Sunday, May 22, 2011

Photos Of Nectar Flows

We have had a few days of rain which has kind of put a damper on the bees' ability to get out and forage for nectar. But today has been a beautiful day so I took the opportunity to get out with the camera and snap a few photos of the girls while at work.

The dandelions are in full bloom right now and our yard is one big yellow field. If the sun is shining and there isn't much wind you can see the bees fly up around your feet with every step.

The dandelions are a welcome sight in the spring. They are among the first flowers to bloom after the willows get under way and are a major pollen and nectar sources for springtime.

A lot of fruit trees are also getting underway. These next two photos are from the pear tree in our back yard.

The bees do seem to enjoy the pear blossoms but so far that has not translated into a lot of pears on the tree. We are usually lucky to get just one or two. I am not aware of a lot of pear trees in town. For all I know, this may be the only one.

The next two are bees on the apple tree also in the back yard.

There are a lot of apple trees in town and I think they are all blooming right now.

Besides apple trees there are a lot of crab apple trees in town. Since our community is not large the entire town is within easy foraging distance of the hives. This next photo is a crab apple tree just around the block from our house.
You can see how it is covered in pink/purple blossoms. That looks like a lot of nectar to me.

These next two photos show some little purple flowers that have been springing up in vacant lots and other open spaces. I do not know what they are called but the bees seem to like them well enough.

These purple flowers seem to spread quickly and I'm sure no one wants them coming up in their yards, but I don't mind them on the canal banks supplying forage for the bees.

Besides these trees and flowers in the preceding photos it seems like just about every hedge, shrub, and flowering tree is bursting in blossom. If we can just get some nice sunny warm days the bees might be able to pack away a little honey.

These last two photos were taken this morning. The bees were very busy taking off to go foraging as well as performing orientation flights. I wanted to get a picture showing how many were in the air.

These photos do not quite show how many bees were actually in the air. But if you multiply the bees you see here by 5 or 6 you might get the idea.

Last year the bees continued to fill the supers up with nectar even after the main dandelion flow and the fruit tree flows were finished and before the alfalfa bloom started. I suppose there must be other various wildflowers and weeds along the canals, ditch banks, and road sides. Last year the alfalfa bloom started on about June 20th- that is when honey production cranks up in earnest. I think that this spring hasn't been quite as cool and wet as last year so maybe things will really start moving a little earlier than last year.


Michelle said...

Love the photos, #4 is my favorite :) I wish I could see my bees on a flower, they always go elsewhere.

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