Will bees remove pollen from frames in honey super?
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  1. #1
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    Apr 2011
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    Greenbrae, CA, USA
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    Default Will bees remove pollen from frames in honey super?

    Hi - I just removed a medium super from a hive that had been used as part of the brood nest, so several of the frames are filled with pollen. If I put the super on a different hive as a honey super will the bees remove the pollen in these frames and refill with honey?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    richland center, wisconsin USA
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    Default Re: Will bees remove pollen from frames in honey super?

    if they want it for honey , nectar will be placed there.. but since the poilen is already there... lets move the queen up that way and presto new brood area....It could happen
    "Anytime you see someone more successful than you are, they are doing something you aren't."

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Will bees remove pollen from frames in honey super?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beeonefarms View Post
    if they want it for honey , nectar will be placed there.. but since the poilen is already there... lets move the queen up that way and presto new brood area....It could happen
    So perhaps I put a QE below it and see if they clean it out?

  5. #4
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    Jul 2013
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    Louisville, KY
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    Default Re: Will bees remove pollen from frames in honey super?

    why do you want the pollen removed. Hives store pollen just like they store honey. If you move the pollen to another hive with little pollen it is likely they will use it for brood, however you also robbed that hive of their pollen stores. The only time i move pollen is when trying to build up a hive or nuc.

    Generally pollen bread does not come out of the cell when extracting, some times it will come loose but rarely falls out. If it does fall out it remains a chunk and is caught by filter.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Will bees remove pollen from frames in honey super?

    I removed it from the other hive as it was excessive - I'd split the hive a while ago and it's population is way down as the new queen is getting going. There is plenty of other stores for it.

    Here's a thought - I have a recently caught swarm that has little or no stores... ho about I put the super on top of it with a QE below it? Presumably they could access the pollen but not build brood in the super.

    I know I could use it for brood but I usually use double deeps and want to try to stay with one pattern.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Dayton, OH
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    175

    Default Re: Will bees remove pollen from frames in honey super?

    I just dealt with this issue. I extracted some frames that had a little pollen in them. The pollen stayed put during extracting. The bees cleaned up everything when I put the wet frames back on the hive.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: Will bees remove pollen from frames in honey super?

    Bees won't clean out pollen from honey super frames just to put nectar in its place. The only way to get the pollen out is to let the bees use it for brood rearing. A frame with just a little pollen can still be used for honey storage, but if I ever get a frame with a third or more full of pollen on both sides, I don't use it in the honey supers anymore.

  9. #8
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    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: Will bees remove pollen from frames in honey super?

    It doesn't hurt the honey you extract from it at all, but it is a nuisance because hive beetles are much more likely to lay in it. Unfortunately the bees will not remove it just because you wish they would.

    BTW bees tend to store pollen just inside the entrance - so providing an extra entrance into honey supers results in more pollen being stored in them. A lot more.
    Since '09-75H-T-Z6b

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Frederick, MD
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    48

    Default Re: Will bees remove pollen from frames in honey super?

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    It doesn't hurt the honey you extract from it at all, but it is a nuisance because hive beetles are much more likely to lay in it. Unfortunately the bees will not remove it just because you wish they would.

    BTW bees tend to store pollen just inside the entrance - so providing an extra entrance into honey supers results in more pollen being stored in them. A lot more.
    I am in mid-MD. All 20 of my medium honey supers have a 3/4" hole drilled just below the hand hold. I am of the belief that the honey super entrance facilitates the coming and going of foragers and of the house bees quickly and efficiently placing the incoming nectar in the desired honey super location without having to travel all the way up from the main, lower entrance. This past year my experience is that I had zero cells containing pollen in my honey supers. I attribute this to the house been knowing that the proper place for incoming pollen is not in the honey area but down lower near the brood.

  11. #10
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    Dec 2008
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    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    Default Re: Will bees remove pollen from frames in honey super?

    Due to the possibility of pollen being contaminated with pesticides and causing problems later that are hard to pinpoint the cause, we do not try to use stored pollen.

    Most bees do not remove it when it is in a honey super.

    "Proper" super storage conditions results in the pollen turning to loose dust overwinter.

    Crazy Roland

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Colorado Springs, CO
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    848

    Default Re: Will bees remove pollen from frames in honey super?

    Off topic.
    Davemal, (Post #9), I am of the same opinion as you relative to bee-power efficiency. I drill a 3/4 " hole in the lower right hand corner, 2" up from the bottom and in line with the "seam" between frames 1 & 2, for efficient access of the returning foragers. I can temporarily plug any un-needed holes with a removable plastic plug. FYI, the "grid" in the photo is part of my electric bear fence.
    P1120641.jpg
    Cheers,
    Steve

  13. #12
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    Aug 2011
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    Clinton, Michigan, USA
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    437

    Default Re: Will bees remove pollen from frames in honey super?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    Due to the possibility of pollen being contaminated with pesticides and causing problems later that are hard to pinpoint the cause, we do not try to use stored pollen.

    Most bees do not remove it when it is in a honey super.

    "Proper" super storage conditions results in the pollen turning to loose dust overwinter.

    Crazy Roland
    What's my best option to get the pollen into loose dust overwinter? Normally if there happens to be excess in super (normally super that ended up with brood in it for whatever reason) I scrape it down and let them re-draw the super.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
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    Garden City S, NY
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    85

    Default

    I have medium three supers on my hive. The most recent one I put on a few weeks is right above the brood nest and queen excluder and to my surprise I see the bees are storing pollen on every frame. There’s barely any nectar. Each super has their entrance. The two supers above are all full of nectar but almost nothing in the third one. Just pollen. Why are they doing this?

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    Groesbeck, Texas USA
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    4

    Default Re: Will bees remove pollen from frames in honey super?

    Are you getting more honey from your hives that you provided a upper entrance directly into the honey supers?

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
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    Garden City S, NY
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by userfriendlytoo View Post
    Are you getting more honey from your hives that you provided a upper entrance directly into the honey supers?
    No idea. This is the first time doing it. I did it on the advise of the famous NYPD beekeeper, Tony Bees. His reasoning makes sense in that it saves the bees time. Not sure how much my bees are using them though. When ever I’m there I don’t see many bees using them but many say it does work. I guess there aren’t many, if any, downsides.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    Default Re: Will bees remove pollen from frames in honey super?

    The conditions in a cave seem to turn the pollen to dust.

    Setting back your supers by one bee space provides an upper entrance without the need for another piece of hardware.

    Crazy Roland

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Jacksonville Fl
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    16

    Default

    I tried this for the first time last year. My hives didn’t seem to have any issue removing it from the super.

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