The first of our bramble berries have bloomed, and the winner is: Blackberry! An ant eagerly works one of the new blossoms set to open. Pollinators come in all sizes and shapes, and not all are winged.
It was time to inspect the colony containing my first new queen of 2016. This colony also gave me my first sting of the year when I tried to remove the outer cover. I was a bit dismayed to find this, but prepared and lifted the outer cover with my hive tool instead of my fingers. See all that wax? I scraped it off the underside last time I was in here, hoping that would discourage the bees from trying to attach it to the frames underneath. But no, not these crazy girls. In fact, if you look close you'll see that tell-tale behavior they're up to something, Nasonov fanning.
Bee buts up in the air, alarm phermone going to town. "He's trying to stop us from filling up this top screened inner cover, attack attack!" Good LORD these bees are nutty. I will definitely switch them to a solid inner cover on my next visit, and try and figure out how to remove the wax from the screen.
Time was of the essence as the sun was going down. Hefting the top chamber, which was very heavy and full of bees and honey and I'm sure brood, I went to the deep below. The first frame I pulled out contained this beauty, her royal highness 2016 Q-A. She was a beautiful site to behold, just like the first bramble blossoms of the year. Like brambles, she's running out of space soon. In fact this hive is jam packed and it's time to add honey supers ASAP before I encounter a SNAFU with this fabulous, yet nutty, hive.
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Tom Davidson is the owner and beekeeper at T's Bees.
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