Tag Archives: pollinators

First Warm Spring Day

Well, after an excruciatingly long winter, spring is finally making an appearance. It’s officially been here for over a week, but it’s been very cold and windy. I was happy to see that the bees survived the winter. Today was warm (for here — 42F) and sunny in the afternoon, and they were out and flying around. They seemed to be having a tussle of some sort at the hive entrance. I wish I knew what that was about.
They were all over the Winter Aconite that’s blooming now. We have a lot, although I’m not sure how much pollen they’ll actually get from it. Now I’m looking forward to looking inside the hive as soon as it warms up a little more, to see how much food they used over the winter.

Bee on the Winter Aconite

Winter Aconite glowing like neon because my camera was set to overexpose.


Honeybee Tussle

Are they removing a dead bee? That would make sense, but it appeared to be alive.

First Days with Bees: June 22

I put a new box of frames on the hive about two weeks ago.  I cut the foundation into thin strips and put them in the frames to get the bees started  — some were very thin — 4″ x 2″, some were squares that touched the top and bottom of the frame. I’m experimenting. They don’t seem to need much to get started. After 12 days, the bees had made lots of comb and were filling it with honey. I was surprised that they had made so much progress! I checked the brood nest and it looked very full, so I think I’ll be adding another box to the hive this week. I had to scrape off a bit of comb to check the frames and got to taste the honey and It was light and slightly lemony.

For my next box, I’m going to use wooden strips dipped in beeswax for at least half of the frames and see how that goes. I want to go completely foundation-less if I can. We’ll see how those frames develop. Here are a few photos:

12 Day-Old Frame with Honey

I was surprised to find so much honey, but I’ve read that it can happen really fast.

Honey, some capped

More honey, they’re already starting to cap some of it.

Looking Down into the Broodnest

Looking down from the honey fromes into the brood nest

Worker and drone cells

The outer frames had some drone cells. I hadn’t seen any last time I checked.

Last Frame from the Broodnest

This frame had barely anything on it 12 days ago. Look at it now! I’m glad I have a lot of extra woodenware.

First days with bees: May 23 – June 9

I brought my nuc home on May 23. It was late, and I was in a hurry to get the bees into the hive. Since I was hurrying, I didn’t see the queen.

nucleus hive, honeybees

This was the only photo I got. I was preoccupied with getting them into the hive.

10 days later, I opened the hive for the first time. I found the queen, capped brood, pollen, nectar. I didn’t check all of the frames because I didn’t want to leave the hive open too long.

The queen has the yellow dot.

Today, I went back to check their progress and found new comb, eggs, more brood and many, many new bees. I added a box of frames to the top, I’m not sure if I’m a bit early doing this, but I don’t want to open the hive excessively.

Lots and lots of new bees.

You can’t see it, but there are eggs in there!

They’ve been busy in the last few days.

Lots of capped brood in this frame.