April Showers Bring May Heat Waves
I opened the bees saturday to check how they were doing. There were bees examining all of the frames, but it took several frames to find even a small amount of eggs, and on about the 7th frame in I found the main brood frame, with the queen on it. She’s gotten very plump, and looks exactly like a tortoise in my opinion. Her coloration is the same as you would find on tortoise shell glasses. I think its great. I haven’t decided what to call her yet.
They aren’t expanding as quickly as I thought they would, but I think its mostly because they have so much cleaning to do. I had to scrape some of the crumbier parts of the wax off before I installed them last week, and those frames are the ones that are filled with brood and have been completely redrawn. There was about two full frames worth of brood I’d say, with most of it being extremely near the newly drawn wax. I’m debating putting a single warre’ box on top of the telescoping cover, with the rain roof on top of that, and letting them move into that. Its much smaller, but the wax is all a lot cleaner and would let them explode in population quickly. I’m not quite sure how I feel about that yet though, I think.
That said, I’m not worried about them at all. They have a ton of honey in there from when Tasha was still queen (such a short reign she had). I cut open a few larger chunks of honey to encourage them to eat out of that. They’re going to be swimming in it though with the weather we currently have. It was 82 today, and is supposed to be 85 tomorrow. I can’t believe it. We don’t get into the 80s usually until the end of July. This is beyond unseasonably warm. The apple trees are all in bloom, as are the bluebells and the turnips. The peas are blooming as well, but have slowed their growth given the lack of rain. That’s the other thing! There hasn’t been any rain in several days, and there isn’t supposed to be any form of precipitation until next sunday. We didn’t even have any clouds today, I don’t think. I’m going to dread this summer. I hate the heat. The hillside is already dry from the lack of rain and the summer-like heat. I think we’re going to invest in soaker hoses this year.
Several of the rhodi’s are blooming right now, as are the native blackberries that showed up in the juniper last year. The blue orchard mason bees especially love those. Oh and the lilac’s are blooming as well, but those aren’t very important to the bees, I just thought I would mention them.
Anyway, they seem to be doing very well! The field worker population seems a slight bit small, but that just may be me not accounting for the fact that there aren’t more than 10,000 of them for the hive right now. It’s odd to have such a small colony again!