While watching the weather forecast they mentioned the pollen count and had an index on which pollens were high and which were low for our area. The three types were tree, grass and weed pollens. I know they report this mostly for people that suffer from allergies but would this report also be helpful for bee keepers? Could a high pollen count mean that I should be seeing more pollen coming into the hive on those days versus nectar? Just curious…
Not really because most of the pollen they are counting is from wind-borne pollen, generated by wind pollinated plants such as grasses and trees. Those pollens are generally not collected by bees.
I guess it depends on what pollens and what else is available.
Here in the UK Willows are wind pollinated but the trees are a very valuable source of early pollen, as are, to a lesser extent, Hazel, Alder and Silver Birch.
We are in the middle of a Sycamore (Maple) flow here and even though the flowers are wind pollinated the bees are collecting pollen as well as nectar. It’s strange that a wind pollinated tree like Sycamore produces so much nectar.
I see honey bees on Plantain grass too, which has high quality pollen but it is more often used by Bumbles.
Later in the year bees will forage on Maize.
So the answer is maybe
It makes sense that a plant would utilize both methods just to cover its bases. It isn’t a very good survival tactic to place all your eggs in one basket so to speak. What if there is not sufficient wind, or enough pollinators that year? Use both methods and you’re covered.