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The 2013 Bee Season Begins

It has been a long winter for our six-legged friends. At last, they are starting to have an opportunity to bring in larger amounts of fresh pollen and raise new bees to sustain their colonies in 2013. Today I noticed that even the smaller clusters are sending out foragers to bring home the maple pollen that provides a lot of the nourishment for bees in the early spring in this area. Pretty much every year we end up taking pictures celebrating the new season of activity that begins with these light-yellow loads of tree pollen. Most of the pollen-carriers are walking on the right side of the entrance block:
I also checked the flight coming out of some hives with package bees that I shook yesterday, but they are not foraging yet since they're still in housecleaning mode. I provided them with plenty of food for the first few weeks, so there's no rush for them to get into the field (except that they vastly prefer fresh food over long-stored food). The syrup cans that they travel with were totally empty this year--that happens sometimes due to the pressure changes as they're hauled through the mountains out of California. Thanks to everyone who picked up packages in Lynnville. I hear that it went really smoothly. We have another load coming in April, but it is already sold out. Good luck as splitting season begins!

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