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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few weeks ago I cleaned out the hives that didn't make it through the winter. I noticed that there are quite a few frames that are packed full of pollen and some frames are scattered with pollen filling about 50-60% of both sides of frames. As I am getting the hive bodies ready for this years packages, what do you think I should do with these frames of heavy pollen filled frames? I am afraid that all of this pollen is what caused the fail of the colonies(it really limited egg laying and honey storing area).Thanks, juzzer

??Reuse the pollen filled frames somehow or place frames of new foundation in the hive for them to draw out, or other?????
 

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If it limited laying and honey storage why didn't you add more boxes/frames, or was this the lesson learned? I would you reuse them thoroughout the new boxes 50/ 50 (new foundation), every other one, but any combination would be better than all foundation. I would use every other one because I am foundationless, and it insures the comb gets drawn straight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If it limited laying and honey storage why didn't you add more boxes/frames, or was this the lesson learned?
Late in the season didn't seem like a good time to remove frames of pollen with some honey stored and replace them with undrawn frames of foundation. Plus, this happened in the hive bodies and I didn't think removing frames with eggs in them was a kind thing to do to my bees. juzzer
 

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Use that pollen in your new colonies and the bees will pull it out if it is no good. Bees normally cover almost all the stored pollen with capped honey if they have resources and time. Only very occaisionally does a colony go haywire and seem to plug everything full of pollen. I always just said COOL! and swapped honey frames for some of it and used it on other colonies. You do not have too much pollen! Your new bees will know exactly what to do with it.
 

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Second what VanceG said. If they need the space and the pollen is bad they will clean it out, if it is good they use it. They tend to store pollen near the entrance - so usually the bottom box - if you want them to do something else with it put the frames farther from the entrance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Whew... those responses are what I was hoping for, GOOD NEWS once! The reason I needed to ask was that I had heard from a few that bees don't move pollen, they will just store and consume it.:scratch:,which would REALLY limit laying space for my new packages and nucs that I am starting this Spring.

Should I alternate the pollen frames with new frames of my undrawn plastic foundation when I restart the hives with my new packages, like what was previously posted?

Also, any other suggestions of where the "pollen frames" should be best used?(I will be using 3 supers for a hive body as well as 2 deeps for another hive). I have "pollen frames" from super bodies and deep hive bodies. Thanks in advance, juzzer
 

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I would not alternate undrawn frames on any kind especially plastic with open combs. Don't confuse it with checkerboarding which is done with previously drawn empty comb like your pollen frames. The only time I plug in a foundation frame is one at a time in the brood nest between frames full of brood. I have had bees extend the honey rim around a frame of brood clear down to be space over the foundation so I want complete frames of brood if I can find them. I trim my plastic frames to 1 1/4" and stuff 11 frames in a box and get the best comb that way.
 

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Again Vance is right on the money. People often talk on here about alternating new frames with built out frames and it is almost always a bad idea.

If for any reason you are arranging frames of resources in a hive (making up splits or nucs for example) put the brood frames in the middle, with frames of stores outboard of the brood, empty comb outside of that, then partially drawn frames (most complete side facing in) and then bare foundation on the very outside. It's ok of course to put a frame of empty drawn comb between the brood and stores (on only one side if it might get cold) to give them room to expand either brood or stores if they need to.

There are times of course when you might want to move those outside frames in to get them worked on, but this arrangement will make it most like the bees would arrange it.

If you scramble everything up with alternating foundation or something you make it much harder for them to go about their business and it will just set them back because of the extra work it will cause.
 

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Again Vance is right on the money. People often talk on here about alternating new frames with built out frames and it is almost always a bad idea.

If for any reason you are arranging frames of resources in a hive (making up splits or nucs for example) put the brood frames in the middle, with frames of stores outboard of the brood, empty comb outside of that, then partially drawn frames (most complete side facing in) and then bare foundation on the very outside. It's ok of course to put a frame of empty drawn comb between the brood and stores (on only one side if it might get cold) to give them room to expand either brood or stores if they need to.

There are times of course when you might want to move those outside frames in to get them worked on, but this arrangement will make it most like the bees would arrange it.

If you scramble everything up with alternating foundation or something you make it much harder for them to go about their business and it will just set them back because of the extra work it will cause.
:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I feel like I still have a dilemma. I took a closer look at some of these pollen frames to assess what might be best to do. ALL of the frames, 40 total, have been drawn out(very nicely). I would say 12 of the frames have about 50-60% of the frames with stored pollen in them. About 12 frames have 25-40% pollen stored in them. The pollen in these 24 frames have the pollen stored in one large area/cluster all next to each other. Then there are a few frames(10??) that have 20% of the cells filled with pollen in a scattered type of pattern.

Previously, I was going to put a few of the frames(3-4) in the new hives(at the same time) and let the bees enjoy it. Over the weekend I talked with a few locals and they thought that the bees only,"might" consume the pollen and making room for laying would be questionable. I value everyone's comment and suggestion greatly but I am still not sure what the best answer is since I have all of these frames of nicely drawn comb. I would really think that there is a better answer than just having to throw out drawn out frames just because there is a lot of pollen. Vance(and others with the similar thinking, if I have shed any other light on my issue that you could use to best direct me of what I can more specifically do now, I would really appreciate your thoughts.(Like how many pollen frames I should/can put in the hive at a time and where in relation to the other empty drawn out frames). Thanks and sorry for the long post, juzzer
 

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I think, you are thinking too hard about this.

You have some drawn comb, which is awesome.
It has pollen in it, again...awesome.
You have new bees coming, sweet.

I would place a few (4) frames of drawn but mostly empty comb in the middle of the box, then slap a frame of heavy pollen on each side of that. then you can add some undrawn frames to the outsides so the package bees have someplace to put their wax.

once you add the second box back on, you can again add some drawn comb in the middle and the rest of the pollen frames till the box is full.

I'm no expert. But bees do what bees do. You have good resources there. Don't fret about EXACT placement. As long as it's INSIDE the hive!

How many hives are you starting, and how many deeps are you using for the broodnest? (single or double deep?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I agree, I sure am thinking to hard, sometimes this hobby I have to tell myself to try it and "just see what happens." I am starting up 2 hives using supers(10 frames, 3 boxes) for hive bodies and then later I will start up 2 more with nucs in deep hive bodies(10 frames in 2 boxes). Your set up sounds like what I will end up doing. I am just a bit frustrated that I have so many frames with so much pollen in them I just want to put everything to good use. Thanks again, for everyones suggestions. juzzer
 
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