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Bees not bringing in pollen

1776 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Phoebee
Hi all,
I've noticed that the bees are not bringing in much pollen. They've also stopped drinking the syrup. We have two deeps on a hive started in a suburban area with plenty of flowers the end of April. The bottom deep is 80% drawn and the top is 60%. The top is heavy with lots of capped honey and a bit of capped brood. The bottom has layers of honey, pollen and capped brood at the bottom with open cells from emerged bee above. Couldn't see eggs or larva (though we aren't great at seeing eggs). There were no queen cells. I've noticed a few drones flying where there weren't any before and a few capped drone cells on inspection. We've never spotted the queen, just seen evidence.

Could this just be a slow down on the laying because of the heat? Also disinterest in syrup because of nectar available? Should I put in a pollen patty or just accept that the bees know how much to collect in relation to the queen laying?

Thanks for any advice from the pros! :)
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They gather pollen when they need it. If they have plenty stored they will cut back on the intake. Most hives are not very interested in syrup if nectar is available.

Generally they know what their doing.
If you are still feeding they are probably about to swarm... I would keep looking for queen cells and backfilling of the brood nest.
We've hit a nectar dearth here. I just picked up a new nuc last Thursday and the inspector said it needed feeding. All three of my hives are now back on syrup and taking it eagerly. They continue to work crown vetch but that's about the only thing blooming in abundance for us at the moment.

One of the hives made supercedure cells recently (the queen was alive but apparently failing) and is making a new queen (I hope). We've noticed that the foragers from that hive are not bringing in pollen at all. Another hive still has a productive queen IS bringing in some pollen, although not like the first few weeks. I asked my bee supplier about this just today and he says that's normal. He does not even carry pollen patties this time of year, and said not to worry, there is pollen out there if they want it.

BTW, other than the hive with the failed queen, we've seen only a couple of empty queen cups. They have plenty of room. Our return to feeding was based on inspections showing they still needed to draw comb and their stores appeared sparse, reinforced by the opinion of the state bee inspector, and then again today by our bee supply guy. The bees got the final vote ... they were eager for syrup.
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