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Sharing my bees!

Today I had a chance to share my Flow-Hive n bees with a new friend. My friend is Vietnamese n doesn’t have anyplace to have a hive. Today he came n I put him in one of my extra bee suits letting him harvest fresh pollen from my Flow-Hives pollen trap I added about one week ago. His wife was busy taking pixs from a distance as I opened the windows on my flow-hive super. He was able to watch my bees busy working on the middle four frames. It was a great time. I gave him a 1/2 dozen fresh farm eggs for his use.

It’s really neat sharing what God has blessed me with.



You have a really nice clean setup there Gerald. What is a pollen trap? I guess I could just look it up on mr. Google but thought I’d ask. Are you using the pollen medicinally or health applications?


Naaah … I have friends that asked if I had extra pollen for allergies n health. But it’s really not my thing. I get stung enough so if bees are good to help with arthritis … I should be okay. But I do not believe my family or I have a history of this medical issue.

A pollen trap is a device/ box that combs the pollen nodules from many of the bees as they enter the hive. There are front hive models n bottom models. Mine are the bottom style. You can see the pollen trap @ the bottom of the hive huve stack. here I’m teaching a new Vietnamese friend about my Flow-hive n collecting pollen … It is nice helping n sharing with others what I learn n have.

I hope this helps you understand me. Have a great Sunday n week ahead.

Ta ta,


Just wondered if not reasons you mentioned above, why are you collecting it Gerald? Wouldn’t the bees benefit more from it being stored in the hive?..


All my hives have more than enough pollen resources in frames from our recent main nectar n pollen flow. Okay … That said …

  1. I want make some of my own pollen patties (a mix of local pollens n pollen substitute).

  2. I’ve just added to my strongest two hives only. It’s an experiment to see how much they actually bring in after the last main flow. Since I will be feeding it to all my hives n especially weaker hive next early Spring it is going back to those hives that need it most. That addition will also help me ramp up/control brood build up for next Springs first main flows.

  3. I have a couple Vietnamese family that believe it help relieve allergy symptoms. (Not sure I’m convinced it works but they are).

I hope this helps give you a drift to what I’m doing. I’m always working with my girls to see just what happen when, how n where. Watch the colors n types of pollens is also an educate at what flower are putting out pollen the hives are bringing in. I really like learning new stuff n then sharing the good, okay, fair, bad n ugly of stuff to learn how to better care for my honeybees.

. Learning is why purchased the entire “Flow-Hive” system… I want to see for us hobbiest if it’s worth the effort n price as I must weigh in the time, effort, extractor costs of tradition methods. If so I will change all my hives over to 7 frame (Flow-Supers) for the rest of my 10 frame Langstroth hives too.

I hope that give you insight into my reasoning n thinking. Only a few thinks are in stone in my life. This is an old beekeeper musings returning after 55 years away.

Cheerio n Ta ta,


B.T.W. Kristen … I also record n keep pretty good records so I can review n alter good/fair/ugly results.

. No pain no gain !


Hi Gerald- where are you located?I too have a Flow Hive but no bees yet…Would love to link up with someone who has had a hive 'running for a while/ who can bless me with some advice !

I live at Ryde in Sydney


Cheers Michelle,

My eldest daughter is named Michelle. As for coming to see my hives your more than WELCOME but it’s a loooooong flight to Seatac International airport near Seattle. I love to share n teach … That’s why I am a part time ESL language teacher to older Adult Vietnamese students on Friday evening too.

I’m guessing there must be someone more LOCAL than I near Sidney. I know a lot of Flow-Hives were started all over Australia last Spring. Up here in the States we’re moving thru our first “Flow” season. I started three 10 frame Langstroth hives in April n caught a swarm mid May here … This swarm I raised up to full strength in a triple deep Five frame Nuc.

I’m no stranger to beekeeping but I was a young lad back in the late 1950’s n 60’s before it was off to Vietnam. Loved bees then n same same now.

Question: when do you expect to get a Nuc or package of bees there ?? Or do you know. It’s hard having to wait. I had to do that all last winter until our Spring in April. It’s had been 55 years since I had raised bees.

I only bought my Flow-Hive in mid June this year. My other hives were bustling/doing great n I needed a larger hive to put my super Nuc into (my Nuc was three boxes high—that’s fifteen deep full frames) that needed a new n bigger home ! Flow-hive orders seemed to be getting to customers in couple weeks so decided NOW was the time. My full “Flow” arrived in less than 10 days. On June 28th in transferred my large Nuc to the Flow-brood box n one additional deep I ordered from the company that makes Flow-Hive here in the Pacific NW… That colony of bees n our summer is so good I decided to add the Flow-Super because the lower 2 boxes were near 90% stuffed/full… So I’m enjoying the new Flow very much.

Wow ! How did I write this BOOK when all you ASKEd was where do you live … Sorry !

Now keep looking for someone to share closer young lady. And enjoy your bees when you get them !!

Ta ta,


P.S. These pix’s are from today when I was harvesting pollen from my Flow-Hive colony. And if you need advise along the way give us a line. Glad to give you some thots n ideas. There are a lot of people on here much more knowledge than me …, so don’t hesitate to ask us !!!

. Harvesting pollen !

Thanks Gerald for filling me in. Will be interesting to see end results, how much etc (I just had another look at your photos & saw the 9.9,is that kilos? Lots!). Friends of mine in New Zealand were 10 years ago, researching the use of bee venom for treatment of arthritis & rheumatism. What sort of allergies do they use it for? I imagine different pollens would be useful for different applications, wouldn’t all have same qualities. That could be next research step? :wink: I.d pollens sources?

Hi Kirsten ,
on topic check out bee stings to medicate lime disease caused by us ticks !
Cheers the Captain

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Weight is in U.S. ounces (oz.) … Yes ! 9.9 k would be a lot of pollen. My Vn friends use it to build up resistance to some flower, trees n grass allergies. I’m guessing since my flower pollens don’t contain either grass or tree pollens it’s not as helpful. But they don’t seem to care. It is part of their cultural medicine so don’t go there … I did tell them to be extremely careful as mine is not yet dried n might be stronger. They did take that info into advisement.

I get stung all the time so maybe I won’t worry about artritis n so forth :+1:. It’s cloudy today but my girls are still busy out foraging for nectar n pollens. I love seeing the many colors … . I need to get busy with house n garden work. My wife has musclar dystrophy so I now do all the housework n cooking. Kind of keeps me busy with my other likes n jobs.

Ta ta,

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Thanks Gerald, ounces makes much more sense :slight_smile: The pollen colours are beautiful, it’s one of my new obsesssions. I found a couple of research sites dedicated to pollens, even more amazing under the microscope.


Kristan… Found a few enlarged pix’s of pollen. Wow ! So interesting n amazing !


If you find great pix’s or unique factoids please post. I’d love to learn n know more. Have a great evening. Gerald


They are great images, the pollens have been dyed , this is a very interesting site



these are some of Australian native pollens…


Above is very good about nutritional qualities of bee collected pollens, by flower

There are so many!!

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wow gerald your flow hive has become huge! Makes our one box winter hive look tiny. Also at that height- it has an almost Pagoda-like look to it. Bee Pagoda.

Also very interesting to see the pollen trap in operation. It is indeed amazing multicolored stuff. I saw very small and expensive jars of it for sale at the health food store on the weekend. You have a small (very small) fortune there in pollen.

Supposedly it works particularly well in treating allergies if used locally because it gives the immune system a ‘taste’ of the pollen it will be encountering in that particular area.

Those pictures sure are ‘enlarged’- must be an electron scanning microscope. I have several vintage optical microscopes (Leitz) and make slides up of diatomaceous earth (something beekeepers are also familiar with). It is actually made up of the fossils of billions of diatoms- microscopic algae.

Microscopists have been known to make amazing slides- carefully collecting and arranging tiny diatoms to form intricate patterns- like this:

The Diatomist

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Hi Michelle,

Yes ! My Flow does look like a mini pagoda … I was our early at sunrise watering my garden, plants n adding water to my small pond. Here’s another colorful photo rainbow of pollin in collected yesterday again. . This morning tiny water droplets formed at tips of my bamboo leaves. The morning light shined thru them like little diamonds. before 06:00 my bees were out n flying. I guess that’s where the saying came from, " busy as a bee"! Well today I must hurry … I have one furnace inspection n cleaning job. My customers call n have me check their furnace/home gas heater for safety n operation for this coming heating season/winter . Got to get busy here… Have a great day !

Ta ta,

Hi Gerald, thank you for your posts and photographs. I wonder what brand your pollen trap is, and where do you purchase it? Have you found it helpful to feed it back to the girls early Spring? I’m just going into my second Spring, and would like to fit a trap later on in the year.
Regards, Catherine

Currently I’m technology wise lock-out of the Flow-forum by my stupid phone.

Anyway, I picked these up from Brushy MountAin. I have two 8 frame n two 10 frame models. They are easy to use n have worked nicely for me. I’ve currently removed the trapped as I want my colonies to fatten up their pollen resources.

Here the trap drawer is slid into place from the left side of the trap.

The trap drawers can be used either right or left sided. Only removing two wood screws the drawer is changed to the opposite side. The third photo shows the opposite (right) side with the insert that can be quickly removed n put in the left side. You also see the front panel with the “eye-screw”. This panel can be raised or lowered to bypass the trap giving your bees normal entrance access. I’ve noticed each colony takes to the addition of the trap differently (maybe a hour or so up to several days). Different strokes for different folks/bees.

I hope this answers your question. The trap is a certain brand name but is listened n pictured in Brushy’s catalog. Good luck !

Enjoying Beekeeping in the Pacific NW of Washington State.


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Just in case your wondering. I’ve used the screened drawer to dry n preserve rose :rose: petals from the 18 long stemmed roses I gave Vera on our 50th wedding anniversary… thus rose petal vs colorful pollen . :grin:

These pix’s are from my buddies Apiary n a different front drawer model. His are much older than mine n not a clue where they were purchased. He actually bought over a 100 traps from a local retiring beekeeper here in Washington a couple years ago.



I was going to use some to refeed early … but found great price on Pollen patties so didn’t attempt making my own. My wife has M.D. so don’t have time to make extra messes n home brews n take care of her, the house, meals n etc.

I do have a lot of Asian family n friends that use the pollen so gave it to them this last winter. Here’s a
Pix in their catalog >>>