Winter pollen

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

Gardenbees 

Field Bee
Joined
Jun 17, 2010
Messages
568
Reaction score
0
Location
Gloucestershire
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
3
No sign of my honeybees collecting pollen just yet, but I spotted a queen bumblebee collecting winter aconite pollen today, despite the very recent hard frost. When I last kept bees (ages ago) they used to really struggle in spring sometimes, and often needed quite a bit of extra food once they started breeding. With this in mind (and the luxury of a long garden to play with) I have filled the garden with early pollen and nectar plants this year. It won't amount to all that much for a colony of honeybees, but it might help them early on. It's interesting to see that the bumblebees at least are going to benefit from this policy.

:nature-smiley-005:I'd be interested to hear which early plants have been popular with other peoples' bees (including bumbles). Winter aconite and witch hazel seem firm favourites here.
 

Meg 

House Bee
Joined
Dec 9, 2008
Messages
169
Reaction score
2
Location
Wells, Somerset
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
20
Mahonia always has loads on it. Not quiote sure when it is supposed to flower, but it is a back end of year one isn't it? Seems to be around for a long time when it is cold anyway.

Have you planted any willow if you have a big garden? Evidently salix egyptica is the earliest.

Otherwise - the obvious crocus and snowdrops - I see them on the former - and hellebores. A bit later and grape hyacinths get a lot of attention as do 'soldiers and sailors' little blue/purply things - sorry, don't know real name.

Meg
 

Hivemaker. 

Queen Bee
Beekeeping Sponsor
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
14,291
Reaction score
15
Location
Exmoor.
Hive Type
national
Gorse, which is in flower now,plus hazel and willow which is quite early.
 

RoofTops 

Queen Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
2,428
Reaction score
0
Location
Kingsbridge, South Devon
Hive Type
none
Number of Hives
0 - Now in beeless retirement!
Last edited:

jezd 

Drone Bee
Joined
May 12, 2009
Messages
1,539
Reaction score
6
Location
UK
Hive Type
other
Number of Hives
299.1
A queen bumblebee in December? I think it has set its alarm a little early and needs to wind it on about 3 months. I wonder if the prolonged cold followed by the thaw has triggered it into action? Or perhaps climate change - see below:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukn...-bee-lured-out-early-by-changing-climate.html

Or perhaps not so unusual? http://thebigbuzz.wordpress.com/2007/01/24/another-exciting-sighting/

Honey bees next for all year round brood rearing?
Either way she needs to wrap up for next week, cold is due back again!
 

Gardenbees 

Field Bee
Joined
Jun 17, 2010
Messages
568
Reaction score
0
Location
Gloucestershire
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
3
A queen bumblebee in December? I think it has set its alarm a little early and needs to wind it on about 3 months.
Agreed. I'm afraid that the leaps in temperature, coupled with the fact that the days are now lengthening, may prompt some over-hasty behaviour in a variety of wildlife. The obvious dangers being that a generation (or worse, more than one) will be raised early, only to be "nipped" by another icy spell, perhaps followed by another snowy Easter for good measure. Hope not.

I'd much rather have a cold winter all the way through than this upping and downing... and I expect the bees would prefer it too.
 

Heather 

Queen Bee
Joined
Dec 7, 2008
Messages
4,099
Reaction score
95
Location
Newick, East Sussex
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
15
Mahonia finished November- some bees used it- but the weather closed in before it was fully utilised
 

newportbuzz 

Field Bee
Joined
Aug 11, 2010
Messages
846
Reaction score
0
Location
newport co,mayo ireland
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
19 through the winter
ive planted a few thousand willow for pollarding around my hives. best of both worlds fire wood and happys bees. altho the earliest pollen i have is the snowdrops of which i have about 8 square meters of. plenty of gorse.
 

Finman 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
26,590
Reaction score
951
Location
Finland, Helsinki
Hive Type
langstroth
.

This is still 2010 and you speak early pollen collection!
to where are you in hurry?
 
Last edited:

Latest posts

Top