So this weekend was bee checking time. I always love walking up to the beehives, because I come at them from the back (their openings face SE per most beekeeping advice) and I always like how pretty and peaceful they look sitting there in the sunlight.
|English garden hives|
So a good sign of a healthy hive, or at least one that is producing "brood" (larvae/babies), is when the returned forager bees are loaded up with pollen on their pollen sacs or pollen baskets as they are called. They mix this with nectar and/or honey to create 'bee bread' which then becomes the primary source of protein for the hive.
|Pollen sacs on bees|
They were all coming in one after another full of pollen! YAY! Both hives too. So there is good stuff going on inside. Last week I was worried when I saw a few ants trying to get into Ariadne hive. I had read that most times, if it's not a large infestation, the bees will take care of it themselves...
...sure enough, they did. Not an ant in sight. Here they are just going in and out on a flight path, they almost needed an air traffic controller to manage it.
|Honeybee with pollen sacs in flight|
And finally, I just had to share a picture of this lady returning to Persephone hive, all loaded up with pollen, and her little shadow below. Pretty cool!
So the bees are happy and that means we're happy. So far, our beekeeping adventure is progressing as it should. Next weekend, weather permitting, I will open it to check on the overall health of each hive. Hope to see lots of comb being built and babies in various stages of development and maybe even some honey being capped off.