Monday, March 12, 2012

Little White Fuzzies

This past weekend I noticed little white puffs of fuzz popping out on the pussy willow.
 Now in a couple of weeks these white fuzz balls should pop out in bright yellow blossoms covered in pollen, and the bees will kick pollen collection into high gear.  I looked back through the blog to find last year's pussy willow bloom date and found it on April 11th.  It looks like this year we are about 2 weeks ahead of last year.  This means that the big alfalfa bloom which has occurred on about June 20th for the last two years will happen closer to the first part of June- I can hardly wait!

I also noticed this past weekend that the bees are bringing in what looks like pollen.  I don't see anything green or blooming so who knows where this is coming from.  As you can see in the following photos the pollen baskets are small, but they are definitely there.

Interestingly, I read a blog today, which is kept by an experienced beekeeper in Minnesota, stating that what beekeepers think is pollen coming in lately is actually dust from bird feeders and deer feeders.  So, are my bees bringing in dust instead of pollen?  Maybe.  Or maybe there is a tree with catkins in the area that begins producing pollen earlier than other more obvious pollen sources.  Hazelnut trees, for example, bloom and pollinate in the middle of winter.

What do my bees have on their legs?  The world may never know- but they sure are fun to watch!


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