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Author Topic: Pollen = Queen?  (Read 796 times)
PeskySquirrel
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« on: April 23, 2009, 10:02:42 PM »

If the bees are bringing in a steady load of pollen, does that mean they are queen-right?

I didn't see the queen last time I peeked in the hive, but I also didn't knock myself out trying to find her. I'm wondering if there's a direct correlation between pollen gathering and the presence of the queen.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2009, 11:57:12 PM »

If the bees are bringing in a steady load of pollen, does that mean they are queen-right?

I didn't see the queen last time I peeked in the hive, but I also didn't knock myself out trying to find her. I'm wondering if there's a direct correlation between pollen gathering and the presence of the queen.

Bees will bring in pollen and nectar whether they are queenright or not.  Both are part of their 2 main food groups.  Lack of eggs, larvae, or capped pupae are more indicative of a missing queen but just because the hive lacks brood does not necessarialy mean that it is queenless.  Russian have a habit of going into a brood dearth immediately after a large honey flow to which many assume the have has gone queenless and waste money and time on trying to requeen a queenright hive.  The brood frame test is a better indicator but still not absolute. 
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dgc1961
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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2009, 10:10:52 AM »

I have 2 hives.  1 hive is from a swarm that I caught this year, and they are bringing in loads of pollen.  The hive that swarmed, is not bringing in much pollen.  I read an article a while back, wish I could find it, but the auther is saying that that is a good indicator as to what is going on in the hive. 

When I inspected the hive that isn't bringing in much pollen, they didn't have any open brood, or eggs.  So the new queen hasn't started laying yet.  So I guess they don't need the pollen, because no brood to feed.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2009, 01:57:03 PM »

I've seen queenless hives hauling pollen like crazy.  It means nothing other than pollen is available.  True there is a tendency to gather what they need and if they don't have open brood they don't tend to need pollen, but I've seen queenless hives plugged up with pollen and them still hauling more.

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beryfarmer
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« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2009, 03:27:19 PM »

I installed  package of Russians on April 10th.  Bee activity is pretty good - bringing in pollen.  Went inside and 3-4 frames (black Pierco) are beginning to be drawn out fairly well.  Clearly storage of pollen and syrup.  However, I have seen no brood.  Didnt spend a lot of time looking for the queen.  I have heard it may take 12 days or so before new Russian queens start laying.  Bees behaved fairly well so might go in tomorrow and look more thoroughly--or should i wait 3-4 days?  There were a couple of supercedure like cells in the middle of a couple of frames-seems kind of odd.

Any advice would be helpful.

side note- using a combination of HBH and smoke when going into hives.   Problem with HBH is that it gets everying sticky.
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abeeco
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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2009, 01:32:14 PM »

beryfarmer-

the (empty) supercedure like cells that you describe often do get built by queenless hives.  I do not have a lot of experience with package bees, so I can not say, but I wouldn't take this to mean they are queenless.  If the queen isn't laying yet, for whatever reason, they could just be restless.  bees just like to have empty queen cells laying around, for "just in case" anyways, it seems.

towards the center of the drawn comb, look for a "polished" area where there is nothing in the cells, bees activley cleaning out thes cells, surrounded by a ring of at least some pollen and stores.  this is a good sign that the queen will start to lay soon.
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