Welcome, Guest

Author Topic: TOO MUCH POLLEN  (Read 785 times)

Offline salvo

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 952
TOO MUCH POLLEN
« on: June 14, 2022, 07:34:24 am »
Hi Folks,

How much pollen is too much pollen?

I run two deeps as brood boxes. Last year, and now again this year, all my boxes are somewhere between four and six frames packed FULL of pollen, out of twenty.

I collected pollen years ago, but it was a pain collecting, managing, freezing, drying, bottling,... so I stopped, one season only. There wasn't much of a market back then. Honey filled up my time. What's the market like for pollen now?

I pulled and saved pollen frames from last year, and determined they were useless this year as pollen comes early around here. They seem to me to be wasted effort. It takes up real estate that could go for brood.

How much pollen is too much pollen? How could I get old, packed pollen out of cells? Should I just trash those pollen frames and replace with new frames for brood? I'm dusting off my pollen trap today.

Sal
Salvo

Offline TheHoneyPump

  • Queen Bee
  • ****
  • Posts: 1332
  • Work Hard. Play Harder.
Re: TOO MUCH POLLEN
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2022, 04:33:25 pm »
Pollen frames are excellent to give to small colonies or nucs needing help to grow. 
Pollen = brood= bees
The bees will spend the next 4 days undoing all of the wrongs that the beekeeper just did to them.

Online The15thMember

  • Global Moderator
  • Super Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 2590
  • Gender: Female
  • Traveler of the Multiverse, Seeker of Knowledge
Re: TOO MUCH POLLEN
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2022, 05:44:46 pm »
I agree with HP, don't waste your extra pollen frames, save them for splits, or any colonies that are weak coming off winter.  Collecting with a trap is a good option too, it's what I do, but I don't sell mine, so I can't give you any advice on that. 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Online Ben Framed

  • Global Moderator
  • Galactic Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 8521
  • Mississippi Zone 7
Re: TOO MUCH POLLEN
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2022, 11:36:50 pm »
As you probably well know pollen is considered a health food by many Sal. I picked some up from an older established beekeeper who lives in my area a few years ago. He had just finished packaging and 'filling up' a little red wagon FULL of one pound each, zip lock bags full, soon to be carted to the freezer. The little red wagon looked to be almost running over with pollen. I wound not want to guess how many bags of pollen were in it. Even then he was getting $20.00 a pound (a bag) for it!

Phillip
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV

Online Ben Framed

  • Global Moderator
  • Galactic Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 8521
  • Mississippi Zone 7
Re: TOO MUCH POLLEN
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2022, 12:20:45 am »
Quote
How could I get old, packed pollen out of cells? Should I just trash those pollen frames and replace with new frames for brood? I'm dusting off my pollen trap today.

Sal

Sal far as I know you can not get pollen out of combs (at least I am not aware of a way). I would not want to trash these pollen frames. As HoneyPump said. Pollen=Bees.. You can use them for splits as already mentioned or, you can save them for next late wiinter/early Spring to help your bees off to a strong an early start. (Weather and TEMPERATURES permitting).
If you are not interested in making splits another option, you could give them to an 'appreciative' up and coming beekeeper who might be wishing to add hives to his or her apiary? Wasn't it you who mentioned a few months ago of mentoring a new beekeeper?

An established beekeeper may be happy to receive them as well. Are you a member of a honey bee club? If so, someone there might be glad to get them.
I would recommend freezing them in the mean time.
I agree, it might be time to dust off the old pollen trap since you have such good pollen producing bees! Especially if pollen is still abundant for the gathering in your area. I would defiantly remove frames any you deem in excess and in the way. You might gauge this by eggs and larva. It takes a lot to feed a fast growing hive. 

Phillip
« Last Edit: June 15, 2022, 01:07:34 am by Ben Framed »
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV

Offline NigelP

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 164
  • Gender: Male
Re: TOO MUCH POLLEN
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2022, 04:16:09 am »
Lyson used to manufacture a small tube with piston that was for extracting pollen from frames. Something similar to this.



 My thoughts were how tedious to do a full brood frame of pollen by hand.

Online Ben Framed

  • Global Moderator
  • Galactic Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 8521
  • Mississippi Zone 7
Re: TOO MUCH POLLEN
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2022, 06:47:25 am »
Lyson used to manufacture a small tube with piston that was for extracting pollen from frames. Something similar to this.

 My thoughts were how tedious to do a full brood frame of pollen by hand.


Thanks Nigel. Yes, it appears to be intended for one cell at a time use. I share your thoughts. It is interesting that something such as this was attempted.

Phillip
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV

Offline BeeMaster2

  • Administrator
  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 12415
  • Gender: Male
Re: TOO MUCH POLLEN
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2022, 07:45:33 am »
It is possible to use a garden hose to wash out most of the pollen. I have done it several times. Sometimes the bees totally seal it in with wax and it makes it hard to get out. I suspect they do that when the pollen is now longer usable and they put something else in the same cell.
If you freeze pollen frames, they usually eventually are covered with mold. I recommend you place them in plastic and if possible remove as much of the air as you can. It is the moisture buildup in the freezer that causes the mold.
Jim Altmiller

Offline Michael Bush

  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 18042
  • Gender: Male
    • bushfarms.com
Re: TOO MUCH POLLEN
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2022, 07:48:07 am »
Tedious, yes.  The big advantage, though, would be that you are not getting pollen, you are getting bee bread fermented by the bees to optimum digestibility.
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin

Offline salvo

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 952
Re: TOO MUCH POLLEN
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2022, 08:12:43 am »
Thanks Folks,

Well. Pollen trap on yesterday, in rotation. I tried it years ago, one more responsibility, but too many frames of pollen are useless in the hive.

I'll freeze it and dry it. I'll bottle it and get it into our Fair. I'll go with the price they set. A few people do it.

I'm going to see how *crumbling up a section of frame* to release those packed pellets would work out. I'm foundationless, so it could be just part of my rotation out of old comb. Clean it up, bottle it, and market as *Bee Bread*, not raw pollen. Good idea. Thanks Michael.

Sal
Salvo

Offline FloridaGardener

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 524
Re: TOO MUCH POLLEN
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2022, 02:34:16 pm »
Fermented foods are very popular now.  Kombucha, kimchee, keifer, yogurt, etc. because people want anaerobic bacteria to help intestinal health...
probably to offset all the intestinal effects of GMO :cheesy:

Offline beesnweeds

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 178
  • Gender: Male
Re: TOO MUCH POLLEN
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2022, 04:46:10 pm »
I'm foundationless, so it could be just part of my rotation out of old comb.

When I get a pollen bound colony and the comb isn't old enough to rotate out, I'll put the frames in the center of the brood nest in strong colonies and splits.  They clean them out pretty quick.
Everyone loves a worker.... until its laying.

Offline cao

  • Super Bee
  • *****
  • Posts: 1584
  • Gender: Male
Re: TOO MUCH POLLEN
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2022, 01:46:31 am »
Be careful when putting pollen frames in weak or small hives if you are having Shb problems.  That could be a death sentence for a hive.

Offline Michael Bush

  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 18042
  • Gender: Male
    • bushfarms.com
Re: TOO MUCH POLLEN
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2022, 06:30:08 am »
It's best to always keep in mind that a small colony can be overwhelmed by wealth.  "An embarrassment of riches" can be the end of a colony.  If they can cover it well and guard it, then it will probably help them.  If not, it can destroy them...
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin

Offline Oldbeavo

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 960
  • Gender: Male
Re: TOO MUCH POLLEN
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2022, 07:47:25 pm »
Salvo, are the frames full depth?
If so do the maths, 4 - 6 frames of pollen in 20 frames, leaves 14 - 16 spare, lets take of the 4 outside frames that may be full of honey and the queen may not lay in them.
Leaves the bees and queen 10 - 12 frames or 20- 24 sides to produce brood. If we allow 3000 cells per side to lay in then there are 60,000 to 72,000 cells to lay in.
At 2,000 eggs per day she can fill 42,000 cells, 7 frames.
At 2,500 eggs per day she can fill 52,500 cells, about 9 frames.
So whether you leave the pollen and put a super on to allow the bees to shift honey up and make laying room, and to allow for new bees from this super queen.

Offline salvo

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 952
Re: TOO MUCH POLLEN
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2022, 10:35:16 pm »
Hi Folks, OB,

Our pollen season was exceptional this year,... and last year also. Must be that climate thingy they're all on about?!

[ You are not allowed to view attachments ]

They are deep frames. I use two deeps as brood chamber. Both boxes were well built out. I tossed on two built out medium supers and a built out shallow super. Plenty of space in there now. They've already started *filling* those new cells.

I'm keeping a close eye on them for throwing a swarm, Q cells. I'd rather keep them together for a harvest for our mid-August fair. I've got plenty of equipment in the yard, and three swarm traps out just in case. What else do you do with extra boxes? Open frames, frame of old comb, lemon grass oil, Q pheromone. My bees have been nosing around them. Also, migratory cranberry hives were put on bags last week. Lottsa bees around.

Sal
Salvo

Offline Oldbeavo

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 960
  • Gender: Male
Re: TOO MUCH POLLEN
« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2022, 04:43:36 am »
Salvo
How many frames of brood do you have and what is the % covered by brood?
You can split to prevent swarming and still get alot of honey.
Put the queen and a few frames of open brood in another box and put it away from the original hive.
Add empty frames to replace the brood frames.
All the field bees will go back to the original hive and collect honey as they have no open brood to feed.
Add a cell or leave a frames with eggs for the original hive to form a new queen.
This will give them 25+ days if forming a queen with no brood duties, frames hatching making space for honey.
If there is a flow you will end up with alot of honey, still have your original queen and a new hive.

JMT
Beavo

Online The15thMember

  • Global Moderator
  • Super Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 2590
  • Gender: Female
  • Traveler of the Multiverse, Seeker of Knowledge
Re: TOO MUCH POLLEN
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2022, 01:31:05 pm »
Our pollen season was exceptional this year,... and last year also. Must be that climate thingy they're all on about?!

 [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]
:cheesy: That picture is basically what it looked like around here in May, Sal.  There was so much pollen in the air you could see it.  I tried every over the counter allergy medicine we have in the house and nothing made a difference.  I need to try and trap some pollen earlier in the year to see if it will help with my allergies. 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline salvo

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 952
Re: TOO MUCH POLLEN
« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2022, 11:39:50 pm »
Hi Folks, OB,

OB. I took your advice. But I just can't risk queenlessness. I wouldn't want to risk a laying worker. I really didn't want to purposefully increase my hive count but realized the risk of leaving a good queen with too little space to lay. Easier this way.

A friend who asked me to get her a queen prompted me to also get a queen, today. I pulled my old queen yesterday morning, with appropriate brood and *pollen* and nectar. I also got another frame of brood from another hive, along with frames of drawn-out comb and an empty frame. I'm hoping this late in the year those new bees will build a frame or two or three of comb. I'll feed. The old girl is happy.

My new queen (emerged May 19) is in her cage in the original hive. They knew they needed a queen. They were nice to her when I put the cage in. They started on the candy. She'll be out tomorrow maybe.

I got the queen from this salty bunch:

[ You are not allowed to view attachments ]
[ You are not allowed to view attachments ]

All is well in Sal's world. Plants all in the ground. Now to paint the shutters.

Thanks OB.

Sal
Salvo

Offline Oldbeavo

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 960
  • Gender: Male
Re: TOO MUCH POLLEN
« Reply #19 on: June 24, 2022, 05:50:21 am »
Hi Sal
Have faith in your bees, they have been making new queens after becoming queenless for ages.
You will not get a laying worker while there is brood in the hive.