Beekeeping forum: What's going on here? Coffeepollen??

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Name: Asa

Bee Lover Garden Photography Region: Utah Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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evermorelawnless
Jan 19, 2015 10:10 PM CST
It's been warm enough on a couple of days (western Rockies foothills) this month for our neighbor's bees to come over for a visit. They've been clustering around the base of a rose and a purple smokebush where we've been dumping coffee grounds this winter. There are also a couple of other places in the yard (although farther from the hives) that have coffee ground dumps but not the interest from the bees.

Have a look at the photos...it looks like they're filling their sacs with coffee. I'm stumped. caffeinated honey??
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Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
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Mindy03
Jan 20, 2015 2:14 PM CST

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Hi. I'm not sure what's going on with the coffee grounds but the coffee tree is a honey bee plant.
They may be getting something from the grounds that they get from the plant. Though I would think roasting the coffee and then brewing it to drink would destroy the nutritive value


But I'm sure the bees know more than I do.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Jan 20, 2015 4:52 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Our bees do similarly strange things. They go after things that we dump and I can never find a rhyme or reason. My only guess is that there's some rare mineral or vitamin they are finding in the item they are mining.
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Beekeeper
Seed Starter Permaculture Region: Kentucky Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Mindy03
Jan 20, 2015 5:14 PM CST

Moderator

Here it happens in the spring with sawdust from fresh cut wood. I figure they are getting sap from the sawdust.
Name: Asa

Bee Lover Garden Photography Region: Utah Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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evermorelawnless
Jan 21, 2015 7:56 AM CST
I talked to an entomologist PhD candidate friend of mine. He was equally baffled - but doesn't think that any harm will come to the bees. They are good at what they do. It's all pretty neat, nonetheless. @flaflwrgrl did some neat research and posted it in this thread:
http://garden.org/thread/view_post/769499/

I'm going with the making of propolis with caffeic acid as a component.

Thanks for the replies. I sure get a kick out of seeing/learning new things!
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[Last edited by evermorelawnless - Jan 21, 2015 8:00 AM (+)]
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Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
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flaflwrgrl
Jan 21, 2015 9:34 AM CST
Mindy03 said:Here it happens in the spring with sawdust from fresh cut wood. I figure they are getting sap from the sawdust.


I think Margaret is right here about the sawdust b/c they do use sap in making propolis.
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