Saturday, March 19, 2011

2011 Beekeeping Season is Underway

Honey Bee Pictures, Images and Photos
Photo Credit
I got to have a nice visit with my girls today.  I had prepared some fondant for them over a week ago, but this was the first day that decent weather happened to coincide with free babysitting.

The hive was very quiet and calm as I worked.  You couldn't hear any buzzing at all as I opened them up and went about cleaning up the messy burr comb.  It was really a very pleasant and relaxing inspection. 

I did rile them up a little bit when I pulled out the first frame.  It was slightly attached to the inside wall of the hive body by an odd section of burr comb that I could not see at first.  It scraped along the side of the frame and I think I must have squashed a couple of bees, but it was a mild response and they gave up on me very quickly. 

I was pleased to find that the outer two frames on either side were completely full of honey.  They didn't really need any help from me again this spring.  I could have given the fondant to my daughter, who had already mauled it while it sat on the counter cooling.  Not that she needs any more sugar!

More good news, I also observed a few of the returning workers were already bringing in pollen.  It was a light green pollen and I believe it was a tree pollen; perhaps from my curly willow which is blooming now.  I like to mark on my calendar as various things begin to bloom around here each year, keeping my own personal almanac.  It helps me so much to know what to expect and to plan better.

My husband watched on from the gate, tossing an occasional handful of black oil sunflower seed to the chickens to keep them out of my hair as I worked.

The hive is healthy and going strong.  I will plan to do a couple of splits from them here in a few weeks.

We are planning to build a new hive stand, something better and more functional than the cinder blocks I have them on now.  I will have to move that to the top of my honey-do list.  I expect to get a lot more of these things accomplished now that the weather is improving.  It has been a muddy and miserable end to winter these past few weeks and we are now finally able to get back outside.

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