The Art of BEEing: Start of the flow

2017-02-25-1886

The desert winter seems to be quickly moving into summer as the early wildflower bloom is underway and flowering trees are starting to break bud.  There are still a few more cool days and nights ahead, but highs in the 60’s and 70’s are becoming more common.

Catching up from the last few weeks…

29 Jan 2017 Saw some activity around the hive and decided to see if the bees would take sugar syrup again, so I put a few saucers with a couple of tablespoons of 1:1 syrup around the hive.  They took to it.
10 Feb 2017 Starting to see some pollen (white / beige in color) coming in. I have seen what looks like robbing activity going on after I installed an entrance feeder, so I pulled it and went back to saucers in the vicinity. Within a few minutes there was far less activity at the front of the hive.
12 Feb 2017 Removed sugar board (roughly half consumed) and installed new top feeder with 1:1 syrup
25 Feb 2017 Topped off syrup (nearly empty) after several days of rain and a cool snap since the last fill. Despite low 50’s and a strong wind the bees were active, saw beige, yellow, and red pollen coming in.  Lots of small wildflowers in bloom on the mountain but I didn’t see any bees on any.  A few bees visited the rosemary shrub.
28 Feb 2017 Topped off feeder with 4 cups of sugar water – noticed some white filaments on the surface, possibly mold? I might have poured in a bit quickly as I was looking at that while pouring, hopefully I didn’t drown any of the bees that were feeding at the time.
1 March 2017 Noticed fruit trees in flower on the drive home from work for the first time this year. Topseeded lawn with white clover.
2 March 2017 Installed queen excluder and honey super with mix of new (no drawn comb) wood (with black Pierco foundation) and white plastic Pierco frames to see if the bees have a preference.  Replaced feeder above honey super but will remove once current sugar water runs out, probably about 2 days worth left.  With no drawn comb on the super it will be a while before the bees would store anything on it anyway. Based on trees and amount of wildflowers in bloom I think I can call this the start of my nectar flow. Hopefully it lasts long enough to generate at least a momentary excess of honey before I have to start feeding again.
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