Oil seed rape

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Do224

Drone Bee
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Cumbria
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I was fairly convinced there was no OSR near my hives. I was wrong. Today I spotted this field in flower about a mile or so away. I’m guessing the bees will definitely find it?

Should it affect the management of my colonies? No supers on as yet. The bees were very busy today despite the cool temps and there was a lot of yellow pollen going in. Many bees with full pollen sacs struggling on the floor under the hive, presumably exhausted.

B80F5861-54BB-4036-83C0-B0F120A35E24.jpegC6EF4DD7-5F84-4F6D-9722-E21E585186FB.jpeg
 
a mile is nothing, especailly when it comes to OSR or heather. Expect they will find it, they will pack out the hive with honey in no time as well as step up brooding so you need to make sure they have got plenty of room or they will swarm (they might anyway) and remember that OSR honey sets like concrete as soon as its ripe so you have to be bang on with extraction.
 
You will know if they find it as you will have lots of bees with yellow “noses” in your hive. But as JBM says a mile is nothing.
 
Could be OSR grown for bio diesel.
One of my farmers grows this and it does not produce nectar (or barely any). 77 acres (was 82 but the rabbits ate it) within 100m and not a drop of OSR nectar
That’s interesting…I’ve no idea what it’s being grown for. There’s only perhaps 3 or 4 acres
 
Could be OSR grown for bio diesel.
One of my farmers grows this and it does not produce nectar (or barely any). 77 acres (was 82 but the rabbits ate it) within 100m and not a drop of OSR nectar

Not sure that it's specifically OSR for biofuels that doesn't produce nectar (or very little), but there does seem to be more being grown that isn't attractive to bees. About this time last year I stood at the edge of a hugef area of OSR in full flower and struggled to see a single insect flying to it.

James
 
but there does seem to be more being grown that isn't attractive to bees.
that's what happens when you get the constant pearl clutching about neonics,OSR and 'the bees must be saved' followed by a made up quote from Einstein.
 
more being grown that isn't attractive to bee
That is my understanding; development of seed over the years will have aimed to increase oil production, not nectar. On the other hand, pollination by bees would increase yield, so that benefit will have been lost.

Finman's remarks about temperature affecting yield
20C, as I recall. Up at 14 and down this week, and colder next.
 
It needs to be 20 celcius for the bees to forage on the OSR? Barely getting to 11 or 12 here at the minute
Not for them to forage. For there to be an abundance of nectar. There is some produced at lower temps but it doesn't really 'flow' unless it's warm.
 
Bees will forage at 11/12C, just that the OSR doesn't produce much if any nectar at that temperature. Tends towards a sliding scale of nectar production with an increase in temperature. If it ever gets warm enough this spring whilst the OSR is in flower, the flow of nectar is impressive.
 
It’s about 14 celcius a settled this morning and the bees are very busy. Can anyone identify the pollen they’re collecting as OSR…or at least very likely to be OSR?


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Could be, but could also be lots of other things. Microscopy needed for definite answer. Do you have OSR in range? You will find out if the honey crystallises rapidly
 
I was fairly convinced there was no OSR near my hives. I was wrong. Today I spotted this field in flower about a mile or so away. I’m guessing the bees will definitely find it?

Should it affect the management of my colonies? No supers on as yet. The bees were very busy today despite the cool temps and there was a lot of yellow pollen going in. Many bees with full pollen sacs struggling on the floor under the hive, presumably exhausted.

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It does look like OSR pollen to me, but I’m also wondering if it could be dandelion? From what @Erichalfbee told me on another thread I’m thinking it’s too yellow to be dandelion…

We have a big field of dandelions close by too
 
Could be, but could also be lots of other things. Microscopy needed for definite answer. Do you have OSR in range? You will find out if the honey crystallises rapidly
Yes, quite a few acres of OSR about a mile away. Also some big fields of dandelion within 100 metres
 

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