It felt fitting to snap a farewell shot of the driveway into the almond orchard where I've been putting in my days recently. I have no fondness or talent for selfies featuring myself, so apologies for any shortcoming in my technique!
As I last mentioned, the bees are looking pretty respectable right now. Around two weeks ago, there was a temperature spike that approached 70F, and I think that helped spur a really healthy round of brood rearing. Right now the best-nourished hives are still putting out nice patterns of baby bees, but a fair number of others are clearly taking a break since the cooler weather arrived. I was somewhat surprised to see a tiny bit of pollen coming in this week. Here's one of the lovely ladies bringing home the protein!
Unfortunately there is not yet enough of the floral pollen to supply the bees with the nourishment that we want them to have readily available. As a result, I gave them some substitute that will ensure ready supply of all the nutrition they require. In an era of many bee plights, it's important not to let them become vulnerable on account of skimping on their rations. They also get cranky when they sense a food shortage and cannot fulfill their wants.
I'm not terribly fond of the wax paper covering on these patties since it creates extra work for the bees to chew through them. That's the main reason why I tear them into halves or thirds--they can ingest them much easier if there are more chewing edges. It works best to put the patties between the hive bodies if there are bees in both boxes, but I was on my own and took the lazy man's path of putting the patties on top under the lid. We have a rim on the lids, so there is a space for patties if we need to put them in that space. Happy bees!
I will miss you bees! We will meet again in another month! I probably will not see them again until their return to Iowa--unless it rains mercilessly in Cali during the next few weeks. In that case, I would need to come back and check their food supplies. As it is, I hope they are set for the next few weeks and the almond bloom. There were not any blossoms open in the orchard at the top of the post, but I did see a very few open blossoms in warm spots just a bit south of our location. The bees are ready to work, so I hope ours get to join the party within the next several days!