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Grow Baby! Grow!

bees-pollen

Finally, the bees are bringing in gobs of pollen.

Bees, like us, need protein to grow. With the warm weather trees and plants are giving it up. And the bees are bring it in. Want to know what blooms and when? Chuck Dailey has put together information from the Indiana State Apiarist. You can see it here. This year the pollen has come on (that's a term you'll hear beekeepers use) late. We've seen it as early as the beginning of February.

Here are some fun facts about bees and pollen.

  • The worker bee will collect pollen or nectar but not both.
  • She (all worker bees are female) can collect her own weight in pollen.
  • She carries it in specialized 'pollen baskets' on her legs.
  • Adult bees don't eat pollen. Their tissues don't regenerate and so don't need protein.
  • Bees digest pollen into a food we call bee bread. They add saliva and nectar to it to break the proteins into amino acids.
  • Bee bread is fed to the developing larvae.

If you have kids you know they are expensive to raise. Before the pollen comes on they were using the stores from the hive to make new bees or brood. This new pollen is like money in the bank and the queen starts laying new eggs at an increased clip.

And that's what we want to see.

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