NZBF: Mouldy pollen

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10
4
auckland
Experience
Beginner
I took it varroa treatment today. Hive is looking good with plenty of honey, bees and brood. And they are still out collecting.

I have 3 3/4 boxes. The bottom box has no brood but still some pollen and mostly empty. However the pollen was mouldy.

Is this a problem?
 

yesbut

Staff member
11,858
6,983
Nelson
Experience
Hobbyist
I'd remove it and store in a dry spot until needed in spring. The bees will clean out the mouldy stuff then.
 
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Reactions: Josh
8,605
5,057
maungaturoto
Experience
Commercial
you want to avoid having empty boxes at the bottom (especially if not packed with bees). this is why 2x 3/4 boxes is common.
i would remove it and store it.
 
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Reactions: Josh
1
0
Auckland
Experience
Beginner
Hi, newbie here.1 hive, full depth BB at bottom, QE and 3/4 over with some nectar/honey. Received bees and hive in early Nov'21and harvested a full depth super in early March '22.

Was changing the OA strips on the weekend and observed mould on a few frames (also bee numbers greatly reduced). I understand from this thread that I should be removing the frames with mould and reintroducing them next season for the bees to clean. Correct?

20220501_122955redu.jpg
 
8,605
5,057
maungaturoto
Experience
Commercial
Hi, newbie here.1 hive, full depth BB at bottom, QE and 3/4 over with some nectar/honey. Received bees and hive in early Nov'21and harvested a full depth super in early March '22.

Was changing the OA strips on the weekend and observed mould on a few frames (also bee numbers greatly reduced). I understand from this thread that I should be removing the frames with mould and reintroducing them next season for the bees to clean. Correct?
a frame, i would not bother removing.
if you have an entre box thats empty of bees, i would remove the whole box.
outside frames are the pollen frames and pollen going moldy is much the norm. bees clean it out just fine.

i would be more inclined to pay attention to your mite treatments and bee numbers.
 
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Reactions: Josh
3,483
6,498
Hawkes Bay
Experience
Commercial
Stored pollen is a valuable resource for the hive and I am always hesitant to remove it.
I generally don't worry about the odd mouldy frame as the bees will clean it up in the spring. If you do take pollen frames out of a hive then unless you keep it somewhere like a freezer, pollen mites will infest it and by the time you want to use it in the spring it will just be dust which the bees can clean out quite easily.
One of my biggest jobs every winter is to go through every box and every frame that I have stored and scrape and clean them. I do this as early as possible in the winter as if you leave it too late and the pollen mites have done the job you can get really bad sinus from all the dust.
Strong hives in the spring can and will clean up just about anything from bits of dead brood to old mouldy pollen and they can do a lot better job of it than we can. Combs that have been filled up the silt from flooding are the exception and with wax frames anyway all you can do is burn or bury them.
If you have plastic frames you can water blast them but make sure you dry them properly afterwards.
Any frames which are broken, black with cocoons , have a lot of dead brood or I just don't like the look of them get melted out and the wax is made into new foundation.
 
2
2
Bay of Plenty
Experience
Hobbyist
My bees don't like the bottom box either. They tend to put just pollen in it. I have wondered if it is because they are on a hive doctor base. I wonder if they want their cluster to be higher above ground level in winter because it is warmer and the vented bottom board keeps things a bit cold. Does anyone have thoughts on that? I have only ever used the Hive Doctor base so I don't know whether colonies with a solid base also do this.
 
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Mummzie

Staff member
Gold
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Tasman
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I'm sure there are plenty of thoughts about it- and they may well vary- but usually there is a reason.

A Northern Hemisphere beekeeper who visited me once was looking to see if the bees were storing pollen in the bottom box. To him, it was a sign the bees were starting to get ready for winter.
I have solid bases mostly, and cant say I have noticed a difference. Yes, I had lots of pollen in the bottom this autumn. I try to make sure the colony fits the space for winter- ie not much empty space. I reduce the entrances for winter.
 


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