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Author Topic: Incomming pollen = nectar?  (Read 1336 times)
John Pfaff
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« on: July 30, 2011, 10:50:49 AM »

First year beek - my bees have been bringing in a lot of pollen the last couple of months. If pollen is constantly available, will there be enough nectar, or could the bees starve to death with pollen coming into the hive?
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AllenF
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« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2011, 09:26:22 PM »

Bees know what they need.   They can choose what to bring into the hive.   They have been doing it on their own for a long time now.
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2011, 11:26:20 PM »

We are in a dearth now with very little nectar, but the pollen is still coming in heavily.  I guess they keep bringing it in till they have what they need. 
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"You never can tell with bees."  --  Winnie-the-Pooh
Apis_M_Rescue
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« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2011, 02:22:03 AM »

Excuse the dense questions but took this for granted until John P posed this question. I'm wondering what is the sequence of pollen & nectar in flower biology? Is it the nectar first & then the pollen or a bit of both & probably amount variations in all species? This link mentions " The secretion of nectar is usually under developmental control beginning when the flowers open. After pollination, the nectar is frequently resorbed (1). In addition, nectar secretion increases as the flower is visited by pollinators (2).
 ", http://www.bb.iastate.edu/necgex/Nectar.htm. I suppose each flowering plant has mostly a nectar & pollen offering at same time to be most effective.

 Also do bees send out foragers to just concentrate on pollen collection & then on next forage run go for nectar or a bit of both on the same forage run? I know honey bees are unique pollinators in that they concentrate on one type of flower & move onto another variety & concentrate on that one, flower pollinator fidelity.
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CapnChkn
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« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2011, 01:57:52 PM »

Pollinators don't just go willy-nilly from flower to flower.  In fact the smell, color, and location determine what the pollinators will forage.  Some pollinators are exclusive to a single species, others are gathering scent.  Pollinators aren't exclusive to Hymenoptera, beetles, flies, bats, and birds are also involved in the act.  Flowers having color, scent, and nectar are useless to reproduction, unless there is an ulterior motive, in this case attracting a biological mechanism.

No nectar, the flower will have to have a pollinator that expressly seeks the other factors to make the expense in flowering economic.  I found the numbers once, but am too lazy right now.  About 17% of Apis Mellifera gather both pollen and nectar at the same time.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2011, 02:15:15 PM »

A lot of things are also wind pollinated too (grasses, corns, tomato, most pine trees, etc).  People with allergies will probably report there is never a lack of pollen!  Rather the bees collect pollen from the wind pollinators or not, I don’t know.  

I think Finski is our botany expert, maybe he can tell us about the sequence of nectar and pollen in flowering plants.  
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John Pfaff
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« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2011, 10:35:28 PM »

soo...nobody knows the answer to the original question...
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VolunteerK9
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« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2011, 10:43:38 PM »

soo...nobody knows the answer to the original question...

I know that I dont have a good answer. The only real way to tell is with a hive inspection. There can be plenty of pollen stored up in a hive to the point of it being pollen bound but very little nectar stores. Pull out a few frames to see what they have and make a determination from there.
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sc-bee
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« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2011, 10:46:58 PM »

Pollen does not necessairly mean nectar. If the bees are left alone they will regulate their needs. If you rob all the honey and they enter a dearth they could starve with pollen coming in and no feed due to you taking their resources. In my area more bees starve in July due to neglect. Folks seem to realize to feed in the spring but forget summer needs.

But don't feed unless needed, due to possibly honey bounding the queen. Check your hive resources!
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John 3:16
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« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2011, 10:52:26 PM »

Folks seem to realize to feed in the spring but forget summer needs.

Who feeds the feral bees?
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sc-bee
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« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2011, 11:22:59 PM »

Say What?Huh
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John 3:16
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« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2011, 12:00:02 AM »

The feral bees don’t get their hive robbed of honey in the first place.
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John Pfaff
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« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2011, 08:36:41 AM »

Thank you for your reply sc-bee, VolunteerK9, CapnChkn, and Apis_M_Rescue. Your answers were on topic. I appreciate that.





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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2011, 08:49:50 AM »

Also do bees send out foragers to just concentrate on pollen collection & then on next forage run go for nectar or a bit of both on the same forage run?

Some bees are pollen-only foragers, others are nectar-only, and some take both nectar and pollen.  There is evidence that this is controlled by the genes of the father.  In any hive the foragers come from a number of different fathers so this gives a range of foraging behaviors.
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"You never can tell with bees."  --  Winnie-the-Pooh
John Pfaff
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« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2011, 10:52:52 AM »

Thank you.
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