Come on, even if you're not a "bug" fan, you have to admit she's cute!
And, what are those big blobs hanging from her legs? Read on and find out!
Yes, I did it. I ordered my honeybees. Believe it or not, people order honeybees through the U.S. Postal Service. Who knew?! Our Bee Club is sending a truck down to purchase bees down in Georgia, then onto Tennessee for the Queens. As good a job as the USPS does shipping bees, our Master Bee Keepers will be caring for our bees along the way home. Plus, we are getting a discount for purchasing so many at one time. The Queen determines the breed of bee that you get, so we are purchasing Carnolians. They are a very docile bee (not aggressive, even though honey bees in general are a docile bee) and they don't mind the cold so these bees will be happy to get out and pollinate my New England fruit trees in the chilly weather.
My bees will be coming at the end of April. Now, I have to get ready! I am admittedly a bit nervous. There are so many details, and I've never handled bees before. I never was an insect biologist and never wanted to be. But, I love honey, I love my garden and orchard, and the more you learn about honeybees, the cuter they are! Just look at that little gal pictured above. See those big yellow blobs on her legs? These are (I'm not kidding you) pollen baskets (yes, that's what they call them) packed with pollen. The pollen baskets are made up of long hairs on the legs of the bees that the bee will push the pollen into from the parts of her body that collect the pollen. One of the distinguishing features of the honeybee is their hairy bodies. They look fury. These hairs make the honeybee fabulous pollinators! The worker bees (all girls) whose turn it is to be foragers fly out and gather pollen from flowers. They come back to the hive and drop off the pollen that they have collected, which is used to feed the bees as a source of protein.
What do I need to do now?
Order my hives, set them up.
Order my tool(s), smoker, feeder, veil, gloves and bee suit!
I've fallen a bit behind with other to do's . . . and need to get busy.
Such as: Plant more seeds. Prune the fruit trees. Order materials to build my fence (for rabbits, etc.). Do more reading and studying on honeybees!
Today is going to be in the 50's. We had a little regression back into the dead of winter last week, but we are back on track! The sun is out and the spring birds are chirping up a storm. It's so encouraging to hear them singing. They say "Spring is coming! Spring is coming!" Sunday is daylight savings and I couldn't be more thrilled. I feel a bit surprised that I "survived" and made it to the other side. Do you know what I mean? Sometimes we northern folks start to feel cooped up, down and out, and flat-out fed-up with the whole winter / snow thing. But really, this year has been just fine. Thank you Vitamin D!