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Posts Tagged ‘pollen’

July bee class

Hello there! Guess what we added to the calendar since we are actually doing more work around the Bee Ranch now? A new class date for Introduction to Beekeeping. Our next class will be Saturday, July 18 in case you are interested. Here’s link for more information as well as to register. We have some seats still available and hope you can join us! Click here for class info.

In other wonderful news – pollen, pollen, and more pollen. WOW! We are loving how the pollen looks AND tastes this year. Subtly sweet and soft to the touch. Due to the hot weather, we aren’t shipping it out but if you would like some, do stop by the Bee Ranch one Wednesday or Saturday (9-12pm).

Pollen is amazing this season!

And in case you would prefer honey – it’s coming! We have started a slow harvest due to rainy spells and high levels of moisture in the honey. What we have harvested, we like. A lot. And we can’t wait to host a few honey tasting events to share it with you all!

Harvest time at the Bee Ranch

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Honeybees carrying in pollen

These bees were spotted carrying in some pollen earlier this week – yay! We’ve actually gotten a bit of rain here and there, definitely enough to make a difference since they’re finding pollen somewhere out there. Just this week, we’ve measure about 1.25 inches in the gauge. And Mark reported earlier today that Bigfoot got about two inches down there in Frio County. Nice! A fellow Texan commented on one of my Instagram shots that it is funny how excited we get over rain here. Well, it’s true. We do. We just don’t always get rain consistently so we get excited in drought years. ๐Ÿ™‚ And then we run outside to pull our potted plants out far enough so they, too, can benefit from the natural watering from above.

Rainy evening

Next up and in light of some cool (though not really cool for our bees) pictures the beekeeper gets for me when I’m not with him in bee yards and the fact that people have questions about what dangers face the honeybees, I thought I’d show you some of the things we’ve seen in our beeyards that might impede the progress of the bees (besides man). First, here’s the very gorgeous Lynx Spider. Though not poisonous to humans, I read their bite does cause pain. Quite a bit. My awesome older bro pointed out to me, when I told him this, “All bites cause pain.” Well, that’s sort of true isn’t it? Put it in perspective for me. haha

Got another one for dinner

Back in 2006 we had our first but not our last sighting of the awful Robber Fly – nasty and reminds me of several alien-related movie creatures. Poor bees – these guys prey cleverly, following the bees around the area as they forage. And when the bees least expect it, they pounce! Grabbing them and then doing their thing. I read that they pretty much drink the life out of the bees. 0_0 Mark has gone through several robber fly swatters as he smacks them whenever he can in the bee yards.

Something wicked this way comes...what is that?!

Back to spiders – the Black Widow seems to really love hanging out in the boxes. Not sure we’ve seen them feasting on the bees but Mark’s pretty sure they want to feast on the beekeepers. Thank goodness for good gloves and that the beekeeper and crew are wearing them more this year. They get in the way and slow down work at times but it’s better than getting a kiss from one of these ladies. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Biggest Black Widow I've ever seen

This one has got to be one of my favorites only in the sense that the spider is pretty awesomely unique. I mean look at those fangs and that helmet head!

Spider's dinner

One last one to show the cleverness of the bee predators – building a web right outside the front door! Poor bees don’t even see the web until it’s too late sometimes, although I did watch as several of the bees were able to disentangle themselves and scoot on inside. After a shot this, Mark got rid of the web since he had to open up the hive to tend to the bees. Good job, love.

Spider web at hive entrance

Okay, so there’s a tour of some of the dangers awaiting bees and beekeepers here in South Texas. Besides these things, we just have to keep one eye out on the fields around us – no bears but sometimes there are snakes, wild hogs, skunks, and such things. The fun things include wild turkeys, road runners, deer, fiesty donkeys (thinking about the hilarious one at Deadman Creek), lots of gorgeous birds, weird looking caterpillars and an occasional coyote or fox. Pretty awesome stuff to see. I’m sure in different areas, y’all have different threats and all sorts of loveliness to see as well. That’s one of the many rewards of beekeeping I would say.

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Drunk on Evening Primrose

Drunk on spring

This little bee had a grand ole time with the primroses all around the bee yard at My Father’s Farm. During the evening hour this week, I rode with Mark to the farm so that he could check on the hives. I love doing that during the week because it’s such a treat after work. It’s great to be out in nature when the evening is so cool and breezy and sunny at the same time.

I watched this bee for about seven or eight minutes as she drank her fill of the nectar of the primroses. I told Mark she got drunk on it because she rolled all around in the flower and got pollen all over herself. What a funny mess. You can watch the video if you want on our YouTube page.

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Depositing Pollen

Okay, this is the fourth time I’m loading this video and finally it seems to be working. Ugh, technology. Depending on your internet speed, it is best to let the video stream completely (full red bar below the video) and then hit the play button.

Yesterday we visited the Gonzales bee yard to check on the five hives that Mark and Danny moved there last weekend. It was a gorgeous day out – upper 70s and full of sun. The bees were doing great and were flying all over the place but didn’t seem to mind us among them. We spent about two hours out there so Mark could feed them and I documented things. This is a great shot of one of the little workers bringing and depositing pollen. It was neat to watch and capture since neither of us had actually watched long enough to see one of them doing this. Hope you enjoy!

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Carrying Pollen Into a Hive

Country Hive & Pollen

Today was a very beautiful day – perfect weather, sunny and a cool 75 degrees or so. Low humidity. Mark installed some Beetle Blaster traps to see if the beetles will go in and die. There was one moving around so I got to see what they look like. He will check in a week or so to see if any beetles entered the Blaster.

The red dog visited again – what a sweet dog he is. And we were surrounded by lots of butterflies fluttering about and unfortunately, so were the mosquitos. I’m ready for those to be gone already.

This is one of my favorite videos of the bees. This is the healthiest hive out there in the country and as I watched them, I noticed they were carrying quite a nice amount ofย  pollen in so I decided to record some so Mark could check them out with me. I love to watch the bees land and walk in their load. There’s just something cool about the way they are so matter of fact about walking over one another to get the pollen in the hive.

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