May 2, 2010

After visiting the beesource and reading some of the advice given by experienced beekeepers I decided to wait til Tuesday to do my hive inspection. It is suppose to be in the 70's and not very windy. I went out to switch out the sugar syrup for the bees and used the smoker successfully for the first time. It wasn't the first time I used the smoker, last time I used it the bees looked at me like I was insane. This time, after following some experienced beekeeper advice, I didn't smoke the entrance but I smoked under the outer cover and then shut the cover for about 30 seconds. When I opened the hive cover the bees had moved away from the inner cover opening a bit. I removed the sugar syrup container and then the bees rebounded and started walking out. To prevent myself from crushing one with the new jar of syrup I smoked them again and they all retreated far enough into the hole for me to put the jar in place again. It made me feel better about the smoker seeing it actually work this time. (now in typical Michelle nature I fear I smoked too much - grrrr with this self doubt)

When I was finished I decided to try and catch the girls working. I was hoping to get some pollen laden leg photos. Unfortunately I couldn't see very well through my veil so I just started snapping photos as they flew in. After about 5 shots I got the one posted above. I felt like I struck gold since it wasn't just one bee with pollen on her legs but 3 bees and the pollen is different colors. So very very cool!

NOTE: a big thank you to the helpful beekeepers that drop by and post on my blog and that give me advice on beesource. It helps A LOT!!!