Pollen panniers

We are now just over a week into our beekeeping journey. Overall, we’re surprised how comfortable we are co-existing with bees in our garden. Bees just do their own thing and don’t seem to readily become aggressive – even when we are opening up their hive and pulling out frames for inspection.

To get a better look at the bees as they come and go from the hive entrance, we are experimenting with a video camera. It can zoom in really close, and we can replay and pause the video on a large TV screen, so we can see the bees in much more detail than with the naked eye.

This morning we were tickled to see the bees returning to the hive with lots of pollen on their rear legs. Being a cycling family, it reminds us of panniers. Pollen panniers!

Here is a bee coming in to land with a full load of yellow pollen:

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And here is a bee laden with red pollen:

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The frames are filling up quickly with honey – the weight of some frames is noticeably heavier than it was a week ago.

We started our nucleus colony in just one hive box, but we’ll add a second box in a couple of weeks, when the number of bees should have increased. Then the bees should have plenty of space for brood and honey for the coming summer months.

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