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Here in N. Illinois it appears that our main flow is over and the goldenrod is just starting to pop. My bees are very active bringing in pollen into the hive. It seems every bee is loaded with what I believe is goldenrod pollen. Why would they be bringing in so much pollen with fall soon approaching? I thought that the pollen was primarily for the brood and the queen would soon be shutting down for the winter.

Thanks!
 

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I am not familiar with your area and with golden rod flows as we don't get those here. But, it could be they will store what they don't use now in the hive for overwintering, so there is a good in-hive pollen supply for brood rearing in the early spring.
 

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khaas15, you may be getting goldenrod pollen or it could be from a flower that looks like a dandelion blossom, but it's on a tall stalk (2-3 ft.) I was seeing alot of orangish-yellow pollen coming in over the last few weeks, even before the goldenrod was blooming. Maybe someone knows what the name of the flower is and can enlighten us. John
 

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We're in a similar situation here, khaas15. Every other bee seems to be bringing in bright yellow pollen. I don't think it's Goldenrod either, they don't seem to be touching the blooms yet. This is a fairly common trend here when we approach fall. They are packing it in for winter. You may find at the end of the season several frames which are completely packed with pollen. I usually find most of it in the bottom box. I assume they're storing it up for late winter brood build up, prior to temps allowing them to get out and work the early tree pollen.

I'm sure someone knows much more about why they do this, but anyway, it is a common occurrence.
 

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Bees stock pollen for the late winter buildup. They will start raising brood sometimes as early as January and almost always by February and will continue as long as the pollen lasts and usually it will last until the Maples bloom and it's warm enough to get some pollen.
 

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One of the mistakes we make is we assume that pollen does not keep well, and it actually doesn't, but the bees are using the pollen to make bee bread, a fermented product which does keep well. It's like the difference between cabbage and sauerkraut. Real sauerkraut. Or milk and yogurt. It's fermented, but by the right microbes.
 

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It's fermented, but by the right microbes.
Great I learned something new. I have a follow up question then - do you think it would be possible to inoculate large batches of pollen substitute with their microbial ****tail for safer storage? I am always concerned about substitute that has been in the frig for a month or so. Maybe there is a way to make it into 'Yogurt' first.
 
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