Author Topic: Lack of Pollen  (Read 202 times)

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Offline Newbee

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Lack of Pollen
« on: July 07, 2020, 08:57:43 am »
Spent some time watching the hives last night, girls coming and going at a rapid rate even late into the evening... but nobody was carrying big sacks of pollen? I think the dearth is starting here, but there are still wildflowers and landscaping and garden flowers about. I'm in a wooded/rural area, but I've got a constant supply of white clover in the pasture and lawn area's, purple clover flowers if I let it go between cuttings. I had kinda figured the clover would supply pollen through the dearth, but I don't see them coming back with any?
They're russian heritage bee's, which are supposed to be sensitive to pollen availability for laying. Should I try substituting? I can get patties at my local co-op, but I've never really liked artificial foods. Would it be possible to collect pollen in the spring when abundant (freeze it?), and feed it over the dearth in the summer?
Appreciate the advice!
Thanks.

- K

Offline iddee

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Re: Lack of Pollen
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2020, 09:40:20 am »
No opinion from me until inside of hive is checked. They may not forage for pollen if they have an abundant supply already.
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Lack of Pollen
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2020, 11:31:52 am »
Another thing to consider is that we are past the summer equinox.  The queen will slow down on her laying this time of year.  Little or no eggs mean less need for pollen.  Bees will store pollen anytime of the year, if they need it.  I bet there is plenty of pollen available.  A look inside the hive will give you a better idea of what is going on.

Small Hive Beetles flourish on pollen patties and this is the time of year, around here, we start to see Small Hive Beetles on the move.

Offline Newbee

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Re: Lack of Pollen
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2020, 10:22:28 am »
Thanks for the information!
It's been about a week since my last inspection.. Hmmm... maybe if I hurry I can get in there before it's too hot!
Interesting comment about SHB. I've had trouble with them in the past, but this year they haven't been that bad. Maybe they will start to pickup.
Thanks again.

- K

Offline Newbee

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Re: Lack of Pollen
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2020, 07:51:24 pm »
Checked them today, lots of brood and stored honey, not much pollen packed away. Ton of larvae though?
Noticed the bee's were visiting the corn tassels in the field, too. Thought corn pollen was a poor option for them?

Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Lack of Pollen
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2020, 09:22:28 am »
Corn pollen isn't highly nutritious.  I think honey bees are more attracted to sweet corn as apposed to field corn.  When it comes to collecting pollen, honey bees are not as selective about choosing high quality and nutritious sources.  Honey bee are fussier about nectar sources.  They will collect saw dust if that is all they can find.  That's why it's important to have a variety of pollen sources available to them for as much of the year as possible.  When inspecting your colonies we like to see different colors of pollen, from a variety of sources, packed in the cells. 
If you think there aren't enough pollen sources available now, there is a dry, powdered form of pollen sub available.  Some beekeepers use it to make their own pollen patties, I think.  I have used it in the early spring in an open feeding situation.  I put it out where the wind won't blow it away.

Offline Newbee

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Re: Lack of Pollen
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2020, 07:57:06 am »
Thanks B13. It is sweet corn, but yeah, I'd heard it wasn't very good for them (aka last resort).
Surprising, given that I still have lots of white clover all around the yard? I keep the patches mowed in alternating schedules so at least one of them always has flowers on it. Once they get collected and turn brown I mow it, and 2 weeks later fresh flowers are back!
Thanks again.

- K