Yesterday was a lovely sunny day, and the first warm day after a spell of cold, rainy, and snowy weather, here in the Foothills. The first day the bees could fly, and forage in three days.
And forage they did, on the ever emerging fields of dandelions, at our home near Millarville.
I know to many dandelions are a scourge, something to be battled, and poisoned, but to those of us who keep bees, we welcome the bright, sunny flowers, which in May and June are a huge source of pollen and nectar for the bees, that they need an abundance of.
The bees use the abundant pollen from dandelions to raise their young, feeding the larva.
I’m overcoming my own bee fears, as I learn more about these fascinating creatures from my husband.
Our yard was abuzz yesterday afternoon, so I lay down in the grass, (with a distinct possibility of getting stung, as the bees were everywhere) and attempted to capture the bees in action.
I just love this picture of this girl covered in pollen- pure gold for the bees.
They collect large loads of pollen to bring back to their hive, in pouches on their legs. You can see the orange pockets on this bee, as she gathers her load of pollen.
We then visited Josh’s new bee yard, as he’d been having trouble with one of his new package bee hives, and wanted to check if the new queen he’d put in had been released.
I suited up also, and was pleased to discover that I could still operate my camera with gloves and a beekeepers veil on. Being in the bee yard made me quite nervous when I did it for the first time a few weeks ago. This time my comfort level had increased considerably. I even had bees crawling all over me (apparently, you’re not supposed to stand directly in front of their entrance, which I was doing as I photographed).
Here is Josh using the smoker to calm the bees a bit before he opens the hive.
Here is a frame with the Queen Bee. She is the longer, darker coloured one, near the edge.
All was well, as she had been released, and has been laying eggs. The next generation of bees will soon arrive!