Sunday, April 19, 2015

Bee Day 2015

We've definitely been feeling springtime around here.
**In Minnesota, it can take a while before you're positive that spring has arrived. It was 75 degrees on Saturday and we have snow in the forecast for this week.

Nevertheless, the trees are budding and our surviving hive has workers busy collecting loads of light, buttery yellow, pale green and golden pollen. The main source of pollen this time of year is trees and you may remember that pollen is a source of protein for honeybees. Nectar provides a carbohydrate. We have been feeding the hive sugar syrup and will continue to do so until nectar is fully available in "the wild".

You'll notice that the kids weren't with us for Bee Day this year. Although we would have brought them along, and I love for them to see everything, my mom was gracious enough to watch them.  I'll admit it was a little peace of mind to not have the kids AND 40,000+1 bees in the car at the same time. (This is an approximate number, of course. We had picked up our two, three-pound packages - 10 to 12 thousand bees each - two for a friend, and a queen bee for our beekeeping mentor, Mr. Martin, who needed a new one for one of his hives.

Mr. Martin came to say hello and get his new queen.

Here is what one of our just-opened, three-pound package of honeybees look like:

Mr. Bee was in charge of dumping the bees into the hives.  These are some of my favorite photos to review since you get a tiny hint of the amount of flying that's going on around us.  It's like being in a snow globe...of bees. I love it.

 I was in charge of getting the queen cage ready.  Below, you can see that it's already in position and ready for us to get the different covers and feeders on.

 Here's a view of our new hive:

This is what we're going to call a "modified" top bar hive.  It's a version of the Kenyan Top Bar Hive that we're able to use our frames in.  I'll tell you more about this hive as the season goes on, but you can also read about the Kenyan Top Bar Hive here (link) if you just can't wait.

Here are some of our girls, checking out their brand new hive:

This is the most busy time of the beekeeping year for us, so I'll have more updates soon.

Below, you can see Mr. Bee and Mr. T admiring the bees, already at work...

...and I'll share my favorite photos of the day.  Can you see the whitetail doe below?  Amazing camouflage!

...and one of our new honeybees.  I think she might be waving.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Countdown to Bee Day...

...which is tomorrow!

We've been setting out the hives, feeding sugar syrup to the bees who made it through winter, and getting our new top bar hive finalized.  I'm looking forward to sharing with you about our "Bee Day"!