Oxford Bees

Pollen Colours - Early June

Submitted by will on Wed, 06/06/2018 - 22:26

The monotone beige of the tree pollen has given way to more diverse colours. I think that there are 8 colours in the image. I haven't tried to identify the flowers which these pollen come from.

This sample of pollen colours comes from my apiary in central Oxford. There are parks and college gardens nearby so some of the flowers may be non-native.

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Pollen as food for the bees

Submitted by will on Wed, 06/06/2018 - 21:38

Pollen is the high protein food which the bees use to make food for their brood. If you see pollen coming into the hive then it's reasonable to assume that there is brood being reared in the hive.

The bees visit flowers and collect the pollen in 'baskets' of hairs behind their hind legs. We can see these 'baskets' as bright patches on the legs of returning bees. The lumps of pollen sometimes get dropped and fall to the floor of the hive where they can be examined.

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Anti-Ant (Part 1)

Submitted by will on Tue, 05/06/2018 - 20:37

Colony 01 has an infestation of black Ants.

I find hundreds of them on the base board. I find very little pollen and no Varroa. I think that they harvest these. I don't know whether they're a serious pest but I would expect to find them throughout the hive. In any case, the base board is the place where I do most of my inspections so I need it to be intact. At the moment it's being reorganised by the Ants.