That’s my indoor garden I’m maintaining quite well (in my opinion). The palm looking plant was given to us by our church family when my mom passed away this past April. I just really want to keep it alive as long as possible because of that and because when I left for college, Mom gave me a palm to take with me and I had it for a very long time. Anyway, all the other things are accidental rootings from friends at market actually. I always stick herbs in water when I get them home so I can keep them as fresh as possible until I use them in cooking. I’m always happy when I see roots sprout. So then I decide to plant them. Since they are indoors I suppose I may have to consult the beekeeper about q-tip pollination since I don’t have bees inside. They smell divine, especially the basil and mint. By the way, with the recent rains we’ve gotten, my outdoor herb garden is quite robust and smells divine, filled with basil, thyme, oregano, chives and
So I was sitting here about to blog and then I checked Flickr and it was offline! I link our pictures here most of the time to my Flickr account because it just works easier that way. Plus, it drives people to more pictures that I snap of bee stuff, because who wants a blog with a gazillion, million pictures that I snap all over the place every day? 🙂 That’s what I use Flickr for. And Instagram. And Tumblr. And a lot of other apps you don’t need to hear about. Since I last checked, Flickr has come back online and since you came here to read about beekeeping, I will now post about bees and pollen since I have grown to appreciate it so much.
I love opening my refrigerator and seeing the jars of pollen in there. I especially am drawn to the difference in color in the jars. The one on the right is mine and Mark cleaned it for me months ago so I could take a little pollen each day for my allergies. I’m basically building up an immunity to the allergens around me. When I was growing up in North Carolina, I never had allergies really. But now I’m older and here in Texas, I’ve developed many allergies. The honey has definitely helped me and I really appreciate that Mark keeps bees if only selfishly for my own medicinal purposes. I used to get all sorts of allergy related infections each year and it seemed that shots and antibiotics became less effective each year, with each dosage. I have now been on regular local consumption for six or seven years and all I can say is that I am so much better! I can actually enjoy being outdoors more, even though I sometimes still get zonked pretty good with whatever’s in the air. Anyway, I thought I’d give the pollen a try and this year’s pollen is a lot nicer-tasting than in years past. If you’ve never had pollen before, it takes a little getting use to as it is earthy. Sweet but definitely an earthy after-taste; not bad and not bitter and not like dirt. Just earthy. I don’t know how else to describe it. Anyway, this year’s pollen is actually quite fabulous. Sweet and enjoyable. To me, this is so much better than a shot and some pills. Yay, bees! Another wonderful thing they do.
If you have follow us on the blog or other social media, then you may recall that we typically collect pollen and then keep it in the freezer so that we have some protein for the bees during winter months when they might need a little boost. Mark makes a pollen patty – mixing pollen with sugar syrup. It makes a mixture that looks and smells pretty good. And looks like sweet potatoes. Or pumpkin. As in pies. 🙂 The best way to describe the importance of pollen to the bees is when we think of how important protein is to humans. Pollen is the bees’ protein. Mark says it’s their burger and I love that.
This is my favorite shot of a good ole hardworking honeybee coming in with her pollen loads but she stopped and kept checking out the dropped pollen at the entrance. I guess she was thinking it was a shame all that good pollen is being wasted there. The different colors simply mean that the pollens were collected from different flowers out in the fields.
Remember that honeybees will forage up to three miles from their hives. They work very hard for all the nectar and pollen they collect and bring home. It’s quite amazing to watch them flying about, carrying their pollen or sitting at their entrance and watching them land and carry in the colorful loads they foraged. Very cool. I videoed a short look at one of the entrances for you:
The pollen traps do not harm the bees although when they find a way in that they’re not suppose to find, then things might happen. Like this. Mark opened this trap and we saw a bunch of dead bees. He’s not sure what happened, perhaps they got in that tray and then could not get out the same way in which they came. We just don’t know yet but he’s going to work on that trap for sure.