Saturday, May 25, 2013

Bees in Lavender

I snapped some photos in our garden today, and I happened to catch a couple of bees enjoying the lavender on the south side of the house. Bear in mind that I have a point and shoot digital camera, so these are not the best quality photos!

First off, here's a honeybee in the lower left corner of the first shot. Of course I can't know for sure that this bee lives in one of our hives, I'd bet that she does.

Then here's another kind of bee toward the center of this second shot. Not sure what kind of bee this is. It's a black color with a bit of yellow and white. We think of these as bumblebees, but they aren't the big kind. If you happen to know what kind of bee this might be, please do leave a comment on this post and let me know.

There are so many varieties of bees out in the world, enjoying the different blooms they find. It's a pleasure to see both in our yard.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Warm May Weather, Active Bees

I've lived in the Seattle area my whole life, and I can't remember such a long streak of summer-like weather in May. Well, apparently this is the longest rain-free streak in May since 1946 and 1958.

The bees are super-active, as you might guess. Here are two pictures I snapped today, both showing the hive in the backyard. The other hive is located in the side yard, and it's also been plenty busy.

It's been interesting to have two hives to be able to compare and contrast. The bees in the side yard have always seemed more boisterous, something we noticed the day we picked them up. We heard them buzzing as we drove home from Beez Neez, while the other bees were silent. Trish thinks that possibly the side yard bees are sometimes going into the hive of the backyard bees to rob them of some honey, but we can't be sure.

In other bee news, Trish had a look through the observation windows of the backyard hive this morning and was pretty sure she saw some brood emerging from cells of comb. The timing sounds about right: I read that it takes 21 days for a worker bee to hatch.

I wish I could get a picture that shows how you can look up into the air near the hives and watch the bees heading back and forth. They're pretty high up, like 10-12 feet or more, I'd say. There are so many of them flying so quickly on their looping paths. I've compared them to bottle rockets before in a poem, and today they reminded me of stunt pilots.