Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Cherries delight 2014 edition and another cold snap on the way...

Sunday, April 13, 2014

A check of the bees one week post install of each new hive reveals that both queens appear to be out of their queen cages.  The plugs of sugar candy at the ends of the queen cages are gone; all eaten away.  In hive 1, near the house, I see no queen and no eggs yet, but I do see a few swarm cells forming.  So, someone laid those!  Who knows if she now exists?  I hope so.  My eyes are just not good enough to see if those white specks inside the cups of comb are in fact eggs or small larvae or a mirage of wax at the bottom.  When/if capped, it will be more apparent.  I hope she's alive. I have this awful thought that she was released too soon and perhaps stung to death and not accepted by the hive.  Time will tell.
Hive 2 I see the queen and she looks healthy.  (Last year a queen arrived with a broken wing and she died.) There is a lot of activity at hive 2 at the door and all around the hive.  Hive 1 shows less activity at the entry than hive 2, but they are active.  Many workers of both hives are bringing in pollen in their pollen sacs of two types, a red color (maple) and a bright yellow color (cherry). Workers from both hives are bee-lining it, traveling back and forth from the two hives following the sun over the house and to the front yard to the weeping cherry trees in full bloom and then back.
Several guard bees from both hives follow me around the yard after my being in their hives, that is until I confuse them... by taking off my white beesuit, and they no longer recognize me.  I've not used any smoke in the hives yet.  They are all very gentle right now and I don't want to accidentally cause a swarm on newly installed hives.
The evening news predicts we will go from today's 80F temperatures to 20F with a small snow storm on Tuesday, April 15th!  Not again!  That will mean the end of the cherry blossoms.  At least, the dandelions are opening as an alternative pollen source.  And, how will my girls do with this coming cold snap?  Will any eggs and brood survive or get what is known as chilled brood?  I will place the ipm bottom boards in the hive bottoms for that cold snap and hope for the best.  But, enjoy the cherries while we have them, yet.

Diving in headfirst for a nectar sip!

The paper wasps (one above) and orchard bees are also at the bar.

Flowers aren't as fully opened near base of tree limbs.

Bee butt!

Flower hat!

See the lovely full pollen sac with yellow pollen!

Frontyard overview. Fauxpas, the cat, under the cherry.

Clifford, the dog, under the other cherry.

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