We have all heard the term, "Busy as a Bee!"
We really have been. I never knew that bees were going to be this much work. I know part of the problem is me. Not that I mind the work. Not that I can't do the work. More that I don't know everything there is to know about bee keeping. I spend a lot of time looking, then researching, then going back and doing what is necessary to take care of them. I realize this is all part of the process, but it is starting to wear me out a little. Not to mention that it is a little unnerving. I really have high hopes for some honey here. And, you may as well add to the list the fact that I am a control freak and a little OCD about certain things.
We are not the only ones working though. I did capture a shot of a bee bringing in a load of pollen. It really is hard to get this shot, and it is also amazing the amount that they can carry considering their size. I will keep trying to get a better picture of this, but for now this one will have to do.
The bees collect pollen on their back legs, and then haul it in. We see red, orange, and yellow pollen, and as much as it looks like this bee is carrying, I have seen bees carry more. It is stored on the outside edge of the frames that contain brood (babies). It is critical in the raising of the young ones. The amount they carry is staggering. I perceive it as being the equal to carrying two-five gallon buckets of water around with you. I don't know the last time you tried to haul buckets of water, but it really isn't easy or fun.
The bees have many jobs. They are also responsible for building comb on the frames in their hives. At some point, this will be less and less work due to the fact that I will save it for them and reuse it every year, but until then, in new hives and new supers, they have to build it. A fact few people realize...it takes a bee more energy to build comb than it does for them to make honey.
Once they go into serious-wax-building-mode, you start seeing strange things. For one, if you open a hive and pull frames out, you will see bees stringing together. I believe there is a name for it. What that name is, I can not remember at this time, but my instructor says that it is a good sign of wax making.
Can I just say, that is a lot of bees...
That's all folks...for today anyway.