TODAY’S GARDEN REPORT: All of the greens have germinated under the outdoor hoops, but there is no sign of peas…..I should have done a germination test before using last year’s seed. I am going to give them 4 days–if I don’t see peas, I will replant.
BUT THE BEES! Last Friday, the new packs of bees (three pounds of bees plus a queen, x2) came. In freezing cold weather, Johnny and I released the queens, poured the bees into the hives, covered them, installed sugar water feeders, put in pollen patties, and insulated the hives. The combination of working in the freezing cold and close contact with 6 pounds of bees made my heart race for about a half hour after I came inside. (Really living!)
- Three pounds of bees and their queen.
TODAY’S BEE INSPECTION: We inspected all three hives.
NEW HIVES: The two newest have good queens evidenced by 1.) the way the bees cluster to the frame and each other when we removed frames for inspection (they don’t do that if there is not a good, active queen in residence) and 2.) the girls are already drawing out honey comb.
But we actually saw the queen in one of the hives and saw eggs in both. In three weeks, we should see evidence of the first brood hatch in the new hives.
THE OLD HIVE: We added a brood box (to prevent swarming and in anticipation of splitting the thriving hive). In about a month, we will split the hive and install 2 new queens. (Rick says we should keep the old queen in reserve for while, too.)
We saw the queen here, too, a giant beauty. We also saw brood eating its way out of cells. So darn exciting! Sadly, the pictures are blurry.
I could have watched the front of the hive all day. So much activity! We saw the girls returning with at least three kinds of pollen, by color: Almost white, light yellow, bright orange.