After we banded the birds on Sunday, Amber and Reier asked if I would mind showing them the bees. Would I mind? Pish-sha! (That's Reier holding a frame above) I love to show off the bees. Non Birding Bill, Mr. Niel, and Lorraine went with me to the Olga hive to give her some nectar and a pollen patty the day before--we need to help feed the hive until more trees and flowers bloom. I thought I would just show Amber and Reier the top of the hive.
NBB had walked past the hive while we were banding and warned she was active in the warm weather. When we got there we found a ton of foragers coming back loaded with pollen. Even though I had given them a pollen patty, they were still out there looking and successfully finding it on their own. Look at all those yellow pollen baskets on their legs!
I know they are getting pollen from blooming tree buds, but I think they are also taking advantage of crocuses that are starting to bloom. There are some around the house, some around neighboring homes and I planted several in the surrounding woods.
Amber got the above shot of Reier and I opening the hive and looking at the frames on the inside--we were covered in bees, but they were not stinging us. The hive sounded happy and thriving. Curiosity got the better of me, so I thought we would take the top off and look at a couple of frames and see if any new eggs had been laid since we switched the top box last weekend. We didn't find eggs, we found larvae:
There's larvae all over in the above frame, but to make it easier, I put some blue arrows next to a few cells with bee larvae in them. See the tiny little curled up things in the bottom of the cells? In a couple of weeks, those will be new worker bees! I'm so proud of our girls, they are finding pollen on their own, the queen is laying lots of eggs for fresh strong workers for the spring, and we even found several frames still heavy with honey that they built up last fall. I think Olga is going to provide us with lots of honey this summer.