It is a beautiful day in the garden and our bees are enjoying the raspberries. We are fortunate to have over a hundred different plants in bloom in our four acre community garden at this time of year but the foraging preference is raspberries. The fruit trees which were the main source of food for the bees from April to May are finished blooming now and the four different varieties of raspberries will be the main focus of our girls for about a month.
Looking at the rows of raspberries you can literally see and hear hundreds if not thousands of bees actively foraging. This year I have focused on identifying native bees and improving my photographic skills. I have been amazed at the number and variety of native bees I have seen foraging along side the honey bees. Below is a Hunt's bumble bee and a variety (possibly not a bee) I have not identified.
Possibly a Resin Bee (Anthidiellum Notatum Robertsoni )
Below are a few photos of the girls enjoying a Johnson's Blue hardy geranium. Due to the promiscuous nature of queen bees the true heritage of the girls is unknown however all of our queens are (I think) Carniolan. The Carniolan honey bee is native to Slovenia and parts of the former Yugoslavia, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania and is known for it's large proboscis (tongue). This Gene Simmons like tongue gives the bee greater ability to access the inner flower.
The photo below has nothing to do with bees but is a picture of my favourite rose which has a heavenly scent. It does however allow me to ponder at the lack of bees in hybrid roses. The obvious reason for this is the complex physical nature of the petal formation. Below this picture is a photo of one of the girls enjoying a wild rose (simple flower) which is a favourite of the girls in the garden right now.
Both the native and honey bees were enjoying the rhododendron and clematis flowers today.
We inspected our hives today and found lots of brood and stored nectar and pollen but also plenty of room in the two brood boxes. We will check on the girls in another few weeks with the intent of adding our honey supers. It was a two stinger day as Serge got it in the leg and me in the hand when I removed my gloves after the inspection. Not bad.