Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bees Loving the Unseasonably Warm Weather

Back in mid-March we had some of the most unseasonably warm weather that I can ever remember having.  I'm talking in the mid to high 80's for an entire week straight.  It re-charged the mind, body and soul and confused the plants and wildlife alike.  While the bees may not have been expecting warmer temps, especially not that warm anyway for at least 3-4 more weeks they sure wasted no time in springing to life, turning green, even flowering and looking for love (the wildlife that is, not the plants).

Our bee hive also wasted no time and took advantage of what the warm weather brought with it, pollen!  All the blooming flowers and trees were and are rich with pollen that the bees couldn't get enough off.  Honeybees are in great part responsible for pollinating the earth's food supply and for making our plants and trees thrive.  Without them humans could not exist because our grown food supply that also affects the animals we eat would disappear.  It was so nice to see the bees leaving the hive and coming back with little beads of pollen on their back legs.  One of the earliest species of trees to bloom in our area were the Weeping Willows and the bees couldn't hide where they had been because these tiny little beads matched the color of the pale yellow pollen that the willows produce.

As March turned to April temps at night were hitting hard frost levels which I'm sure confused the bees and did damage some of the plants and flowers that popped up pre-maturely during the odd warm spell.  We'll see if the damage is permanent.  During the warm days the bees are out working hard bringing all sorts of pollen and nectar back to the hive to start making more honey.  The pollen now is a richer yellow in color and I suspect that all the Dandelions that are out now are a constant source for them.

I added another "super" box onto the hive which is where the bees make the honey.  These are more shallow than the deeper "brood" boxes that are the base of the hives where more bees are hatched.  The artwork on the second super box from the top is by my brother Todd, www.toddkancar.com

In these photos you will see that the frames did well over winter and the bees have "capped" off the cells where the honey is stored.  I suspect that this year, the hive's second season, will produce some honey for us based on the looks of things.

These bees are hanging out on the inside hive cover.

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