Although we have had quite a bit of rain here in WA State lately, we have actually had quite a mild and sunny spring so far. Which is great news for our bees here at Scarlett Homestead.
We had three hives that were fairly healthy and strong through this last year, but sadly, one of them died just as the last of the cold weather hit us. We got a lot of snow, then it warmed up, then the snow and cold hit us again and we are assuming that the smallest of the three hives just couldn’t withstand the quick temperature drop and weren’t strong enough to keep the hive alive. Then a week later we got full on spring weather….if only they could have held on a little longer…..
It’s alway a real loss when you lose an entire hive of bees. Every beekeeper out there knows how this feels and it really feels awful. But it is a fact of life that this is happening on a regular basis now, no matter how attentive you are with your hives. It’s a real fragile balance.
Thankfully our two strong hives made it through just fine and have been thriving in this warmer weather. My husband got some great photos of our hard little workers recently and I thought I would share them with you. It’s not something you see everyday, especially up close and personal.
This first picture is a frame from one of the hives that was purchased. When you buy a queen bee or an entire hive, the queen is always marked. Usually with a red dot on her back. This is a great picture of that royal beauty, surrounded by her attentive ladies. Hopefully you can spot her!
Then our second hive was a wild swarm that Rob caught last year on our property. It may be harder to spot right off, but the queen in this hive has a natural black spot on her back and her body is slim and long. Gorgeous.
What does a worker bee look like when coming and going from the hive? Well, here’s a great shot of a fat little bee, going back inside the hive completely full and weighed down with pollen. We have a variety of wild flowers, berry bushes, flowering trees etc. to choose from, so thankfully they have enough to keep themselves busy.
I am extremely grateful that Rob decided to take up beekeeping as a hobby and get more serious about it over the years. It is fascinating to watch them and help them along, and then of course reap the rewards every fall. I never really imagined myself being a lover of bees, as much as I am today, but I can honestly say, that they are one of my favorite creatures on the planet. Just look at that cute little bum!
Every spoonful of honey I eat, I always appreciate so much more now. Liquid gold is almost an understatement for just how special it really is!
– The Homesteaders Wife