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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bees have been bringing in massive amounts of pollen this year. Normally I leave things alone and let the bees sort it out. But 6-7 frames of pollen (full combs) plus the normal arc you would normally see on any given frame seems excessive. How do you handle such high volume of pollen? Un-bind such colonies? Even if I pulled 4 frames from every colony I would have over 100 frames of pollen. Not sure how I could store so much w/o it getting mouldy and drawing ants ,wax moths, and my favorite bears. Anyways like to hear some advice?
 

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6a 4th yr 7 colonies inc. resource hive
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3rd year 6a- You're on to the solution. I would remove (and have) pollen frames and set them aside for my inventory. Not sure if there's any real way of extracting it in a way that doesn't destroy the comb.
 

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I've heard of pollen traps. Could you:

Install a pollen trap on the hive.
Remove the frames bound in pollen.
Place the frames out in the yard.
Let the bees clear the frames to bring the pollen back to the hive.
Collect the pollen in the trap.
Store the pollen in the freezer for future use.

At $80 a piece its not cheap, so I doubt it is worth it if you have more than a couple of hives.
 

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5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
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Bees have been bringing in massive amounts of pollen this year. Normally I leave things alone and let the bees sort it out. But 6-7 frames of pollen (full combs) plus the normal arc you would normally see on any given frame seems excessive. How do you handle such high volume of pollen? Un-bind such colonies? Even if I pulled 4 frames from every colony I would have over 100 frames of pollen. Not sure how I could store so much w/o it getting mouldy and drawing ants ,wax moths, and my favorite bears. Anyways like to hear some advice?
Clayton,
I have a similar problem, seems to somewhat over time build up.
Rather than toss them, I am placing them in the bottom Deep of a 3 deep hive that seems to have lots of bees, for cluster space.
I do eat a couple a year but cannot catch up.

I have seen a couple places in Europe that offer a harvester https://www.latiendadelapicultor.com/en/bee-bread-extraction/bee-bread-harvester.html
one From Wilrara
Basically remove wires, freeze, run thru the chipper and you have the bee bread. Mostly used for human consumption.
It does destroy the comb, and needs to be honey free.

GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Rather than toss them, I am placing them in the bottom Deep of a 3 deep hive that seems to have lots of bees, for cluster space.
I do eat a couple a year but cannot catch up.
GG, That seems like a good approach. Tossing isn't something I would do as its good pollen.

I do eat a couple a year but cannot catch up.
I'm not much into pollen consumption. I tolerate a few plugs that end up in cut comb or sections but thats were I draw the line. I've crossed single deep management off my list this year. Was going to go back to running doubles. Now looks like triples it is. I've come full circle and back where I started.
 

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5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
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I have also been playing with NUCs and Splits more,, a frame of "stores" is a good thing for a split with few field bees.
But not the number you have.
We need a market for bee bread, that would help resolve this.

I like a good pollen frame put up in a super then filled with honey to get a 1/2 and 1/2 mix.

GG
 

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6a 4th yr 7 colonies inc. resource hive
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PS- one last idea. In spring I moved the top medium below the deep brood box to create a pollen box. It gives them an offloading box at the entrance. It came from reading Walt Wright and Enjambres posts that favored the idea of following what the bees want to do- pollen below the brood, brood in the deep, then honey overhead. It also gives them hanging out space and less wind in the brood chamber. Also removed QE's. Really enjoy the config.

Won't solve your whole problem but gets you partly there.
 

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PS- one last idea. In spring I moved the top medium below the deep brood box to create a pollen box. It gives them an offloading box at the entrance. It came from reading Walt Wright and Enjambres posts that favored the idea of following what the bees want to do- pollen below the brood, brood in the deep, then honey overhead. It also gives them hanging out space and less wind in the brood chamber. Also removed QE's. Really enjoy the config.

Won't solve your whole problem but gets you partly there.
:) I do the same medium, deep, medium
Also allows to move up frames to get building out started in the spring as I super with medium as well.
Or extract some of the mediums, and center them for more comb space.

Did try last winter to put the box on the bottom as deep box with medium frames, it worked good as well, lifted the bees up 3 inches to a warmer space, and does not have the bottoms of the frames moulding from dead bees.

yes be care fully box swapping as the pollen moved to the top stays and the bottom then gets filled with pollen.

GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hmmmm. I don't use mediums at all. Deeps only. I also have a little over 100 shallow supers I use for cut comb. So when I say triple deep colonies I mean a man's size hive ;)
 

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Are those pollen frames "normal" or "sealed off"? One of our club members noticed that bees store pollen and immediately glaze it over with propolis or something hard, in other words they do not ever go back to consuming it. He suspected it was "contaminated" pollen that bees brought in, but can't use. He has to remove multiple frames from each hive, just like you described. I have not seen it myself- never had more than one full dedicated frame of pollen in the strong hives, most of the time it is mixed with honey/brood as it should be.
 

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I have had that type of pollen; in 2016 when AFB was in my apiary the NYS Inspector told me that. He pointed out a bee bread frame, that same “sealing” of the bee bread, that they won’t use it for whatever reason. It looked glossy and the whole frame was a uniform propolis color.
 

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Hmmmm. I don't use mediums at all. Deeps only. I also have a little over 100 shallow supers I use for cut comb. So when I say triple deep colonies I mean a man's size hive ;)
:thumbsup: only way to go, as I get older I did switch down to 2 deeps and a med. :applause: only time I have had pollen bound hives is when they have either swarmed or poor queens
 

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Rotate the pollen frames up into a super. Run them thru the extractor and store in a cool damp area (like a cave) until Spring. In Spring the pollen will fall out or the bees will remove it.

Crazy Roland
 

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Too much pollen is a classy problem. However, Too much pollen in drawn comb where you want/need brood, not so much. If possible, I would freeze it and give some back to them next spring (by placing frames back in where needed). You could dramatically ramp up if Feb. I've never seen anything that would remove it from the comb.

As far as the bees bringing it back in if left outside, I think it would have to be a time when it is warm enough for them to gather, and there is zero pollen anywhere else. i.e. Jan-Feb I have seen yellow jackets work stored pollen hard, but after sugar sources are gone from outdoor cleanup, the honey bees were no longer interested. This is based on very limited experience. The link below is an example where I had placed some extra supers on a small hive for quick storage (or some such nonsense) and left them too much comb to guard. By the time I got back, wax moths and other pestilence had taken over. Notice second frame is almost exclusively yellow jackets. Hope this helps.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BoU6ovzHueQ/
 

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....The link below is an example where I had placed some extra supers on a small hive for quick storage (or some such nonsense) and left them too much comb to guard. By the time I got back, wax moths and other pestilence had taken over. Notice second frame is almost exclusively yellow jackets. Hope this helps.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BoU6ovzHueQ/
Those frames in the video, I'd store intact exactly as-is for the next season's spring projects.
They are much more valuable in early spring with honey and bee bread (nicely packaged together) than being robbed and pest infested as depicted (which is, basically, a waste). Such frames are ideal for nucs/splits - people are paying money for such frames.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It would be cheaper to toss it then for me to freeze it, too many combs. My personal thought is that the bees could protect it and keep better then I could ever store it. Thus going back to triple deep setup as I had run for years and putting pollen combs in the bottom box makes the most sense to me. I was hoping to go to double deep config for my backs sack but in the end I'll follow what my bees need. deep for honey, deep and a half for brood, 1/2 deep for pollen. Looking like Tim Ives methods for the win.
 

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Clayton, I "build up" my targets for next springs "splitting" Via the 3rd box, Nadired, 3-5 pollen frames are often added, with what comes back in from the decoys, Aug 1 time frame.
They are strong in the spring and each split gets a pollen frame with bees at the first or last position, I do not like to put brood against the wall in a split.
Have yet to find a way to "empty " pollen from them.
I split a 30 frame hive this spring 6 ways, appx dandelion bloom, timeframe.

GG
 

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Heresy alert: I’ve let SHB maggots have them. Not quite on purpose, but I had some frames full of pollen get maggots in them. I put them in a plastic tub and within a week the larvae had mined out all the pollen, leaving open comb behind. They dropped into the tub but couldn’t get out. I tossed them in a fire and took my now pollen free combs back to the bee yard (after freezing). Bees went right to work on them. Maybe not the best method, but hey, it worked.
 
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