Bees bringing in lots of pollen (?); what plant(s) could it be?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    carney, maryland, USA
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    Default Bees bringing in lots of pollen (?); what plant(s) could it be?

    Today I was shocked to see the bees carrying in a lot of tan-colored material. Maples do not start blooming here until 2nd or 3rd week in March.

    Does anyone have an idea of what plant or tree this is from? I am just outside of Baltimore, MD.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Earlysville, Virginia USA
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    157

    Default Re: Bees bringing in lots of pollen (?); what plant(s) could it be?

    I believe maples kicked into gear yesterday outside of Charlottesville VA.....not to far south from you. My dry pollen sub feeder became very unpopular all of a sudden.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    5,007

    Default Re: Bees bringing in lots of pollen (?); what plant(s) could it be?

    Are you in a semi rural area? Tan coloted "pollen" is often chicken feed this time of year. I am not seeing anything plant based yet here in Richmond, although maples should be anytime time now.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  5. #4
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    Feb 2012
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    Earlysville, Virginia USA
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    157

    Default Re: Bees bringing in lots of pollen (?); what plant(s) could it be?

    Yes I am rural but I did see my neighbors maple buds popping open and the bees are flying hard on these warm days I saw Bright yellow and a greenish pollen. On saturday and Sunday the bees picked up over a gallon each day of ultra bee powder from my feeding tray.
    It was like a huge swarm ..the two qts I put out yesterday morning are still sitting with only a few dozen bees hovering around. I can't imagine chicken feed would make that change.

  6. #5
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    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: Bees bringing in lots of pollen (?); what plant(s) could it be?

    Ryan, I have not been home to see the bees bringing in pollen during the day. There was not much activity at my pollen feeder either so maybe something is out there already. Not seeing the normal.stuff, dandelions , henbit, etc. as of yet. But then, I am only looking at the weeds that grow in my yard.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    8,227

    Default Re: Bees bringing in lots of pollen (?); what plant(s) could it be?

    Does Witchazel grow in your area? The spring flowering variety blooms early

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    carney, maryland, USA
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    Default Re: Bees bringing in lots of pollen (?); what plant(s) could it be?

    Thank you all gentlemen for your feedback. I believe Mr. JW Palmer has the answer: CHICKENFEED

    My wife reminded me of a neighbor whose chickens we often see as we take walks in the neighborhood.

    We and our next door neighbor have silver and red maples; around the neighborhood there are a lot of each. The buds do not appear to be near open, even though the weather has been unusually warm.

    Thanks again for your comments.

    Phil

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Scottsville, VA
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    16

    Default Re: Bees bringing in lots of pollen (?); what plant(s) could it be?

    Maples are definitely budding and some blooms are happening in the Charlottesville area. We have also had reports of green pollen in Amherst County, VA. Should be an interesting swarm season!

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Hamilton, Alabama
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    Default Re: Bees bringing in lots of pollen (?); what plant(s) could it be?

    American Willow often blooms this early.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Warren County, NJ, USA
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    576

    Default Re: Bees bringing in lots of pollen (?); what plant(s) could it be?

    mine have been bringing pollen back the past two days. multiple locations, dont think its animal feed. if it was, you likely would have seen it on the other warm days the past 2 months. i have not seen anything in december or january. as MP said witchazel is likely around. looks like some elm on southern slopes are starting to bloom as well. this is a month early for me, and you are south yet. but nothing on the willows. skunk cabbage is an option also. how about henbit or spicebush?

  12. #11
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    Jan 2015
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    powhatan, virginia, usa
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    29

    Default Re: Bees bringing in lots of pollen (?); what plant(s) could it be?

    Outside Richmond, maple is blooming, even have an early plum with blossoms opening, bees are bringing in red, olive colored, yellow pollen on a pretty strong pace.

  13. #12
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    Feb 2012
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    Earlysville, Virginia USA
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    157

    Default Re: Bees bringing in lots of pollen (?); what plant(s) could it be?

    I just checked this morning and our witch hazel and pussy willow are blooming as well as red maples out in a feild but not in the forest. Albemarle county, Va

  14. #13
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    Apr 2015
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    Richmond, VA, USA
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    397

    Default Re: Bees bringing in lots of pollen (?); what plant(s) could it be?

    In Goochland County, 20 miles west of Richmond, my bees started ignoring the pollen feeder. No more yellow ghost bees. They are bringing in pale and bright yellow stuff from somewhere.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Warren County, NJ, USA
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    Default Re: Bees bringing in lots of pollen (?); what plant(s) could it be?

    you guys in VA: how early is this pollen for you than typical?

  16. #15
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    Apr 2015
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    Richmond, VA, USA
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    Default Re: Bees bringing in lots of pollen (?); what plant(s) could it be?

    Quote Originally Posted by COAL REAPER View Post
    you guys in VA: how early is this pollen for you than typical?
    My guess is we are two weeks early. I'll have to check my records later. I haven't seen any of the obvious signs like maples yet.

  17. #16
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    Jan 2005
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    Hamilton, Alabama
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    Default Re: Bees bringing in lots of pollen (?); what plant(s) could it be?

    30 years ago, I expected first pollen about February 15th. Over the last 10 years, that has moved back to January 25th. Any way you slice it, we are about 3 weeks earlier with the season. Funny thing is that the main flow has not changed significantly. It still starts about April 20th and lasts 3 to 6 weeks depending on rainfall and weather conditions.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  18. #17
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    Jan 2015
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    powhatan, virginia, usa
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    Default Re: Bees bringing in lots of pollen (?); what plant(s) could it be?

    Quote Originally Posted by COAL REAPER View Post
    you guys in VA: how early is this pollen for you than typical?
    Yeah 2 weeks early. Maples alway seem to bloom week after valentines. Can not recall thinking about a plum tree bloom this early.

  19. #18
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    Jan 2003
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    Suffolk, VA
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    4,228

    Default Re: Bees bringing in lots of pollen (?); what plant(s) could it be?

    Quote Originally Posted by COAL REAPER View Post
    you guys in VA: how early is this pollen for you than typical?
    I've kept records for many years, and it is not too unusual to see maples in early January. I recall notes as early as January 8th. Note that this in not widespread blooming, but in key locations maple usually kicks off before the beginning of February. I'm in the Hampton Roads area, so we're a bit more moderate than those further west. This year it was early January.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Blacksburg, VA
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    672

    Default Re: Bees bringing in lots of pollen (?); what plant(s) could it be?

    The bees find the flowers before we see them. I've seen maple pollen and bloom anytime from late Feb to mid March depending on the year. It's been very mild in the mid Atlantic region this year, so this year they're early. They've been bringing in small amounts on every mild day for the last week or two. We're south of you, but at about 2,000 ft elevation.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Waubun Minnesota USA
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    29

    Default Re: Bees bringing in lots of pollen (?); what plant(s) could it be?

    You guys must be talking funny. Pollen, bees, maples, posh. Its 20 below out there right now and windy. About 2.5 foot of snow on the ground. No bees in sight. Have a good day anyway. Im jealous.

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