Features of collecting pollen in an apiary
Pollen collection is necessary for several reasons: it contains proteins that bees need to grow a brood and will be needed for feeding, and is also an ingredient in a healthy diet. About the features of collecting pollen in an apiary, read further in the article.
Bee Pollen Properties
Flower pollen is the male reproductive cells produced by all flowering plants for fertilization and fruit formation. It accumulates on the legs and bodies of working bees. Sometimes nectar and bee saliva are included. This composition is called pollen. Since the product comes from many plants, its composition may vary depending on the region of honey collection. Did you know? Pollen can be synthesized only by a working bee. It cannot be obtained artificially.
When the bees fly through the air, they create a positive static electric charge on their body. This helps them collect pollen from the flowers they visit.
- Features and Benefits:
- It is considered one of the most complete foods due to its comprehensive and balanced nutritional composition.
- Normalizes the immune system, increases vitality.
- It is an excellent stimulant for the work of the brain, relieves fatigue, increases activity and helps to concentrate for a long period of time.
- It can be used by athletes and bodybuilders to increase strength and stamina.
- Contains 22 amino acids and is a "muscle builder".
- Helps to eliminate nausea, sleep disturbances, stress and anxiety, bringing the body into harmony.
The product is rich in B vitamins (B1, B2 and B3) - they are necessary for the health of the nervous system and brain. They are often called "anti-stress" vitamins designed to optimize the functioning of the nervous system.
Learn more about the properties of bee pollen.
Can I collect pollen myself?
Pollen is collected by beekeepers using special traps. They are installed at the entrance to the hive and contain holes large enough so that the returning forager (the bee delivering supplies) can squeeze through it. In the process of creeping through the hole in the trap, the trim is knocked down from the hind legs of the bee and falls through the filter into the assembly box.
There are many affordable and easy to use product collection designs. Regardless of what type of trap is used, it is important that the other entrances to the hive are closed, otherwise the bees will start using them so as not to lose the debris brought into the hive.
Did you know? Some beekeepers claim that the bees are smart enough that, having estimated the size of the hole, they just start flying into the hive with less pollen and successfully squeeze through it.
Pollen Harvesting Periods
The best time to pick up beehives from the hive is spring. However, in the fall you can organize an additional fee. The most suitable place to store the collected product fresh, free of bacteria, is a refrigerator.
The time of collection is controlled by the bees themselves. Usually they collect pollen from one honey plant. But if it is not enough, then the collection is carried out from several plants. At the same time, some plants fly around in the morning, while others - in the afternoon.
What should be the conditions for collection
At the end of daylight, the beekeeper can pick up a tray with assembled trim.
At night he is not left in the hive for several reasons:
- the bees do not fly at night, and a tray at the entrance is not needed;
- pollen absorbs nightly moisture during the night, and this can ruin it.
During the day, up to 100 g of scraps are collected from one hive. With good honey collection, this figure can reach 300 g. The collected product must be dried and stored. Important! Not all pollen ingredients have been studied well enough. However, nutritionists noted that vitamins from other products are absorbed by the body easier and faster if there is pollen in the diet.
Pruning traps vary in design and size, but they function the same. There are a lot of them on sale, so you should consider the main ones.
External dust collectors
All external devices are presented in the form of a housing, two grilles and a box. Through the first of the lattices, the bees penetrate the hive. The second is mounted on the housing and acts as a filter through which the knocker enters the assembly box.
Modern traps are made of durable plastic or wood. They are completely safe for bees. The design of the trap should provide excellent ventilation to prevent the accumulation of moisture.
- Advantages of such traps:
- they are easy to remove and maintain;
- do not require special efforts from the beekeeper;
- are inexpensive.
A significant drawback of such a trap is that it needs to be removed during rain.
Internal pollen catchers
An internal trap is installed at the bottom of the hive and is connected to the inlet of the flyway. In it, as well as in the external one, there are nets, a drawer, a housing and a tap hole.
Indoor installation is an advantage, as the structure does not get wet if it rains. But this is also a drawback - it is impossible to get it without disturbing the bees in the rain.
Important! Consume pollen from 1/4 teaspoon per day, gradually bring the amount to 1 dessert spoon. You can add it to yogurt, smoothies or ice cream, and also eat with cereal in the morning.
Pollen Collection and Storage Rules
In the process of passing through the holes of the lattice, the trimmer from the hind legs of the bees gets lost and falls into the collection box. The diameter of the holes in the grill is about 5 mm. The number of holes is about 200. By evening, about 100-200 g of product is collected in a box, they are seized at night.
Some traps are best used only for a short period - about a few days. The use of catchers is stressful for the colony, so bees should not be subjected to prolonged discomfort.
Video: collecting pollen in an apiary
Some trap manufacturers report that the devices hold only a certain percentage of the beehive trimmer, and this allows it to be used continuously. However, beekeepers believe that constant use of the structure causes the death of bees, so whether or not to follow the advice of producers is up to you.
Fresh pollen contains from 10 to 12% water. Dried - about 4%. Presumably, drying in the sun reduces the effectiveness of the product by 50% due to the oxidation of antioxidants. Accordingly, the best storage method is considered to be freezing immediately after collection. If drying is selected, then it must be performed in the dark at a temperature of + 30 ° C. The dried product is stored in sealed glass jars. Find out also the difference between bee pollen and pollen.
Approach the organization of collecting the described product thoughtfully, given the strength of the bee family and the amount of honey collection. The direct use of traps and their maintenance are not complex processes, so if there is an excess of pollen, you can always arrange for it.