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I noticed my bees bringing in what I thought was pollen. But its fall time here in Alaska, and we had several good freezes and nothing in bloom now.
I followed them to see what they are getting and, was surprised to see them collecting a orange mold on the underside of the Fireweed leaves. Not sure if there is any nutrition in it but they seam to think so.

Has anyone else ever seen bees bring in anything other than pollen. ?







BTW I have pollen patties on at the moment too,they are eating up.

 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Randy Oliver's response to the same question on Bee-L.

What is the nutrition of Pucciniastrum epilobii (Fireweed Rust) or rust
> spores in general vs pollen?


The "fried eggs" that Dr. Eric Mussen and I observed in bee guts during the
CCD epidemic turned out to be *Uromyces* rust spores (search "fried eggs"
at my website).
In my area, such spores can constitute 100% of the beebread in late
summer. Colonies quickly go downhill on that diet.
When this happens, we feed 2.5 lbs of high-quality pollen sub per hive
every 10 days, which immediately turns the colonies around, and gets them
into good condition for winter.


--
Randy Oliver
Grass Valley, CA
 

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I have noticed that very orange-red "pollen" early and late in the year.

Having read about this on scientificbeekeeping.com, If I see a lot of it, I will probably feed pollen sub. So far, it has not been a dominant food source for my bees.

Is there any other pollen source that color? Most is various shades of gray to yellow to light orange. Except Siberian Squill, which is dark blue.
 

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I've just been reading Paul Stamets book 'Mycelium Running', on page 5 he talks about Oxalic acid and Calcium oxalate being formed by many fungi.
This made me sit up and re- read because a few days earlier, someone had posted on facebook about seeing bees collecting from mushrooms. They wondered why and what other types they foraged on.

To quote.
"Oxalic acid and calcium oxalate.
Oxalic acid crystals are formed by the myclia of many fungi.
Oxalic acid mineralizes rock by combining with calcium and many other minerals to form oxalates, in this case calcium oxalate. Calcium oxalate sequesters two carbon dioxide molecules.
Carbon-rich mushroom myclia unfold into complex food web, crumbling rocks as they grow, creating dynamic soils that support diverse populations of organisms......."

Fascinating stuff!
 
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