- Valerie Just
Just Apiary Spring Happenings!
Note: Video provided after this write-up.
We went out this weekend to check on our two apiaries - one on our property in Des Moines, and the other on a farmstead in Runnels, which is a little southeast of Des Moines.
We are thrilled to say the bees are looking mighty fine, and already bringing in pollen. We have red maple trees on our property in Des Moines that are in bloom, but the bees don't seem to be interested in that pollen. It appears they might be bringing in willow tree pollen, as the pollen is a lemon color.
We also have another tree in bloom about a block away from our Des Moines property - the pollen is a cream-color. We believe it might be a Chinese Elm, but we took pictures to send to our son, Dan, out in D.C. He is an urban forester for the city of Washington, and he will be able to identify the tree for us.
Often during this time of year, the bees are unable to get out and collect the early spring tree pollen, as it is too cold. The weather needs to be at least 50 degrees for the bees to be able to get out and fly - and we've been blessed to have a few of those days this spring! The warmer weather, and the ability for the bees to get out and about, collecting pollen that they normally don't collect, puts the colonies in a good position for gaining colony strength right out of the gate this spring. We need to be extra vigilant during April and early May, and make certain we are splitting strong colonies - and when I say we, I mean John (I am allergic to all types of bees, carry an Epipen everywhere I go, and am still taking monthly shots of bee venom in the hope that I gain immunity). If we don't conduct our due diligence, we could have a lot of swarming going on! It is painful to lose bees due to swarming, as you only have yourself to blame!
Fingers crossed, we will have another bumper harvest this season!
I prepared a very short video for your viewing enjoyment! I recommend that you go to full screen so you can see the details.