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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some of my hives consistently overpack the bottom box with pollen. Since they do this in spring and fall, there will always be an excess, and so there's no need to give them back the pollen frames if I remove them. I've looked for suggestions on ways to remove the pollen so I don't have to waste perfectly good comb. Have had no luck so far: freezing them and soaking in water were both suggested but neither work for me. I'm going to try laying one on an anthill to see if the ants would clean out the pollen. Other beekeepers do not want my bees' pollen as it could be a vector for disease.

I don't want to invest in pollen traps as they're expensive. I have seen the suggestion that excess pollen is a sign of a failing queen. I've been told that I'm giving the bees too much brood box space. But I think they'd continue to bring pollen in even if they had less space, and just clog the hive that much faster.

I'm open to any suggestions. Both as to how to manage the hives to prevent this problem, and also how to get the pollen out of the cells so the frames can be reused.

Thanks, Karen in Cincinnati
 

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5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
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Some of my hives consistently overpack the bottom box with pollen. Since they do this in spring and fall, there will always be an excess, and so there's no need to give them back the pollen frames if I remove them. I've looked for suggestions on ways to remove the pollen so I don't have to waste perfectly good comb. Have had no luck so far: freezing them and soaking in water were both suggested but neither work for me. I'm going to try laying one on an anthill to see if the ants would clean out the pollen. Other beekeepers do not want my bees' pollen as it could be a vector for disease.

I don't want to invest in pollen traps as they're expensive. I have seen the suggestion that excess pollen is a sign of a failing queen. I've been told that I'm giving the bees too much brood box space. But I think they'd continue to bring pollen in even if they had less space, and just clog the hive that much faster.

I'm open to any suggestions. Both as to how to manage the hives to prevent this problem, and also how to get the pollen out of the cells so the frames can be reused.

Thanks, Karen in Cincinnati
Hi Karen, the bees will have pollen in the bottom just because they do, they keep excess in case of later need. One can use these for stores in splits, you could try to put a frame in the middle of a brood nest to see if they remove it. Sometimes I place a pollen loaded frame in a super. the bees will fill with honey and cap, I then eat it, it is an acquired taste, I will admit. BTW IMO the pollen trap will not help, bees tend to send more pollen foragers to overcome the loss to the trap. then when you remove the trap it really builds up. The bees use lower areas as cluster space, unload space, etc. You could just leave the combs loaded with pollen down there in the first and last 3 frames on the edges of the bottom box in a 2 box configuration. I feel your pain I have a couple dozen of these as well.
GG
 

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I have some colonies that are also prone to getting frames pollenbound. When I'm starting a nuc, I'll pull frames from those hives to give to the nuc so that there's no limitation on immediately available nourishment. Depending on the flow, I'll either put in a frame of foundation or a drawn comb. Easier, cheaper, and better than a protein patty. I haven't done it (no freezer space), but I've thought about saving those frames and putting them into hives at the edge of the cluster for helping the buildup.

The tendency to pack in the pollen is genetically determined, and requeening with a queen that came from a hive less prone to this activity will almost certainly change the tendency to become pollenbound.
 

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Over time,bee bread loses its viability and the bees prefer fresh pollen if it's available.
I also live in an area with an over abundance of fall pollen so I cull full frames of old pollen in the spring after maple bloom.There is no way to salvage the comb
Scrape plastic foundation (a PIA) or cut out the wax.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the feedback. Today I found that bees were packing in nectar on top of beebread in one hive. There must've been 10 frames full of pollen,and it was in frames that had just been used for brood, as the final few capped brood were just chewing through the wax to emerge from their cells. I am hoping that maybe one of the larger beekeeping operations might want to trade some drawn comb for frames of pollen to help get their nucs going.
 
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