The world has come alive! Babies are everywhere.
And has it been ever busy keeping up with them.
Beekeepers are run ragged this time of year. The bees, April, May, and June decide its time to make babies. They swarm. And it's my job to put a stop to it. Sort of.
Swarming is a good thing. It's procreation the way nature intended. I'm not opposed to a few swarms now and then. You get a new and vibrant queen out of the deal. Plus a little bit of natural mite control. The thing is, when your workers are off hanging in a tree, they're not making spring honey. So basically I run around all day in the spring, hive to hive, yard to yard, making splits. Splitting a hive is a way to control the exploding spring growth without losing your bees to the trees.
But sometimes it's hard to keep up. This week we've been chasing babies.
Here are a few shots of recent swarms.
Above is an easy catch in the flower bed. Good timing on this prime swarm-- just a day before loading up for apple pollination. These girls (with a few added frames of brood) are now working hard in the Lynd Fruit Farm orchards.
Below are some tree huggers.
Jayne put this swarm on Facebook. It got a few likes and many exclamation points.
Here's a swarm caught yesterday in the apple tree. Perfect height for the eight foot step ladder.
When I got up there to look at these baby darlings, I noticed something else right above them.
Yep, more baby darlings:
Here's one in the maple. Beekeepers can get a little crazy over swarms.
Glad we got that forklift.
Why is this happening? All these bee babies?
Well, suddenly, the world here in central Ohio has turned into a buffet table. As you've probably noticed from the roadsides.
Westfall High School sits about a half mile from our home bees. Before these hives left for the apples, we had over 100 in our yard. A lot of bees! Every blooming tree is a new target. When these trees went wild at Westfall, I actually got a call from an administrator saying that my bees were "disturbing the peace."
A pollen train--
You can see the incoming results of all the blooming. (Blooming being the plant plant version of making babies).
Making babies. The bees help the plants, the plants help the bees.
This pollen is stored as a protein source for spring growth.
Quite artistically, I'd say.
Sometimes we beekeepers have a hand in that beautiful plant-bee interaction. In April we pollinate apples. Well, the bees do the work. We just load them up and get the hives to the the work sight. We're bus drivers really.
Almost always this is done at night. But the recent cold evenings enabled us to start early. All the girls were in, staying warm in the cluster instead of out foraging.
Really good looking bus drivers.
Mr. Blair plugged entrances, I lifted hives, Bridger managed and reported oversights.
|They come runnin just as fast as they can.|
|'Cause every girl's crazy bout a sharp dressed man!|