If you’re a beekeeper, you may notice that your bees bring in a rainbow of colored pollen every day. When they store it in their cells as bee bread, you’ll see many different colors on the comb.
Have you ever wondered what flowers the bees are gathering this pollen from? Well thanks to the folks at Sheffield Beekeepers’ Association, you can now get a relatively good idea about what floral sources your bees are foraging from.
Check out the Interactive Pollen Chart over at the SBA website. It’s a nifty little tool that gives you some idea of the different colors of pollen from many floral sources. You can even use the season toggle switches at the bottom of the screen to narrow down the seasonal forage.
Note: I realize that many of these flower sources are specific to the UK, but it was too cool not to share this.
Honey Bees Colony Rescued From Baden, ON
A few weeks ago, I received an email from Jon Lambert. He was looking for someone to remove an established colony of bees that had been living on the roof of his house for approximately four years. Jon realized the importance of honeybees and was seeking a beekeeper to remove the colony instead of simply destroying it.
There are big advantages to finding a feral colony like this. Bees like this are usually well-adapted to the local climate, resistant to pests and diseases, and obviously healthy enough to have survived for years without medication or treatment. The trouble with colonies like this is that they are usually difficult to access. To be quite honest, that is what deterred me from retrieving this colony. I didn’t want the hassle of deconstructing someone’s home to retrieve the bees.
Luckily, I was able to find another beekeeper in the area who gladly helped Jon remove the bees. He was able to find and save the queen, and he also found a capped queen cell, so was able to make two strong colonies from this retrieval. Thanks to Jon and Shawn for making an awesome video of the rescue!
If you have honeybees on your property and would like them removed, please contact me and I will do my best to help you out or refer you to an experienced beekeeper who will be able to help.
First Full Inspection
The weather in Ontario has been so beautiful this week that I was finally able to do a full bottom-to-top inspection of this hive.
When I first opened the inner cover, the bees were everywhere! They weren’t aggressive, but they had no idea what was happening. After a few minutes, they calmed down and got back to work within the hive.
The bottom board was covered with many dead bees from the winter and I believe they may have still been blocking the bottom entrance, so I brushed them all out and removed the entrance reducer that I previously had in place for the winter. I also removed 4 frames from the bottom box, as it contained an old, dark comb. I replaced these 4 frames with new foundationless frames.
Working my way back up the boxes and frames, I finally spotted some brand new eggs. It was a great feeling to see tiny eggs after the winter, and to me, this has indicated that I can finally call this a successful over-winter. Better yet, on my 2nd-last frame, I found the Queen herself! She was just trucking along – doing her thing.
I’m very pleased to see such dedicated workers and a strong healthy queen after the winter. It definitely left me with a good feeling after the long, cold winter.