Tuesday, May 20, 2014

First Inspections

We really jumped right in to this year's beekeeping and Mr. Bee has already been very busy with maintenance.

Can I say that spring has sprung?  Is it actually official now? Maybe??  

Trees are a major source of pollen for the bees, so they have already been collecting quite a lot. The nectar is not yet at a strong flow, so we have been feeding the bees (using Mr. Bee's clever feeding method) with a simple sugar syrup to give them plenty to work with until the "nectar flow".

If you look closely at the back legs of bee in the top center, you'll see some nice yellow pollen pellets on her legs. It's so exciting!  All three hives are bringing in pollen...

...and all three hives are now building and filling comb with pollen and nectar.

The best news is that Mr. Bee also found eggs in each hive, which is VERY important.  It means that the queens were accepted and that each one is busy laying eggs.  We are counting the days until the new bees hatch, and Mr. Bee is already preparing to add more space for Hive 1 (the rightmost in the photos of all the hives I've shown before). Hive 2 is the middle, and "My Hive" is the leftmost. I'm sorry we didn't come up with more clever names for the hives, but that could still happen. I can tell you that My Hive is already clearly more aggressive than the others.  This is most likely due to the temperament of the queen. These girls have also been a little slower at comb-building compared to the other hives, while Hive 1 is all ready for another super full of frames to fill up!

Check out these bees below, very busy filling the comb and getting ready to make honey.  More about how they do this in another post.

My favorite photo from the first inspection is below. This is not quite in focus, but you can clearly see the pollen pellet on this girl's hindmost leg. I'm still daydreaming about where this pollen came from...a dandelion? ...a tree? ...next door? ...a mile away?  I think it's a nice thing to wonder.

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