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barry42001
Jun 19th 2011, 10:34 AM
I have heard and quite recently, that the earliest spring/ late winter pollens are incomplete sources of nourishment for both bees and thier brood, while being supplied in great abundance, and do provide for substancial string build-up. The most often referenced flower is the dandylion--which prospers ion early - late spring flowering profusely. Please correct me if I am wrong, but if this is a fact, then a degree of logic would dictate that moving colonies around the country, to get in the early polination contracts, would seem to position the bees to be harvesting only incomplete food sourcee, and seldom achieving enough of the " local " factors to benefit from the immunilogical agents present in later floral blooms that offer a higher quality of feed. Just thing aloud.
Barry

charmd2
Jun 19th 2011, 11:37 AM
Interesting theory.. but in my area I prefer spring pollen to summer corn pollen. Although I have no clue what the nutrition factor is in either batch

Omie
Jun 19th 2011, 03:09 PM
I'm thinking that when bees are able to forage a wide variety of different pollens and nectars at the same time, they get a more diverse and therefore more nutritionally complete diet. Where I live, farms are smaller and there are all kinds of crops, dairy pasture/haymeadows, forests, gardens, orchards, wetlands, etc.
When i drove through illinois and indiana a couple weeks ago, all I saw was baby corn and soybeans planted as far as the eye could see- no meadows, no forests, no 'wild' land, no wildflowers or weeds, no hedgerows, etc. I really wondered how any bees could find enough to eat thrive on. I realize I only saw areas I traveled through- a limited overview. But geez, it was such a monoculture! Just a casual observation during my road trip.

sqkcrk
Jun 19th 2011, 04:09 PM
It's the monoculture pollens that make constant moving for pollination service so hard on the bees. A mixture of pollens makes for a more complete nutritional source of food for the bees.

I'm not sure what immunilogical benefits the bees get from pollen. I just thought pollen provided nutritional value.

Omie
Jun 19th 2011, 05:25 PM
A mixture of pollens makes for a more complete nutritional source of food for the bees.
I'm not sure what immunilogical benefits the bees get from pollen. I just thought pollen provided nutritional value.

I think the way it works is that if a person or an animal/creature/plant has lots of nutritional deficiencies, then their immunities are lowered and they begin to get various diseases, parasites, and health problems. So it's not that healthy varied pollen provides a strong immune system, it's more that good nutrition prevents the normal healthy immune system from breaking down.

Like when a stray street dog gets severe malnutrition (not starvation, but terrible nutrition such as a diet of only white rice) you can watch it gradually accumulate a mounting array of other problems like mange, fleas, ticks, kennel cough, diarrhea, worms, pneumonia, gum disease and tooth loss, finally kidney failure and death. If it lived in the streets but was fed a nutritious diet, it may get ticks, fleas, and worms, but the parasites won't get the upper hand and the dog will not actually die due to a nutritionally deficient diet. A casual observer might say 'Oh, that dog died due to kidney failure'. A broader diagnosis might be rather that the dog died from the problems caused by nutritional deficiencies.

tecumseh
Jun 20th 2011, 05:31 AM
read 'Fat Bee Skinny Bee' and it is pretty clear that some pollens are extremely lacking in the essential amino acids require for proper development and growth. therefore it appears to me that a variety of pollens is better that one one adequate pollen source.

I think the effect and cause question is pretty much as Omie suggest. that is it is pretty difficult to point you finger and say without question that 'this or that' was the cause of a hive's demise.

barry42001
Jun 23rd 2011, 07:04 AM
Ohh is definately a cause and effect issue as stated above. The real question that needs answering is, how to maintaini a healthy beekeeping enterprize and healthy bees at the same time. Strong colonies don't necessarily mean healthy bees, means that enough of a given food source is comming to raise brood--not really the same thing.

sqkcrk
Jun 23rd 2011, 07:35 AM
Nutrition was never a real concern in the past, as far as I know. But, many of us are moving bees more than ever before onto monoculture crop farms and orchards.

I wonder how much is really known about bee nutrition and how much is known about how to besure your bees are getting what they need from the beekeeper or from nature?

I also wonder how many nonComms will needlessly worry about artificially supplying nutrition to their two hives, thereby spending time and money which they probably don't need to?

I'm all for knowledge, but half knowledge and misunderstanding lead to waste. Which could be good for someone elses pocketbook, I guess.

efmesch
Jun 27th 2011, 07:05 AM
Just wondering about your "monoculture" trip, Omie---did you see many hives along the way?
I like to think of the frequent appearance of apiaries distributed along the roadsides as an indication of an area's NATURAL agricultural health.

Omie
Jun 28th 2011, 06:28 PM
Just wondering about your "monoculture" trip, Omie---did you see many hives along the way?
I like to think of the frequent appearance of apiaries distributed along the roadsides as an indication of an area's NATURAL agricultural health.

Hi there.
No, I saw no hives in back yards, or apiaries anywhere. Granted, most of our driving was along major roads, but we saw plenty of small working farmhouses nestled everywhere amongst the endless fields of corn. One odd thing that struck me was that despite seeing hundreds and hundreds of little farmsteads with houses and farm families living in them, I saw almost no evidence of a family vegetable garden, or of things like chickens, horses, cows, pigs, fruit trees....most farm/homesteads seemed to only have a few large old shade trees, a small lawn, an above ground pool, a steel shed for farm tractors and machinery, a metal silo or two, and a big garage next to the house. I saw less than a dozen vegetable gardens in people's back yards, amongst the hundreds of small farms i passed. I admit it weirded me out, since we were passing through what was supposed to be the world's most fertile food growing land. My husband who grew up there said that long ago there was about 12 feet of top soil around there. :shock: I guess people don't have the time to raise their own vegetables or chickens anymore much. Easier to just grow corn and buy everything else at the supermarket?

sqkcrk
Jun 28th 2011, 06:44 PM
Isn't that what most people do? Work hard at something and pay someone else to do what you can't or don't want to or don't have time to do? My wife grows a garden, but we don't live off of it.

Omie
Jun 28th 2011, 08:39 PM
Yes I do see your point. But then, if I was a farmer with plenty of fertile land all around my house and wanted to raise a little.... oh never mind. I guess farms are different nowadays than from what i remember.

tecumseh
Jun 29th 2011, 05:35 AM
well I think perhaps what folks are talking about here is the general movement in the US from farms being generalist and self sufficient to being extremely specialized. machinery and markets have both moved things in this fashion.

as to spotting hives along the way. a lot of bee keepers do put some effort in to somewhat concealing these from the general public... so they are not generally situated where they are easy to see anyway.

barry42001
Jul 3rd 2011, 05:27 AM
unfornately when the general public, not really knowing about honeybees, and confusing them with yellowjackets or wasps, believe them to be aggressive, and exceptionally defensive ( while largely true of africian hybreds ) and the trends towards vandalizing hives for sport, and our country as a whole being as litigious as it has become, hiding them from the " usual " sight paths is becomming more common, a distraction for the beekeeper, and at times quite inconvient as well.
Barry