Pollen and Comb

Workers have been returning with different colours of pollen. They seem to gather one colour at a time, presumably only from one plant or tree, rather than mixing their drinks. I have looked but cannot find a flower with this colour pollen. Any suggestions as to what flower it might come from?

The good news is that the Queen ate her way out through the candy door to her cell, and joined her subjects.

The bad news is that the workers are building combs (first inspection 5/1) everywhere as well as on the nice (expensive) wooden frames I have installed for them.  Now, 5/7, this “Burr Comb” has a yellow tint showing they’ve coated it with a little Propylis or glue. In the bottom of some cells I now see the first “C” shaped pupae starting to hatch.

The other good news is that we are now in the beeswax business.

Honey Bees Arrived April 27

A Russian queen and her Italian workers (female), 3 pounds of them, arrived at 341 by horse trailer from Georgia to South Ohio, then by passenger van with Gary and Nancy to Perrysburg. Thoughtfully Nancy had thought to bring a length of veil as it was needed after the first few got out while being driven to their new homes.

Roger and Gary did the work – I was allowed to be the ‘gofer’. First the bees are poured and shaken into their new home. It has coats of linseed oil outside to keep it as natural as possible.

Then the frames with sheets of wax foundation (for ‘brood’ and honey) are carefully eased in

The Queen is new to these workers and must be slowly introduced to the Italians so she lives in a small inner cage with a few of her own (Russian) attendants.

The cage is put in the middle of the workers for them to accept their new ruler and to allow her, and them, to slowly chew away the candy plug in her prison wall.

All the while the city siren warned of severe storms. 43 mph from the South and 44F was the weather later. The books say you should do installations in calm weather!

Next day, in the cool of dawn, there was no activity at all

But inside you could hear the buzz

When the day warmed up you could see how friendly they really are. Nobody stung to date.

Already the ants are trailing to the bee’s sugar water bottle, and this Eastern American Toad has just awoke, very thin after winter hibernation,  and is looking for insects I presume.

Tomorrow I go in to see how the Queen (Empress?) is faring.