Pollen is a protein food source for the bees. This powdery substance is collected from flowers, by the forager bees, and brought back to the hive and stored in cells. Pollen is then used to make bee bread, (a mixture of honey and pollen) as well as royal jelly. Pollen is also the main source of amino acids in the honey bee diet. Bees collect a variety of pollen types to be healthy, just as we humans consume a variety of foods.
Pollen color varies, from plant to plant. For example, these are some of the pollen sources/colors that bloom in our gardens and meadows:
Throughout the season, the ladies store a serious amount of pollen for the winter. This makes my heart so happy. As a beekeeper, I feel it is my job to provide pollinator friendly flowers, shrubs and trees for my sweet bees. When people ask me how many colonies I would ultimately like to have, my answer is, “As many as our 13 acres can support.” Would I love 100 colonies? Yes! But, I feel it is important to have balance.
When I committed to becoming a beekeeper, I committed to providing for not only my honey bees, but for my local pollinators. Expanding Indigo Acres Apiary also means expanding our pollinator gardens/meadows. I would love to be able to count on the forage that is within 2 miles of our home, but I just can’t. By providing chemical free forage, I know our ladies are healthy and safe. Maybe I am an overprotective bee mama, but I like to encourage my sweet bees to remain close to home.
As you are planning for your spring garden, keep in mind that planting a variety of pollinator friendly plants is most beneficial. Although sunflowers are a wonderful choice, adding sunflowers, borage, and hyssop provide not only pollen variety, but blooms that will support your local pollinators throughout the seasons.
Our motto here at Indigo Acres Apiary is simple: “Plant a Flower, Save a Bee!”
Let’s Bee Inspired! Roda
For more information about Indigo Acres Apiary, visit our About Us Page!