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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was noticing the pine trees here in Central South Carolina are going to be releasing their pollen really soon. Being new at beekeeping...do our honey bees utilize pine pollen, too? Or are they very selective and shun pine pollen?

Thinking deeper...maybe answering my own question...pines may not be fertilized by bees, (pines are like corn...in that the wind blows the pollen and therefore fertilizes the nearby trees/plants??), so bees know to stay away from pines since there is no nectar...????
 

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I was noticing the pine trees here in Central South Carolina are going to be releasing their pollen really soon. Being new at beekeeping...do our honey bees utilize pine pollen, too? Or are they very selective and shun pine pollen?

Thinking deeper...maybe answering my own question...pines may not be fertilized by bees, (pines are like corn...in that the wind blows the pollen and therefore fertilizes the nearby trees/plants??), so bees know to stay away from pines since there is no nectar...????
Pine pollen, I don't think so but they sure love to harvest the sap and gum up the hive with it.
 

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Some plants/trees may produce an abundance of pollen, but the pollen may be of poor quality, whereas others may produce very little but high quality pollen.

Plants with relatively high crude protein values include canola (Brassica napus – 23%) and almond (Prunus dulcis – 26%), while plants with lower crude protein levels include raspberry/blackberry (Rubus spp. – 19%), willow (Salix spp. – 17%), sunflower (Helianthus annuus – 16%), and pine (Pinus spp. – 7%).

The minimum level of protein required for honey bees has been estimated to be between 20%-25% crude protein. Pollens with protein levels in this range are more useful to colonies and allow them to meet their protein requirements readily.

Pine trees produce copious amounts of protein-poor pollen but typically are not visited by honey bees for pollen.
The most common thing that bees use from pine trees is sap for propolis.

Additionally, plants that produce large amounts of nectar do not always also provide pollen for bees. When considering the nutritional requirements of honey bees, it is important to remember "variety, variety, variety". No single pollen meets all the nutritional needs of a colony so a variety of pollens from different plant sources will help ensure that these needs are met.
Just like humans, bees need well-rounded diets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you...that's very interesting! I did not realize, (or thought about), pollen having different food values depending on the plant. It makes a lot of sense, now. I will never look at pollen in the same light again...
 
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