Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Bees

Honey bee foraging on a plum tree
     It has been the coldest spring I can remember in Vancouver but today it seems that finally spring has arrived.  Although only 11 degrees celsuis (52 degrees fahrenheit) and sunny the bees appeared to be in a state of total bliss.  Ruth, a neighbor beekeeper who borrowed my honey extractor said her bees were going crazy.  I have heard this exact phrase from many beekeepers including myself to express the joy and excitement of their bees at the arrival of warm, sunny days. The "El Nino" weather pattern was predicted to begin late in the winter, bringing with it cold, wet weather. I work on a Vancouver ski hill and we received a constant barrage of snow beginning in February and continuing until April.  While this is great for skiing it is not so great for our honey bees. This cold, wet weather has delayed the blossoms and honey bee activity.
     Today my bees were bringing back to the hive a great deal of pollen particularly from the nearby plum trees.  Although they also enjoy the forsythia, flowering cherry, heather and numerous bulbs a favorite is the "Marsh Marigold" which is a fairly invasive but pretty ground cover.

Marsh Marigold

     This is a video of one of my bee hives set to the music of Eva Cassidy.  One of my favorite singers who gave us so much in the short time she had on this humble planet. 

P.S. Thanks for the honey Ruth.  It's great!


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