The milder weather and 50 degree temps. has the bees out of their hive in a big way. There is nothing for them to feed on yet, but it is important for them to get out of the hive. They wont deficate in the hive and “cleansing flights” are very important to keep the hive clean and free of disease. Those little yellow splotches you find on your car windshield or windows of your house – well there you go, you’ve been dumped on. Nothing like a seagull or goose though. 🙂
With nothing in bloom yet I decided to set out a frame of honey, but before setting it out I made sure the dead out hives were closed up, because with nothing in bloom the bees will begin raiding these hives for the honey they contain. It’s called robbing and its not a habit you want to see get started.
Just for fun though, I thought I would pull a frame of honey from another hive and set it out to see what happens. The medium frame I set out probably contained a little more than 2 pounds of honey and in just five days time it is gone. Completely sucked up by my foraging bees. Was a fascinating thing to watch and its amazing to see how quickly these little insects can suck up that amount of liquid and take it home.
I have seen inside their hive when I added the pollen supplement and its not like they are out of honey, but given an easy resource to harvest and the lack of a natural nectar flow I’m not surprised at what happened. They were the definition of “busy as a bee.”
It wont be long before there is a least a small amount of pollen and nectar that comes into bloom. The crocus are just beginning to break through the cold ground and the pussywillow is starting break bud. The poplar wont be far behind. It will be a few more weeks before these plants open up and share their nectar and pollen with our little friends, but the time is drawing near. Thats exciting because it will mean at least one of my hives has survived the winter and will soon begin making a new supply of honey – to share with me of course.
Later on, when its warm enough to keep the hives open for more than a couple minutes, maybe some of you would like to come by for a hands on visit, gear up, and go into the beeyard to inspect a hive.
Now, a small request. If you have been following along with my early season bee updates, could you please click on the “Like” button. Blogging is new to me and I would simply enjoy knowing if I’m posting these into the great void out there or if someone is actually reading along. Please feel free to comment too and share with anyone else you know might be interested. Thank you.