Watched my hives today and they are starting to bring in pollen. From Aspens I guess cause it's sort of grey.But Hey it's a start!!
Yes, that's Aspen...I'll find out this weekend.
I went out today late and didn't expected this, usually the first pollen is grey as you describe but it's
more yellow, normally yellow is a signe of Pussywillow...so I'm puzzled.
This yellow is not a deep yellow like it is on our willow, sort of between both? Also, not heavily loaded on their hind legs.
No willow is in flower here.
Some of my Aspens are in full bloom and the Tassles are sort of yellow green now but not as yellow as your pix.Well maybe close.
Today I had more time to spend with the girls and they were really busy taking
in pollen.... with a better picture. Aspens have male and female flowers and pollen,
not sure which is better pollen for honey bees, I think the male flowers?
For many years now I keep looking up trees but have never seen bees on them.....have you Ingrid?
Have checked today a gazillion trees and nearly made my neck sore.
I have yet to see them collecting pollen on Poplar trees.
Ok....female catkins have no pollen...link below.
It say's pollen is yellow...but I have seen it gray before.
Here is a link that might be useful: Aspen Pollen
My aspens are really in full bloom now and just buzzing with bees,But your pollen looks more yellow except for the one in the middle. It has a greyish look to it. What ever it is they are bringing in there is lots of it. I have a tame pussy willow in full bloom right by the hive but it is mostly full of mason bees.
I went right up close to the Aspens when they were collecting pollen and it was yellow.
Konrad, funny you mention that. This past weekend the bees were bringing in lots of pollen, some yellowish some closer to orange. I was thinking maple and willow. I tried to watch the bees to see where they were going and looked up in the trees with binoculars trying to see any signs of bees. All I got was a sore neck.
We have 2 hives and put pollen traps on both of them. Dh and I take bee pollen every day, we love it. We purchased sundance bee pollen traps because they were supposed to keep the mites out, but guess what, I still seen some mites in the fall in my pollen trap. I freeze dry my pollen and that's supposed to kill the mits, so I'm not worried about taking the pollen. This fall the pollen was so sweet, and now the spring pollen is not as good tasting, a little blan. We started using powdered sugar early on to see if that helps with the mites. Anyone take bee pollen or trap there own pollen?
Tony, indeed this is funny, we were doing the same thing.
Now our native willows are flowering and should have no problem spotting them.
C Brandenburg....sounds German....German town?
I was eating pollen for two years, a little in my serial for breakfast but run out some time ago.
This pollen I scrapped out of my honey super frames, [kept it frozen] for some reason bees stored allot up there at one time.
I was thinking that I would try this year with a trap but didn't get around and still don't know which
trap works best, have no experience in this, good topic C ! Anybody else can share their experience?
Can you post a picture how this looks on your hive?
How do you freeze dry?
Konrad, I do have pictures, but I don't know how to post them. If you give me some instruction I will see if I can post them. We were told the Sundance Pollen Trap was the best so that's what we purchased. Right now were getting 3 ounces a day, last fall we were getting 1lb a day, great tasting fall pollen. Freeze dring is easy, all you do is collect your pollen and place it in a ziplock bag, place in the freezer for 3 days, leave the bag open so the pollen releases it's moisture. Then I leave it in the freezer until we use it. You can keep adding to the bag until it full, then seal it. The pollen trap looks and acts just like a drawer, you pull it out dump pollen and put it back in. Takes about 4 seconds, well for me, cause the bees still scare me. The pollen trap is on the bottom of the hive. I take 2 tablespoons of pollen a day, it has helped me so much that I will never quit taking it. I'm in my late fourtys and it stopped the big M in it's tracks, no symptoms after taking it for 4 months. Brandenburg sure is German!
This looks promising!
Below is a easy version that show's how to post a picture.
Allot of my pictures I upload to photobucket album and from there click on the Tag line,
copy and paste into your thread. It's good to reduce file size first before uploading to photobucket but not necessary, it just takes longer,
photobucket automatically will shrink it, inside photobucket you can still shrink it too.
Around 80 to 150 KB is a good size.
Here is a link that might be useful: post a picture
Thanks Konrad, it was pretty easy
Thank you C....this looks very nice!
I'm wondering if bees get enough pollen up the brood nest? Do you feed substitute pollen?
Is there a way not to collect this much? I was thinking of a different version, a smaller external smaller
box for my top entrance, easy to put on. I see your pollen trap goes under your brood box, do you use one or two brood boxes?
I use two, would have to take the hive apart to put these under and off, also, I would have to close off top entrance most bees like to use. I'm still undecided.
Here is another top entrance pollen crazy day, mostly pussy willow.
This trap only takes 70 percent of the pollen, the other 30 percent makes it into the brood. There is plenty of pollen left over for the bees. We have 2 brood boxes on our hives. Yes we do close off our top entrance, it takes a few days for the bees to adjust, but they do. We feed special patties in the spring and also give them sugar water, early on the club told us to just sprinkle sugar on top and they did love that. We joined the Beaver County Bee Keepers Club and the Pennsylvania Bee Keepers, everyone is so wonderful and have tought us a lot. My husband works for Norfolk and Southern Railroad and when the empty sugar cars come in they still have sugar left in them, he emptys the cars and usually gets around 500lbs of sugar each car and he passes it out to the local bee club for the members to feed there hives when needed.
Your pictures are great!
Thank you so much C. with all this information!
Last spring and this spring I don't feed sugar anymore, they have still allot of store,
sold 2 hives, moved bees with brood into new equipment and there is lots of honey still
left for feed.
It looks like you have a nice yard to keep bees.
You must be fairly new in bee keeping?....have fun!
Yes, last spring Ross started taking the beginner bee classes and this year I am taking them. We really enjoy bee keeping and gardening. In the beginning we said 2 hives would be enough, but now we have 3 and one more in the making, LOL. I have to say that I am a bee pollen pusher, I talk about it to everyone I know, I was surprised to learn that most of the bee club members don't collect pollen or take it, they are all in it for the honey except for one other person. We will be donating most of our honey to the bee club to sell at county fairs this year, to make some money for the club. Most of the club members in the Beaver County club are late 60's and upwards, they are trying to reach the younger gereration and it seems to be working. This spring we talked a few people into joining including my nephew, and he is getting people interested in bees. Next year I want to go to the Pennsylvania farm show, they are supposed to have a great exabition for bees, a lot of our members won top awards in honey, wax and the other things they give awards for. I didn't know there was white honey until the last bee meeting, so I'm learning a lot of information.
This sounds wonderful, Cathy!
It's such a wonderful hobby heaving some bees. When I started about 5 years ago I said that
max. would be around 5 hives, last fall I winterized 7 with a couple of swarm nukes, these didn't make it
because I was careless in wintering properly.
I find even with 5 good hives it's too much for extracting honey by hand, that's why I sold 2 hives.
Oh..today I bought 2 pollen traps, similar to yours, except mine have the drawers on the very bottom,
put them in my two strongest hives. I did look at front mounted traps but they said these have problems,
bees get caught between the two screens. I didn't close of the top entrance, just took the landing board
off for now and see, as the season goes on, bees usually slowly taking the bottom entrance again, [new bees].
Time will tell, I might close off later.
Great, bee pollen is so good for you. Yesterday I collected 14oz total from 2 hives, the pollen is really picking up. The color of the pollen went from greens and bright yellows and oranges, to browns and a light tan color, and the taste is not a good, but I will mix them for a better tasting pollen. It won't be long before we start getting over a pound a day in both traps, I want to fill up my freezer so I don't run out this year, last year our pollen lasted until late January then I had to purchase some, it was not as good as mine.
Had to close off the top entrance for good.
In one hive the bees figured it out how to get out, the other hive, about mid noon nobody got out!
I then dumped some bees in front, then slowly they figured how to get in, this then showed the other
bees inside how to get out.
I still feel sorry for the bees to go thru the wire screens in and out,...a bit cruel if you ask me.
I then was reading that traps should be put on very strong hives only, not average hives, I guess my senses
were correct when doing this in the first place.
Also, it's a no no to switch from heaving the trap on and off all the time, this confuses the bees, leave
it on for a while in spring and later in the fall, some leave it on all the time.
It's also good practice to check inside brood box if pollen is in good supply.
Your pollen look Yummy!! How does it taste? I collected 10.5oz from 2 hives, pollen is really starting to pick up now.
I like it, it's hard to say how....it's very sweet with a distinct flavour but one's you're used to it you get hooked!
My wife doesn't like it, she say's it taste's like bee poop....LOL