That’s exactly what my next set of bees are, tardy!
I’ve been patiently waiting for my nuc to arrive. The nuc (a small version of a hive), was supposed to be ready last weekend. I called Mountain Feed and was informed it won’t be ready for a couple weeks. We had some unseasonably cool weather a few weeks ago, and this caused many of the new queens to die. The supplier, Jeremy Rose of The California Bee Company is now working on re-queenig the nucs. Since I’ll likely be on vacation when they arrive, one of the beekeepers at Mountain Feed will keep it until I return. I’m excited to get these bees because Jeremy Rose is a beekeeper known for breeding gentle queens, with mite resistant behaviors. He wrote Beekeeping in Coastal California, which I’ve added to my “to read” list.
This weekend I wanted to open the hive, and make sure Lorde was doing okay. My plans were foiled by very windy weather. Cool or windy weather can upset bees, so opening the hive during those conditions isn’t recommended. Those busy bees managed to eat almost four quarts of sugar syrup in one week! Thankfully, feeding doesn’t disturb the hive, so I refilled their feeder yesterday.
Earlier this week, my husband saw bees bringing pollen into the hive, and that’s a good sign they are foraging. I’m leaving for vacation this week, and won’t check on them until I return. The mentors at the beekeepers guild said that’s fine, and they shouldn’t fill up the hive while I’m gone. When I return, I may need to add new box to their hive.
I spent part of this weekend making a “bee pond.” I was concerned the bird bath and the dripping faucet weren’t providing enough water. I read bees can “smell” water, and prefer natural sources, like ponds, or streams. They also like the smell of chlorine, and two of my neighbors have pools. They last thing I want is my bees invading their pools for water!
One of the mentors had a “bee pond” at his house. He used an old wine barrel filled with water, added some pond friendly plants, and guppies to keep the mosquitos from multiplying. My “bee pond” is a bit smaller, but should work perfectly. I bought a large plastic tub, added a water lily and some hyacinth’s for them to land on. The nursery said bees love hyacinths. Here’s a picture.
I saw a bunch of dandelions had popped up where I was going to plant bee friendly flowers. Looks like nature took care of that for me! This must be where the bees are getting some of their pollen from.
Last but not least, please do what you can to help honeybees and other pollinators. The plants sold at Home Depot and Lowes are pre-treated with bee killing pesticides! Buy your plants and flowers at retailers who don’t use pesticides. Recently, the EPA registered a pesticide for use that’s known to be toxic to honeybees. Please sign this petition to Save America’s Pollinators. Finally, a guild member shared this article from Harvard School of Public Health about the link between neonicotinoids, and colony collapse. Whew, that’s a lot of info!
This will be my last bee post for a couple weeks. Hopefully when I return I can get a picture of Lorde on a frame!
Thanks for reading!
May 12, 2014 at 8:15 pm
Your “bee pond” looks so inviting, very pretty! Have a great vacation!