Monday, April 15, 2013

Spring Flowers Arrive in Abundance

Hello spring and here we are mid-April and I have more flowers to photograph than I have time for.  Stuff is blooming everywhere and it's sunny, cloudy, rainy and stormy sometimes all at the same time!  So far all four hives are still alive and I think I owe part of that to mother nature being kind and not throwing any late winter storms at us.  In fact the mild weather had maples in full bloom about 8 days ago blooming right along with the cherries.  That's a couple weeks before I usually see them hitting their peak.  I don't think the bees were able to do much with them because we had almost daily rain with sun breaks and from what I've been told you need several days of sunshine in a row to get good nectar production from maples.

Collecting pollen from these tiny Myosotis Sylvatica

This was Sunday afternoon for about 15 minutes then sunshine for an hour and then downpour rain.

Pussy Willow blooms - I took this a couple weeks ago by the water.

Chocolate lilies are about to open.


Stachyurus praecox

Mallow are great for attracting all kinds of pollinators and grow like weeds.

Cherry tree sap.  I've often wondered what the bees would do if I just left a gob of this by their entrance.  The bees are usually all over the cherry trees collecting propolis.

Lawn Daisy

Muscari armeniacum

Star Magnolia


Euphorbia characias with a ladybug looking for aphids.

Platanus × acerifolia, London plan flower bud

Hive Checks (4/14/2013)

Took a quick peak to see if were still alive and the good news is that they are still kicking and perhaps even starting to build up.  Added a jar of syrup to see if that helps them along any.

Girls collecting water.

Icon Daughter Nuc
They seem to be doing good and have a lot of drones on the way. They might be getting cramped for space so pulled one of three reserve bars of honey in the back so I could put a frame of brood comb up near the entrance.  They were also storing fresh nectar so I think they are going to be good for food without that bar. I saw another sick bee with deformed wing on this inspection so hopefully they can build up quickly enough to outpace the issues.

My what big eyes you have... sadly there is a varroa on this guys neck.

Back to the bees,

- Jeff