Monday, April 23, 2012
Welcome back Spring!
It is nice to get back to posting after a long break. The winter seemed especially cold to me since this was our first winter with bees, I fretted for them every cold snap but they seemed to get through it like champs! We winterized the hive as suggested by Backyard hive and I peeked with trepidation through the observation window every few weeks and wondered how an insect smaller than my thumb nail could survive weather I could barely manage with many layers of clothes, and probably not a small layer of fat.
In February we had some warm days and the bees started flying. By the last week in February they were actually returning to the hive with their pollen baskets full. I could not for the life of me find anything in bloom except a few daffodils, but the girls were very busy.
The hive was growing very rapidly and by the end of March, the hive was so full I had to take the last bar of comb. Their numbers were so great that they started bearding and stayed out every night despite the cold temperatures.
(some of the pictures above I photo shopped an accidentally stretched them out. Now the bees look like runway models, sorry girls!)
Then we noted drones. Lots of drones, and I knew that any day they would swarm. I have to keep reminding myself that the purpose of this hive is to increase genetic diversity and allow the bees to swarm. I just want to make sure that they don't end up swarming on a neighbor's eaves. I want them to be safe and successful