Pollen BankPollen Bank

30 Bee-tips

December 2007 - Thomas E. Ferrari
Available in PDF

...to get the most from your hives and supplemental pollen!

  1. For mature orchards 40 acres or less, place hives at the end of the rows.
  2. When blocks are greater than 40 acres, place some hives in the center.
  3. Place colonies in high areas and at least 6 inches above the ground.
  4. Avoid placing hives in low areas that will flood or act as "frost pockets".
  5. Locate hives in the sunniest locations.
  6. Never face hive entrances north: too cool.
  7. Never face hives in shaded areas like under trees: too cool.
  8. Face hive entrances south, or east and west, when hives are attached to pallets.
  9. Keep weeds away from hive entrances.
  10. Use colonies housed in "tight" hive bodies. Seal all other entrances (holes and cracks).
  11. Entrances should be obstructed- center supports can interfere with pollen dispersal.
  12. Frames of bees per acre are more important than hives per acre.
  13. Bee activity is more important than frames of bees.
  14. Assign only the strongest hives (100+ bees coming and going per minutes) a dispenser.
  15. Wear protective veil, gloves, and coveralls while installing dispensers.
  16. Place dispensers at the entrance, flat side down, and vent slots against hive front.
  17. Install them at least one day prior to applying pollen.
  18. Purchase 100 million Viable Pollens Per Acre (VPPA): Minimum.
  19. Do not buy pollen by the gram. Know the number of active (viable) ingredients.
  20. Do not use pollen mixed with additives or diluents (sugars, lycopodium, flour, or any "carriers").
  21. Never, never try blowing pollen onto an insect-pollinated crop!
  22. Store pollen frozen (below -10°F) upon arrival and thaw 30 minutes prior to use.
  23. Keep pollen cool in a cooler while being dispensed in the field.
  24. Do not apply pollen when weather conditions prevent or will stop bee flight.
  25. Apply pollen only when colonies are active, usually in the morning when bee activity is high.
  26. If pollen is dispersed in less than 15 minutes, a second or third application is okay.
  27. If pollen is not dispersed in 15 minutes, the bees are not sufficiently active or the colony is weak.
  28. Obtain a BoCalTM analysis during early bloom to optimize Boron and Calcium for female fertility.
  29. Obtain a BoCalTM analysis to increase natural pollen viability and performance in your orchards.
  30. When a Boron or Calcium deficiency is detected, simply correct is with a foliar nutrient spray.