Posts Tagged With: pollen

Dandelion season

 

dandy2017


dandy22017

She seems to blend as one with this dandelion flower. I would have thought she had enough! I hope she is strong enough to take that load home!

Categories: Abundance, Beekeeping, Herbaceous Plants | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Bee Bread

I’m sitting in front of the woodstove and the snow is falling. So goes spring! Yesterday, was windy but warm and sunny and the honeybees were doing the best that they could to gather pollen from early blooming trees and flowers. I could not resist to, yet again, try to get the perfect shot of the blue pollen that the bees gather from the tiny Siberian Squill.

At our Chester County Beekeepers meeting last night, we had a speaker talking to us about bee nutrition. The bees need the protein that comes in the form of pollen as well as the sugar in nectar. The pollen is not eaten directly. It is carried into the hive on the bodies of the foraging bees. It is mixed with saliva and nectar and packed into the cells as bee bread. The recipe is slightly fermented with lactobacillus which comes from the gut of the bees. That fermentation process makes the food more stable and resistant to pathogens. It, also, assists in breaking down the cell walls of the pollen to make it more digestible. I’m sharing a link from an amazing article about bee bread coming from Nordic Food Lab. Such creative minds! The young worker bees eat the bee bread so that they can produce royal jelly from glands in their head. That royal jelly is critical in feeding the young larvae in the brood. Without this nutrition, the hive produces weak bees and begins to function poorly. Our hives are producing lots of worker bees already.

 

 

Categories: Beekeeping, Herbaceous Plants, Insects | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Microscopy

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400x, phase contrast, 3 images combined. Please, click on image to enlarge.

Isn’t it a beauty? This is an image that J took of a pollen grain. This pollen grain was taken from a pollen pellet (a sample that another beekeeper/scientist shared with us) that the honeybees brought to their hive. We know not from where this pollen grain comes. We have some guesses. (Galanthus nivalis, the common snowdrop?) In the photos below, you will see us referencing Peter Lindtner’s book “Garden Plants for Honey Bees.” It has great photos and information about forage plants for honey bees as well as images of pollen grains from identified flowers. We’d like to help with research and know for ourselves what flowers the honeybees are visiting in our geographical region, what flower pollen is in our honey, and what pollen helps to flavor our mead. As soon as the flowers begin to bloom again, we’ll be plucking samples to begin the work. If we make good progress with this work, we may be able to track the changes that occur as new plantings on the farm mature. Meanwhile, enjoy the images of our first day with the microscope.

Categories: Beekeeping, Microscopy | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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