Early Pollen Sources

Discussion and questions.
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DavidStern
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:39 pm

Early Pollen Sources

Post by DavidStern » Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:40 pm

Hello Everyone!
My name is David and I am new to this forum and this is my first post.
This is my first overwintering of bee colonies in Colorado (having previously kept bees in Missouri) and I am not sure what to expect as far as the first pollen availability of the 2018 season. I see maple trees close to home and assume they will be among the first to bloom but I don't really know. I would like to get a sense of what to expect and would appreciate the help of any and all...the more the better. I'd love to get a peek and the notes you've taken over the years about when this or that bloomed. I'm excited to hear from you.

kristinahoney
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:44 am

Re: Early Pollen Sources

Post by kristinahoney » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:46 pm

Hi David,
You're right that maples are the first to bloom in mid Feb. They can be a great source of pollen and nectar IF the weather permits foraging. The bees usually get at least something on those 70 degree days in between the 15 degree days. That goes for Feb, March, and even April. Mahonia blooms about the end of Feb and is an important native for honey bees and mason bees. Fruit trees are the next bloom, but often freeze. Once the dandelions bloom, spring is here! Hope this helps!
Cheers,
Kristina Williams
BCBA Board
Beehave LLC mentoring and support for bees and their keepers
Boulder, CO

DavidStern
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:39 pm

Re: Early Pollen Sources

Post by DavidStern » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:39 pm

Thank you for the valuable info, Kristina. I am not familiar with Mahonia in Missouri but early maples can bloom in February where I used to live. In the area where I lived the bees could really brood up on the maple pollen and I wonder if (with good weather) I can expect that here? Or is it the dandelions that really get things going here? I really appreciate it! Thank you again.

kristinahoney
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:44 am

Re: Early Pollen Sources

Post by kristinahoney » Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:50 pm

Bees can brood up on the maples, but they can run through the last of their winter in a big hurry because of it. There's often a lag before the next food appears at the same time as good weather. So Late Feb, early March is the time to watch carefully for starvation. Dandelions are sign that the worst is over. Even if they get snowed on, they rebloom in a few days. Even though their pollen isn't the most nutritious, I wish there were more of them.
Cheers,
Kristina

kristinahoney
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:44 am

Re: Early Pollen Sources

Post by kristinahoney » Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:51 pm

Come to the meeting next week!

DavidStern
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:39 pm

Re: Early Pollen Sources

Post by DavidStern » Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:04 pm

Thank you very much for the local know-how. I really appreciate you letting me know about the possible lag between the maple bloom and next possible food source with good weather. This info is very valuable to me. I bought some pollen sub at Harlequin Gardens before it closed for the season so I am somewhat prepared to help the colonies keep going after the maples. Thank you for the invite to the meeting! I went to the local meetings in Missouri but I am so much more busy here than I was there... I can't commit right now, but I do want to go. Thanks again!

kristinahoney
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:44 am

Re: Early Pollen Sources

Post by kristinahoney » Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:21 pm

Harlequin's will be open again Thu-Sun starting 1 March if you need anything else. I'm working there in the Bee Barn again so maybe I'll see you!
Cheers,
Kristina

DavidStern
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:39 pm

Re: Early Pollen Sources

Post by DavidStern » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:13 am

Hey, I will try to make it to the meeting. I want my son to come too. see you there.

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