Mar 11 2013

Pollen and Babies

It’s about 48 out right now and very sunny, hardly any breeze. The girls are out flying like crazy. I was not sure there’s any pollen to gather. Then I went in the front yard and found crocuses that have bloomed (they were just buds yesterday). You can see on the stamens there’s pollen.

I also just planted a weeping pussy willow tree so they’ll have pussy willow pollen, which is gray, and apparently bees like it a lot and it makes a lot of pollen.

Then I went out to the bee deck and sat right next to the hives and watched the girls. They have entirely cleaned out the whole front door now that I’ve removed the wire door guard. There used to be dead girls piled up against the screen on the inside, now it’s cleaned out.

They were pretty busy going in and out, with a constant stream in both hives of always about 5-6 bees either going in or out. That’s not summer levels, but it’s good activity.

At the last bee meeting, they said that the bees don’t need pollen until the queen starts laying. That’s because pollen is the protein they feed the babies. They said you could put a pollen patty on the hive, but if you checked and they weren’t taking the pollen, it was because there’s no laying going on.

Well I watched the girls and – right there – are bees coming in with pale yellow pollen on their back baskets. In this picture, if you look careful, you can see the girl sitting on the ledge of the front door at the bottom of the picture and the last girl sitting on the front porch, each have yellow pollen in their back baskets. WOW! That must mean the queen’s laying up and they’re bringing in food.

Girl power.

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