Waiting for the Honey to Flow

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The Garden BenchToday is starting to cloud over after a glorious early morning. The bees have slowed down their foraging in preparation for a day inside cleaning the hive. The honey is already starting to flow and the queen will be laying eggs. In just two weeks, more workers will have pupated and hatched and the bees will really be getting down to the business of making honey. More and more trees will be blossoming and the dandelions–a great source of pollen–will be out too. It’s only a matter of time before the honey starts to flow.

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The Bees Have Arrived!

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After Saturday’s blustery cold, the bees were glad they spent the night at the neighbours before being installed at the edge of the buckwheat field. The day was warm and sunny and a drink of 1:1 sugar water soon perked them up. As the afternoon wore on, more and more workers emerged from the hive, returning laden down with yellow tree pollen from dogwoods, aspen and pussy willow whose catkins are just starting to open up at the edge of our bee garden. Some workers were so laden down with golden treasure they had to crawl up to the hive entrance, with their little yellow baskets under their wings.

Expectant Mother Awaits Bee Delivery Date

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A Cold Spring Sunrise at the Red House

A Cold Spring Sunrise at the Red House

It is April 20.  A blustery, cold day alternating between  hail, wind, snow and vain bursts of sun. Birds careen wildly off course, the whitecaps on the St. Lawrence River ride high and the clouds march across the sky with the menace of a tornado lurking somewhere behind them.  It is early afternoon and since morning I have been awaiting the arrival of my first hive of bees with ever-growing anticipation. I have been unable to do  much work, despite preparations which need to be made imminently, such as informing the neighbours. I recognize this feeling. It is imminent delivery. I am expecting.

It is too cold. Too windy. Too overcast. Perhaps the bees won’t come at all. Or perhaps I will have to keep them inside until the climactic conditions improve. Should I feed them more than sugar water? Where is the best place for the hive? Should I have ordered two? Will the hive build up satisfactorily? Will the queen survive. So many questions and without experience, I have no immediate way to answer.

Wait I must, while pacing the floor, for my brood to arrive.

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