Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ash Grey Pollen

I finally got my bees on Sunday April 15th. They seem to be doing ok, but I have nothing to really compare to what is ok and what isn't. Today I looked in the hive for the first time. I have been feeding them a 1:1 ratio of sugar water, but feeding them does not require actually opening the hive. When I looked at the frames I noticed a lot of capped brood, larva and eggs. Capped brood looks a little like someone spread peanut butter on the frames. The queen is judged by beekeepers as being beautiful if she lays a lot of brood in clusters and lays a “peanut butter smear.” By those standards, I have a remarkably beautiful queen.
I like to watch the bees coming and going. I put on my bee veil and sit in a lawn chair by the hive. They sometimes like to land on me and crawl on my arms. So far, I have not been stung. One even crawled into the veil, so I calmly took it off and shook her out. I think I have a good temperament for being a beekeeper because I’m not nervous around them and they actually have a calming effect on me. Bees are the most fascinating animals and I could easily watch them for hours.

On the 16th of April, I noticed a lot of yellow pollen coming into the hive. There were two bees which carried in pure white pollen and a few with orange. Today they were mainly carrying ash grey pollen. The bees are collecting from blackberry bushes. According to a random website, ”Blackberry honey has a light amber color, and a unique taste with a lot of sweetness and a light hint of berry flavor.” I’m looking forward to becoming a honey connoisseur and being able to experience the wide variety of honey tastes.

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