|Honey Bee on Milkweed|
As my herbs and lettuces begin to flower, I am waiting to pull them up to give the pollinators a chance to forage. A study out of Bristol University in the UK is finding that wild flowers provide the best pollen and nectar for bees. I am trying to be mindful of that, especially in my traditional vegetable beds, leaving flowering weeds growing longer than I usually would.
|Honey Bee on Batchelor's Button|
|Honey Bee on Cilantro Flower|
|Bumble Bee on Broccoli Flower|
The bees seem especially excited by cilantro flowers and my yellow broccoli flowers are also causing quite the stir. The Batchelor's Buttons I have planted in my edible landscape are by far the favorite bee destination. Early in the morning the activity is at fever pitch with bees moving like buzzing streaks of lightning between the purple, blue and pink flowers. Their hum is both peaceful and meditative.
|Honey Bee on Rudbeckia|
|This is the tiny bee that loves the Rudbeckia. Look at all the pollen on her legs!|
The activity at the hive I help care for as part of the Edible Forest Garden Project is anything but peaceful, right now. For the last two weeks the bees have been very aggressive, to the point where checking the frames has been impossible. Up until now the hive has been quite passive and we have been debating what has brought about this change.
|This is the hive with a frame removed. There is no room at the Inn!|
|Frame with capped honey and brood.|
The hive has multiplied many times over since it's beginning as a NUC and is now fully occupying both of the supers we installed. At our last inspection we added another super to give them more space with the hope that will calm them down. The other change is we stopped giving them sugar water as they seemed not to need it any more. This time of year in this area there can be a lack of nectar flow as most of the trees are no longer in bloom. Hungry bees can get aggressive! We will place another sugar water bottle in the hive in case that is the issue.
|Uncapped brood and honey|
|Adding a new super to the hive.|
|Bee Hives at Hancock Shaker Village. The hive on the left has a NUC box on top which is a way to try to catch a swarm.|
How is pollinator activity in your garden, this year?