Sunday, December 13, 2015

Abracadabra, Presto Change-o!

My daytime temps are in the upper 40's to low 60's, so the girls are still flying just about every day. I don't see much of anything blooming, but somehow the bees are bringing in pollen. Watching them today, the ladies reminded me of a magician pulling flowers out of his hat -- they seemed to make pollen appear out of thin air. But then I remembered Hermione Granger saying that food was the first of the five Principle Exceptions to Gamp's Law of Elemental Transfiguration. Muggles in the know will understand.

Some gray pollen

Anyway, I noticed 5 different pollen colors:
  • Extremely pale yellow, nearly white
  • Light buttery yellow
  • Orangey yellow
  • Tan
  • Gray
Maybe a couple of those colors (thinking of the first two and maybe last two) could simply be variations on a theme, but even three distinct colors is a surprise. Witch hazel blooms about now. Given our warm temps, maybe some ivy is persisting, but I can't think of anything else. If you live in/are from New England, I'd love to know what you think it could be.

Around Thanksgiving, I was concerned that the bees didn't have enough ventilation, so I opened some entrances for Elsa, and made sure the last bars on Buttercup and Bubblegum weren't super tight. Today, I noticed that all three of them have reduced their entrances. Clearly, I know nothing and should trust them to do what's best. Additionally, Elsa was trying to dispose of the straw that I placed behind the divider board.

Austeja, my hive that swarmed in the fall, has an observation window, so I took a quick peek. She seems to appreciate the sugar combs that were added on Thanksgiving. If this warm weather persists, I may try to top her off before Christmas.

Tomorrow is supposed to be another 60 degree day, and I'm concerned the bees will eat up all their stores before the end of winter. As much as I enjoy the "warmth," fingers crossed that things cool off (15 degrees should be enough) soon.


  1. We went out for a walk this afternoon and found a dandelion blooming, after weather in the teens! Go figure! As for pollen, at this time of the year, they could be bringing in coffee grounds from the compost pile! Think of the colors a compost pile could provide!

    Remember last year when you were surprised how little your bees had eaten even in the midst of the polar voretx?! I think they eat less than we think (especially in the "deep mid-winter" (guess which carol I just heard!)), but it's more after the solstice that we need to worry.

    Relax, take some time to meditate, and trust that all is well. ;-)

    1. Compost! I never even thought of that, but you could be right. The bees love the compost in the summer. I'll have to check for some bees in there.

      You might be right about the dandelions, too! Last night, after posting, near our town skating rink, I spotted quite a lot of them. It's too far away for my girls to forage, but still... Maybe there are some elsewhere.


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