Week 45 – 50 ~ First Flight of Spring
February 22nd 2009
The bees were out foraging! I think the winter is coming to an end for them. It was exciting to see the scouts out looking for sources of nectar. There were lots of bees on the outside of the hives examining cracks and openings where the wood had aged or shrunk.
One hive has lots of bees on the outside of the hive examining things, another hive is relatively quiet and the third hive is already going out and returning with big pollen legs. I was surprised to see this…seems sort of early to be so laden with pollen.
The possible sources of nectar at this time of year are crocus, heather, skunk cabbage, pussy willow (pollen), maple and apricot. Now the maple and arpricot are defintely not blooming yet this year….but the rest are.
Sunday March 8th 2009
So it is March and snowing
…Can’t believe this winter. As much as it slows things up I have to say I like it.
…meanwhile at the barn
I got to the farm and fed the bees a 1 to 1 ration of sugar syrup.
The first hive which has always been very active had a lot of smaller bees coming out of the top.
Personality: happy, mellow and busy.
The second hive, which is from the orginal queens I bought and then swarmed have become a lot darker than the other hives.
Personality: intense, aloof, serious and solitary.
The numbers in the 2nd hive are quite a bit smaller than the other hives and I have been worried (somewhat) that they will survive the winter.
Personality: wild, independent and calm
I am looking forward to getting into these hives and checking for the queens and also signs of Varroa. The weather is going to have to get a lot warmer though….. 55 or so.