Monday, January 25, 2010
The First Pollen Arrives
The health and life expectancy of the young bees developing early in the year is largely dependent upon the quality of the pollen that they bring into the hive at this time. Pollen quality also affects worker bee gland development and helps determine the ability of the young workers to produce food for the next generation of bees. The bees do not have a mechanism for determining the pollen quality, and they often gather substitutes before flowers bloom in abundance. We can help our bees by feeding protein supplements in the form of pollen substitutes. We can also help ensure good bee health by encouraging weedy growth to provide a diversity of pollen sources. Most of today’s bees were returning to the hive with light gray colored pollen; others carried yellow pollen.