Mar 24 2013

nice spring day

It got up to about 46 today and was very sunny. About 3pm I went outside and again filled up the Red Flyer bee watering station. There were about 30 bees in the wagon before I filled it up. When the water rises, they start buzzing loudly and sort of drift up out of the wagon around my head, then slowly drift back down onto the rocks and leaves in the water. They were quite busy gathering water.

The crocuses are still out but are already started to kind of wilt. The forsythia has tight green buds still. The new weeping pussywillow tree I planted has fuzzy pussywillows all over it. About 10 have gotten huge and look like they’ve kind of blown up, about quadruple in size and are now covered in yellow pollen. There were a couple of bees buzzing about those.

The girls were going in and out of their hives very busily, bringing in lots of orange and yellow pollen. I went out to their hives and took pictures of them and just stood and watched them come in and out for several minutes. They were busy coming in quickly. Several came in pretty heavy and just kerplopped down heavily right outside the front door, sometimes actually landing on other bees and they’d end up in a kind of ball of wings and legs and pollen baskets trying to right themselves. They’d finally all get themselves right and waddle under the front door.

I went out to the aspen trees in the corner. They have all these fuzzy looking tails that are about the size of fat caterpillars hanging down from the branches. I thought it was just dead stuff from last fall, but they’re actually covered in fuzzy pollen and clearly what is passing for early spring flowers of an aspen tree. I didn’t know there was such a thing.

The bees were just wild about these. The two aspens were just a humming with girls twirling in and out of the branches and landing on these fluffy tails of pink and pollen. I got right in the trees among the branches and just stood there with my camera. I had little girls humming right around my cheeks – I could feel their wind and hear the loud buzzing in my ears – and landing right in front of my nose.  One landed in my hair waiting to get on a branch near my face, then moved onto the branch.

When I stand out in the trees like this, right with my bees, having them treat me like a tree branch and softly humming and working around my head, and watching them so closely, just inches away – it’s still totally amazing to me how marvelous they are. Why on earth did God take such care to not just make them functional but also so pretty? They’re soft and fuzzy, not stickery.  They have glossy little butts. I can see the joint where the wings connect to the thorax and see their bright and shiny black eyes, they’re twitchy little multi-jointed antennae. They have soft yet stiff little “tongues” (really they’re a tube called their proboscis, which in mammals means a nose, but in insects means the mouth-sucking part) that work in and out and around to see if there’s any nectar yet.

Here are some pics of the girls getting water; some of the purple hive girls bringing in some pretty fat pollen bags; then two of the girls on the aspen trees. They’re fuzzy little bodies and wings are just covered in the fine pollen dust of the aspen flowers.

It’s supposed to be quite sunny this week, and in the 50’s, then into the 60’s at the end of the week. So I’m going to prep for a full on inspection and remove the insulation and roof paper from the hives. If they’re starting to go through the honey, I’ll put on some frames from the honey bank.

Enjoy the spring, little hummers.

Comments Off on nice spring day

Comments are closed at this time.