Signs of Spring

Tomorrow is opening day.  To many the beginning of the baseball season marks the beginning of spring.  The bees have also been letting us know that spring is on the way.

This was how things looked at the beginning of March.

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The view from our backyard on March 8.

Most of my blog readers know that I have been obsessing all winter about the bees.  (Read some of my earlier posts if you want to relive my angst.)  In mid March we performed our first inspection of the hives, and we were blown away by what we saw.  All three hives had plenty of bees, plenty of honey stores, and each had a laying queen.  Doug and I were euphoric.

Frame of bees from first hive inspection of the year

Frame of bees from first hive inspection of the year

Marked Queen

Marked queen in Bravo hive shown here in a red circle

A few days after that inspection severe thunderstorms ripped through the area.  While I was hunkered down in the basement I thought, “Did we do all this work to get our bees through winter only to have the hives wiped out by a tornado?”  Amazingly the hives were still standing after the storms.

Even though the landscape looks bleak, the bees keep finding pollen and bringing it back to the hives.  We think the light colored pollen is from maple trees.  Where have no idea where the bees are finding red pollen.

Pollen basket

Red arrow points to pollen basket full of off white pollen.

red pollen

Red arrow points to bee with pollen baskets full of unknown red pollen.

Last fall I planted 75 crocus bulbs, 30 tulip bulbs, and 15 hyacinth bulbs to give the bees some early food sources.  The crocuses are now in full bloom and the tulips, hyacinth and daffodils (planted 2 years earlier) are emerging.  Today was sunny, and honey bees and wild bees were all over the flowers.  I must plant more next year.

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Two bees gathering nectar and pollen. One appears to be a honey bee and the other a native bee that I couldn’t see well enough to identify.

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A grouping of crocus bulbs that recently emerged.

The rabbits eat some of the flowers as they emerge.  At first this made me angry.  Didn’t the rabbits know that I planted these flowers for the bees?  Then something inside of me laughed at how silly and arrogant I was being.  Why is a crocus only for a bee and not for a rabbit?  Why do I get to decide, and why is one creature more important than another? I decided my job was to plant, and the bees and rabbits can have their way as they like.

What signs of spring are you seeing?  Share them with me.  As the days grow long and warm, I am warning my friends now.  If you don’t want to see lots of pictures of flowers and bees for the next 6 months, you better stop following me on social media.  Spring is coming, and I can’t wait.

5 thoughts on “Signs of Spring

  1. clivebennett796

    Hello, thank you for liking one of my comments. Both my late father and I were Beekeepers in the UK, although I unfortunately had to give it up after developing a serious allergy to bee stings. I shall follow your bee keeping adventures with interest. Maybe even swap some anecdotes – for now though just to say we started keeping bees in the mid ‘70s after a swarm settled on a bush in our garden – it just grew and grew … the hobby I mean. Good luck with your bees for the coming season – I do hope they all made it.

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  2. marriedwithbees Post author

    Thanks for taking the time to comment. I would love to hear any anecdotes you have to share. There is always something new to learn about bees. Our bees are starting to gear up for spring, so we should have more tales to tell soon. – Best Regards from the state of Kentucky.

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  3. Emily Scott

    Fantastic news of the bees! So many signs of spring here in Cornwall – in fact spring is well on its way to summer. We had frogspawn in January and the fruit trees have now started to come into flower – cherry & apple in my garden. Plum started a few weeks ago. Bluebells are out, primroses, rhododendrons, magnolia. I will need to be on guard for swarming for a few months!

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