All Things Blooming

Floods, tornadoes, lightning storms aside, it's been a pretty remarkable spring--particularly regarding fruit, of which we try to grow a variety.  That is part of the reason we decided to get bees in the first place, to assist in the pollination of all the things we try to grow.  We've been surprised both at some of the plants  bees choose to "work" and some they do not seem to work.  As I went out to check the hives to see if I needed to add boxes, switch frames out, and just see how they are laying, I took some photos of some of our plants.
On the way out back, I passed the first prairie.  Spiderwort is a dominant plant right now and the prairie is full of it.  The flowers open in the daytime and close at night.  Bees don't seem too attracted, unfortunately.
These lovelies grow along our garden shed.  Again, no bees.  They don't like blue?  It seems I've read about colors and bees before and will have to check that out again.  One upside to starting to lose my memory, as I'm sure I'm doing,  is the joy of discovering "new" things all over again!
Also on the garden shed is my little mason bee hive, given to me by my daughter, Jessica.  Still none living here.  Perhaps it isn't a good location?  Something more to research.

 Have I mentioned our blueberries this year?  We've never seen such an abundance.  And I have a new treatment to try for the Japanese beetles.  I don't mind sharing my blueberries, but not with insects.  Bumble bees are big time pollinators of the blueberries but I have never seen a honey bee on them.


Our raspberries, both red (shown here) and black are also heavily laden with young berries.  The honey bees especially like the red raspberries.

We're having our first real harvest of cherries in a couple years.  I believe the honey bees were on the cherry blossoms, as well as the apples, though many other little bees work them very heavily as well.  I'm thinking cherry pie....
I did eventually get around to checking out the bees.  Hive #2, my biggest, is putting a lot of honey in the first super but has not drawn a lot out yet in the second.  I checked the entire hive for swarm cells, given the incredible population, but saw none.  Lots of brood, capped and otherwise, so she is still laying like crazy.  Hive #1 is looking good and I added a third box to the main hive (all mediums).  Hive #3 is the 8 frame hive, with the queen who seems to have trouble hitting the center of the cell when she lays.  As you can see in the image above, though, she lays a solid pattern and this hive is also looking healthy and busy.
It was too beautiful to work all day, so I headed out sailing for my first outing of the year.  Ahhhhh.




Comments

  1. Bees really do make a difference in a garden, don't they!

    Ever since we sent our bees to Nature's Nectar I've noticed the difference in the garden. We had tons of raspberries when our bees were her and this year it looks like we'll get nothing :( Everything is sad without the bees.

    Your pix are great! I love your cherries! The farmer's I've talked to have said all of this rain is really making for a great fruit season.

    I still haven't started a mason bee house. I'd definitely like to give that a try. I hope you get some little residents in your mason home soon.

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