: How to know if they are getting enough pollen?

    (What I'm concerned about is if they have been living so much on the feeders, how can I tell if they are getting enough pollen?)

    Keep an eye on the them as they come into the landing board or entrance. Most days I'd est. my 40% have pollen baskets filled and the others usually have some. If they are going in too fast for you to see, take your camera and get some pics, take a bunch and you'll may be surprised how much comes in. Obvious you can open up and pull frames for confirmation. I'd rather look as they come in. Less disturbance. Sometimes it takes a day or so after periods of rain to see them gathering again. And you've had some rain up that area.

    I'd skip the patty till later. SHBs love em.
    Ed

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Accomac, Virginia
    Posts
    189

    Default Re: How to know if they are getting enough pollen?

    Also you can place some pollen feeders in the area if you can get the pollen from a supplier.
    Ed

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    1,270

    Default Re: How to know if they are getting enough pollen?

    If there is a pollen shortage the colony will eject the drones and will reduce drone brood laying. Visually checking incomming bees for pollen will tell you if pollen is available.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Marlow, Oklahoma
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: How to know if they are getting enough pollen?

    yep, you can't miss the girls bringing in this....

    Quote Originally Posted by AR Beekeeper View Post
    If there is a pollen shortage the colony will eject the drones and will reduce drone brood laying. Visually checking incomming bees for pollen will tell you if pollen is available.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Pittsfield, MA
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: How to know if they are getting enough pollen?

    What plant is that?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Meriden, CT
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: How to know if they are getting enough pollen?

    looks like sumac

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,375

    Default Re: How to know if they are getting enough pollen?

    Open the broodnest and look. There should be a pollen comb located at the edge of the brood pattern next to the last frame of brood, and/or there should be pollen in cells around and above a comb of unsealed brood.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Marlow, Oklahoma
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: How to know if they are getting enough pollen?

    Quote Originally Posted by mppatriots View Post
    What plant is that?
    Yep, winged sumac
    Sand Plum Honey Farm

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