BBKA Forum

British Beekeepers Association Official Forum 

  • What pollen are your bees bring back

  • Bee's Need Flowers...… whats more to say?
Bee's Need Flowers...… whats more to say?
 #5035  by Patrick
 16 Oct 2019, 18:33
Cheers Nigel, it was the colour I was going on - assume that’s the cause.

Sorry for a slightly confusing post - I was standing on the train - the remarks re Alder were obviously not relevant to now. I was rereading Randy Oliver’s articles on pollen subs and he pointed out the importance of Alders for Spring buildup albeit in a very different geography to ours.

Now back home. Howse doesn’t have much to say on it.
 #5037  by NigelP
 17 Oct 2019, 08:40
Pollen from one plant can vary in colour depending on where the plant is growing, the maturity of the pollen etc. Kirk's book on pollen colours shows three different shades for Ivy.
Only way to know for sure is to grab a sample and stick under microscope.
 #5043  by Patrick
 18 Oct 2019, 22:43
One of my long-standing bee mates locally is a bit of a whizz at identifying pollen and told me yesterday that every late winter we get a significant early crop of mistletoe pollen gathered.

We are both in orchard areas and in fact although commercial orchard growers are not fans of mistletoe, it is also common on several other trees including poplars. In fact there are plenty of non commercial orchards where it is common but you never hear about it as a source of early pollen. Howse doesn’t even mention it ( or I missed it). It’s a lot more common than frequently realised because it’s hidden within the canopy in summer and I think not registered in winter as perhaps assumed to be a squirrel drey or rooks nest or whatever.

A rather fascinating plant I now hold on even higher regard!
 #5046  by Chrisbarlow
 19 Oct 2019, 13:36
I would never have thought of mistletoe pollen. I didn't even know they worked it! Any ideas on it's colour? I can't see it in Kirk
 #5050  by Chrisbarlow
 19 Oct 2019, 15:19
Cheers Nigel. It looks greenish yellow
 #5052  by Patrick
 19 Oct 2019, 15:26
The Professor reports that his mistletoe was surprisingly yellow, almost sulphurous.

To find some pollen to check apparently required shinning up a tree, sadly no photographs were taken of that part 😁.

Around us it is apparently collected the last week of February and remarkably consistently around that date regardless of the prevailing winter. Shortly afterwards willow starts coming in.
 #5591  by Chrisbarlow
 28 Jan 2020, 17:54
It's been a warm winter, some places have had snow this week but in other areas it still flying weather, is any ones bees bringing any pollen in at the moment?
 #5594  by AdamD
 28 Jan 2020, 19:43
A few days ago my bees were flying well and bringing in a little dull yellow pollen which I assume was from a green manure crop just 200 metres away. The crop has since been ploughed in.

Something I don't usually notice is the difference between single walled and double walled hives; I usually say that I don't see much difference between them. The one wooden National hive in my home apiary was flying well compared to the white WBC's. The dark wood of the National was warm to the touch from the sun which must have penetrated inside the hive to get the bees going!