Bees on Rainy Spring Day
It’s a gray, rainy day in spring in Missouri, and I am having a hard time not sloshing through my garden paths to see what is growing.
Every day is different in spring with new plants popping up daily and returning residents making their presence known. Frogs are back in ponds, goldfinches are turning bright yellow again and even young butterflies have been keeping my honeybees company in bee bars, bird baths where I add twigs, leaves and rocks to give these pollinators a safe place to land.
This particular Saturday, I wanted to see what my honeybees were doing so I peeked under one of my larger colonies. There they were, quietly generating heat over where I suspect queen bee has been laying eggs so they are keeping the nursery warm, too.
The sugar cakes on the left are left over from winter supplemental feeding, a back up food source in case they ran out of honey during bad weather. Sugar provides bees with carbohydrates and flight fuel. The sugar also helps absorb moisture, which kills bees faster than cold.
I had also placed sugar cakes with pollen substitute on the right, now totally consumed. Pollen is baby food, what bees feed their newly-hatched bees.
It’s now a race between bees, beekeeper and the weather on how soon I can get inside the hive to make sure mama bee has enough room to lay and all is well with the colony.