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Author Topic: Pollen conservation  (Read 1911 times)
boca
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« on: December 10, 2011, 06:54:46 AM »

Bees cannot digest pollen, they can digest bee bread which is like the difference between milk and fermented milk (like keifer or yogurt).  Bee bread is a fermented product that requires pollen, several kinds of bacteria, several kinds of yeasts and a two stage fermentation process.

Mr. Bush,
How do you recommend to preserve summer pollen for early spring feeding? (in addition to the amount the bees preserve)

I was thinking about putting pollen loaded combs into the super, feeding sugar syrup so the bees fill syrup on top of the pollen and cap it with wax. This way the frame could be preserved till next spring in a store.

Another way could be pushing freshly trapped pollen grain in a jar. In the anaerob environment it would ferment. The pollen grain probably has enough sugar and yeast for this.

Apart from being profitable and labor requirement, could it work?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2011, 07:22:29 AM »

>How do you recommend to preserve summer pollen for early spring feeding? (in addition to the amount the bees preserve)

I leave it in the hive... but if you want to collect pollen from a pollen trap, you can, and the bees will gather that if you put it in an empty hive in the spring.  But usually they have pollen by the time it's warm enough to fly, from the Maples etc.

>I was thinking about putting pollen loaded combs into the super, feeding sugar syrup so the bees fill syrup on top of the pollen and cap it with wax.

Usually they don't cap pollen.  I would put the pollen where the bees usually put it, under the brood nest.

>This way the frame could be preserved till next spring in a store.

Bee bread keeps much better than pollen.  It's pollen that has a short nutritional life, not bee bread.  The bees cover it in honey after it's fermented to keep it.

>Another way could be pushing freshly trapped pollen grain in a jar. In the anaerob environment it would ferment. The pollen grain probably has enough sugar and yeast for this.

But the environment in the hive is quite different and it may ferment quite differently.  Yes it has enough of the microbes in it as the bees inoculate it when they gather it, but I would not be so sure I can duplicate the conditions in the hive.

>Apart from being profitable and labor requirement, could it work?

What exactly is the goal beyond the goal and methods the bees already use to stock up pollen for the winter?
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
boca
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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2011, 09:33:34 AM »

What exactly is the goal beyond the goal and methods the bees already use to stock up pollen for the winter?

The goal is increasing productivity. In some areas - like mine - the time between the first pollen collection and the honey flow is short. The protein shortage is the limiting factor in early spring. The bees store enough pollen to survive but the buildup can be facilitated by protein supplement.

My assumption is that the best protein source for the bees is bee bread, not taking into account it's cost.

Next year I plan to collect some pollen, and instead of drying it - as an experiment - I'll try to ferment it in a jar.
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rdy-b
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2011, 07:51:20 PM »

 Bocha --talk to finski -he has successful build up method--perhaps you could incorporate pollen box into your
 program--how many boxes are you wintering in--RDY-B

  http://www.knology.net/~k4vb/ABJ%20Copies/NCB%20BC%20Sep%202004.pdf
« Last Edit: December 10, 2011, 08:31:40 PM by rdy-b » Logged
Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2011, 09:16:07 PM »

I would collect it in pollen traps, store it in the freezer and feed it in open feeders.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
boca
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« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2011, 02:46:44 AM »

Bocha --talk to finski -he has successful build up method--perhaps you could incorporate pollen box into your
 program--how many boxes are you wintering in--RDY-B

Yes I am interested in early spring pollen feeding, because Finski reports it as so successful in this area. I agree with him. However in Europe it seems not profitable to produce pollen as bee feed and I do not trust the one from unknown source. So I want to make my own.

It seems that here we have no spring. The winter is followed immediately by the summer. In late April I still have to cover the snow in front of the hives, but heavy loads of beautiful blue siberian squill pollen is brought in.

I believe that during the 6 month confined in the hive the colony is starving for protein.

I have 5 single Langstroth hive and one double medium + 7 nuclei. AKAIK no one is wintering in three-four boxes here as the linked document recommend.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2011, 05:16:59 AM »

>I believe that during the 6 month confined in the hive the colony is starving for protein.

The overwintering practices of the 1880s in the US were to REMOVE every speck of pollen from the hives so they would not attempt to rear brood and end up with dysentery.  I'm not recommending it, but the fact is a hive will not starve for lack of protein, it just won't raise brood.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
boca
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« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2011, 05:36:58 AM »

... the fact is a hive will not starve for lack of protein, it just won't raise brood.

That's enough reason to me to give them pollen before they can forage. I want them to raise brood.

One might ask why not use cheap pollen and soy flour.

In Europe, following a court decision, all honey which contain traces of GMO pollen requires authorisation to be sold, in practice you cannot sell it. I'm not a fan  of "natural beekeeping", just want to be able to sell my produce.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2011, 06:29:15 AM »

>That's enough reason to me to give them pollen before they can forage. I want them to raise brood.

How effective that is will depend on your location, available pollen and when your flow is.  If you manage to stimulate them into raising brood earlier, they may just swarm instead.  If you stimulate them into raising brood earlier, they may get caught in a cold snap and "cold starve" when they can't abandon the brood to get to stores.  I don't find it effective in my location.

>One might ask why not use cheap pollen and soy flour.

Soy flour will not raise healthy long lived bees.  As to "cheap pollen" it would depend on the source of pollen.

>In Europe, following a court decision, all honey which contain traces of GMO pollen requires authorisation to be sold, in practice you cannot sell it. I'm not a fan  of "natural beekeeping", just want to be able to sell my produce.

I'm not sure what all the issues are in Europe.  I assume GMO plants are not allowed so you wouldn't get GMO pollen right?
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
boca
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« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2011, 07:20:00 AM »

I'm not sure what all the issues are in Europe.  I assume GMO plants are not allowed so you wouldn't get GMO pollen right?

In most of the countries GMO plants are allowed, though restricting it seems to be the tendency.
I'm in the suburbs of Helsinki and I believe there is no GMO field nearby. Perhaps potatoes. I cannot do anything with that anyway.
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rdy-b
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« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2011, 01:20:53 PM »

 In U.S.A we make high protein with no pollen and no soy--soy is considered very old school for
 feed supplement -soy can be poisonous if it is wrong type--finski will make you some sub--  cheesy  cheesy
 he has secrete ingredient --(few people know secrete)--RDY-B
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