Last weekend when we had our first false spring, the maples really showed their stuff and bloomed beautifully. The bees were out and about and desperate for an opportunity to stretch their wings and look for a bit of fresh nectar to eat. Many folks fon’t know that maples have floral blooms (I guess as opposed to fungal blooms?) Blooms on a maple are super tiny and most people just think they are the beginnings of leaves on the trees. Anyhow, with the warm weather and blooming maples, the bees were out in full force. Tons of bees were dragging back all sorts of pollen also. Pollen is the protein source for bees and early protein usually means that the queen can start ramping up egg production as soon as the weather stays warm enough, long enough.
Some beekeepers find it necessary to add pollen patties about this time of year to prime the queen for early egg production. Of course, early eggs mean early bees which usually makes for a strong colony when the honey flow begins in a few weeks. With so many maples so close, we do not need to put pollen into the hives. I have been into the hives this time of year and sometimes there is so much pollen that I worry the queen won’t have room to lay.
Look closely at all of these pics…the yellow stuff on the bees’ back legs is pollen!
Anyhow, the bees were out and doing their thing and I, as always, decided to hang out near the hives and stick my nose into the doorways so I could smell the smells of the hive. Unlike a few weeks ago, I managed to avoid being stung. I love summer plenty but I think I might just like this time of year more than any other time. This is the time of year when stuff starts to come alive again…including me!
I thought the pics were especially nice so I hope you enjoy my bees (from afar) as much as I do!