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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a colony that has backfilled the broodnest with pollen. Should I take out all but 2 pollen frames to leave in the #2 & #9 spaces? How much do they really need if they have such a surplus. These are mediums, and the frames are completely full. I'll put the excess pollen frames to good use elsewhere.

Also, the queen is laying down nice patterns and bees are very gentle. Thinking though, is this pollen gathering a trait that should be "taken care of" and replaced with genes that collect more honey? Because that's what I am after.
 

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I would say a couple deep frames of pollen is normal, they go thru something like 100lbs/year. Perhaps leave the pollen where its at and move the capped honey to the outside and/or up and replace with foundation or empty drawn combs to open the brood nest. The brood nest should be 8-12 deep frames or so. A queen can't lay much more than that in a cycle.
 

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I think the same thing too that it might be genetic given the queens are from the almonds.
But again it might be whatever is blooming right now and not much nectar source available.
I run all meds. also. I got 6 frames full of pollen with very little nectar. Honey is what I want too. Maybe they are
busy raising broods to expand their colony now and might give me some honey in the Fall. Since they
are raising 3 frames of drone also I figured the pollen might benefit them later on when there is a dearth this summer.
Drones eat a lot too! No pollen, no bees = no honey in the Fall. We will see. Good for pollen trapping I think.
Have you notice they raise more drones than usual this year?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
All my queens are locally raised for the last two seasons. That said, they originally came from Oliverez Queens, and I am sure the Almonds have an influence ;)
I was wondering how this drought was going to affect the nectar flow. Eucalyptus was light except in one outyard. The early flow seemed good, but it seems things have tapered off for the time being. Hopefully these next two storms scheduled to make landfall will bring a few inches of the wet stuff.

I haven't noticed more drones this year, but there were drones a bit earlier in my opinion. I've had 2 hives swarm in mid March. That's a first for me.
 

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I leave all the pollen, they'll use it come fall. It sucks losing a box to pollen but it's not a waste, just give them more room and they'll use it up and it'll be a nice box to stick above the broodnest come spring.
 

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Thanks for giving me the opportunity to talk about the pollen "reserve." We conclude from observation that filling in the bottom of the broodnest during buildup, when pollen is plentiful, is a survival action that is completely ignored by most beeks. The pollen reserve is used in early fall to start broodnest expansion to rear young bees for wintering. The honeybee survival traits are based on life in the forest, and there is limited pollen available in the woods at that season timing. Will come back to this, later. Supper time.

Walt
 

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What if you put all these pollen frames in the freezer and feed them back in the Fall.
Give them more new frames to drawl more combs for more pollen. I am sure it is a survival
tactic to save up for rainy days just like saving up on the honey. Pollen trap will work for Fall patty.
If no flow then no star thistle honey the same as other drought areas thru out. No flowers,
no honey. As for which hive impacted the most depends on how industrious and resourceful are your bees.
 

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beepro,
Why would you want to remove, protect, and reinstall when the bees have put it where they want it? In the hollow tree, we conclude that consumption of the pollen reserve, in the fall, allows them to grow downward into the "core" broodnest at the bottom of the comb. Consumption of the pollen reserve is a normal progression of growing downward - much like the consumption of honey paves the way for upward growth in the spring. The consumption of the pollen (bee bread) is even done the same way - with an upside-down dome of penetration.

However, Lang hive design disrupts the colony natural instincts. The broodnest does not move to the bottom of the cavity/hive. The pollen box goes into winter empty of stores. The pollen is consumed, starting in Aug. and the cells are not used in the final stages of winter preps. We use the frames to checkerboard in the spring.

Our wintering configuation of single deep and the rest all shallows was deliberately selected to apply the preferences and instincts of the bees. To get the pollen reserve built during the buildup, a shallow of brood is moved below the deep basic broodnest. That shallow is reliably backfilled with pollen. The pollen reserve used in the fall improves wintering, noticably.

Walt
 

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I don't like moving boxes esp. the heavy deep boxes. So I have the langs frames horizontal box hive. Because they are filling the 6-8 frames too fast with pollen I figured to take some out for Fall build up. At the same time put more empty
frames to pull out more combs and fill them up with pollen again. If I don't put a stop to this filling then when the real flow start they will swarm for sure since no more room for them to grow. When the Fall come then they will be gathering more honey. I can keep on adding more boxes and empty frames though. Originally, I was thinking they would draw the new frames to increase brood combs but they filled up with pollen and nectar instead. That I cannot control. I had removed 8 frames out into 2 nucs already. But they still growing.
So if I take the pollen frames out and put new frames on they will have more room to gather more. This is what I am doing right now to have them gather more pollen while drawing out more new frames. The drone frames that they don't use now will have nectar and pollen on. I get more pollen frames and more natural combs this way. And we have moth larvae that like the pollen frames so much that I have to protect them. There will be a drought later this summer as predicted so the pollen frames will come in handy. If not then I have to buy more patty for them. So why waste more money when I can get them naturally for now. So far they had pulled out 5 new comb frames full of pollen on certain frames. The more I removed the more they built and gather the pollen. If I have more room I will leave everything alone for them. But I cannot check for swarm cells with so many langs hive stacked up. So far I have removed 3 queen cells already. Surely I don't want them to swarm. What else can I do to make more room for the queen to lay at the same time not have them swarm? Yes, inside a hollow tree and langs hives not the same. This is how I would manage mine for now. Welcome all improvement and suggestions.
 

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I've got a colony that has backfilled the broodnest with pollen. Should I take out all but 2 pollen frames to leave in the #2 & #9 spaces? How much do they really need if they have such a surplus. These are mediums, and the frames are completely full. I'll put the excess pollen frames to good use elsewhere.

Also, the queen is laying down nice patterns and bees are very gentle. Thinking though, is this pollen gathering a trait that should be "taken care of" and replaced with genes that collect more honey? Because that's what I am after.
Are you smarter than your bees? Maybe they know something. Should someone come to your house and question whether you need what can be found in your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry, how would you react?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Are you smarter than your bees? Maybe they know something. Should someone come to your house and question whether you need what can be found in your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry, how would you react?
Come on guy, keep it in the positive. That's why I am asking a question. I know it's still cold and crappy in NY, so I will try and send you some warm California love and energy your way.
 

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It seemed as though you were asking because you planned on doing something, remove the pollen that your bees had worked so hard to store for their own needs. Thus my reply to what you wrote. If you didn't mean what you wrote, how was I to know?

I am currently in SC, as are my bees. To quote another Northern Beekeeper, Michael Palmer, "Bees make better beekeepers than beekeepers make bee." I don't think you have any need to take frames of pollen out of your hives.

My bees, when it is warm enough for them to fly, are bringing in wonderful loads of pollen and some nectar too. They will do both to raise the brood and to store honey for the next winter. That's what bees do.
 

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So the answer is to leave everything alone for the bees to manage. Then the only way is to give them more
room (hive boxes and frames) to expand. Oh well, back to the drawing board again. They know what is needed
while the opportunity to collect is still open.
Since all my hives are doing the same thing collecting pollen I think it is not genetic but an environmental factor
at play in anticipation of this summer's dearth. Good idea that they are saving honey and pollen for the rainy days.
I'll leave them alone to collect more at the same time adding more hive gears for them. This correspond to my idea
that I had added 3 drawn out empty frames for them to expand today. At the same time they are drawing out new
frames as well.
 

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With pollen bees know what they are doing. When its time to expand the bees will use up that pollen very fast. Even though it looks like there might be no space to lay, it can change very quickly in a week or 2. I have seen hives with brood nests packed with pollen and two weeks later, almost ate all of it to change into brood.

With honey, its a different story. If you don't create enough room they may end up swarming.

Its good to have bees which collect a lot of pollen. Helps to produce good healthy bees and drones a healthy hive.
 

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Beetastic, my bees are building 3 drone frames that are all capped now. That's why they needed the excess pollen to feed them later on. Have you notice any drone larvae in your hives yet? Maybe they are preparing ahead of time like mine.

Yes, the hive dynamic can change with a week or 2. Having excess pollen frames are good for the time being. Once
they start making more broods this will become very useful. I will start feeding so they can use the excess pollen to make
more bees now. Thanks for the good tips.
 

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Come on guy, keep it in the positive. That's why I am asking a question.
Oh okay, sorry. Of course, remove all but two combs of pollen, place them in space 2 and 9 and requeen. I support your plan of action. Positive enough? :)
 

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I think everyone should remember the adage that "all bee keeping is local." For us bee keepers in the Tennessee valley (the worst place for allergy suffers in the nation) hives regularly become pollen bound. The problem here is that there is so much pollen, the bees just keep collecting it. I regularly remove frames of pollen from hives, with no visible ill effects. The hive remains strong. I know guys who trap pollen to sell, and they also have no problems with their bees having enough pollen. My question to the poster is: do you live in an area with lots of pollen? if the answer is yes, then removing a couple frames is not going to hurt a thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Oh okay, sorry. Of course, remove all but two combs of pollen, place them in space 2 and 9 and requeen. I support your plan of action. Positive enough?
Yes! ;) Sqkcrk, I know the old adage that if you ask 3 beeks a question, you'll get 4-5 answers. I am in line with the philosophy that my bees know more than me regarding hive management. Way more. But sometimes they do funny things, and we have the ability to make it right. I didn't know if this was one of those intersections. This being my 4th year keeping bees, there are still so many unknowns. I think I am doing a pretty good job managing 30 colonies, but sometimes I just can't hit that curve ball. Add to the fact that I don't have a mentor/teacher to guide me through perplexing situations, I come to Beesource for guidance. That's all :)

For the time being I will leave the colony and see what happens. Actually, I did move the brood nest to the bottom and the pollen up one position. I did that in the yard and then came home to post the question, so I have manipulated the order of things somewhat.

There are drones happening for sure. I've already had 2 hives swarm at another outyard in mid-March.
 
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