Foraging for the first pollen of the season
First Pollen of the season going in. 9 Degree C with sunny intervals. Looks like they are foraging pollen from the snowdrops, that there are carpets of nearby. Not much activity outside the hives. A few hardy foragers are out but a look through the perspex crown board shows that the cluster is dispersing. The workers also look very busy inside the hive.
With the breakdown of the cluster and pollen going there is a strong indication that the queen is starting lay again. The brood nest temperature will be increasing from the winter level of 20 Degree C up to the brood rearing temperature of 35 Degree C. This will require a lot of stores to be consumed. So I’ll be keeping a check on stores and looking out for cold spells.
Looking through the perspex crown board, I can see that the cluster has started to spread out across the full width of the first five frames. Capped stores can be seen on the next three frames. A small amount of wax has been drawn between the top of the frames and the under side of the perspex crown board, which will be tidied up when I start my spring clean inspections, as the season starts and the weather warms up.
This is a good start to the season, as I’m trying to get them ready for the autumn sown oil seed rape. In previous years the autumn sown oil seed rape has flowered in March to April. Here in rural Northumberland, this has been a little early for the bees.