Bee in the Grape Hyacinth

Bee in the Grape Hyacinth

The weather has been still bouncing between cheerfully sunny and gloomily rainy but the temperatures are remaining warm and the view from our windows shows life having lost its patience and springing into activity.

A tiny bunny that would fit in the palm of one hand enjoys its first cavort. A sandhill crane strides across the backyard. A pair of northern flickers nest in a dead tree. The forsythia at last explodes in yellow. Chipmunks leap across the grass. Red squirrels chase each other. Our wee, young fruit trees leaf out. A cloud of tiny pollinators make a haze in the maple. Some dark butterfly flutters by. Birds unseen for months return in song, including a new one barely-glimpsed, which is, to paraphrase Sheldon, yellow and a warbler but not a yellow warbler, possibly a common yellowthroat. Blue jays lay eggs in a nest in the eglantine.

And to our great joy we see honeybees enjoying the grape hyacinths that suddenly burst into full bloom last Sunday. The aroma suggests there is nectar to be had and an enlarged version of the picture above will show pollen in the saddlebags. For whatever reason we rarely see many of our girls at work on nearby blooms.

Our First Dandelion of the Year

Our First Dandelion of the Year

Even more exciting, we have seen our first dandelion of the season bloom. Beekeepers often have high regard for flowers that others hate including the much maligned dandelion. It usually provides the first major nectar flow in southeast Michigan and signals the earliest time to consider splitting hives, a time we have been anticipating. Of course, we should wait for more than just a few dandelions to appear and give Annabelle a thorough inspection to ensure that she is healthy enough to split. But then if we proceed and succeed, we will once again have two colonies over which to fret. More worries but perhaps less chance of again becoming bee-less.

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