The bees are back, actually, they never leave as they winter in their hives on the roof of the church. Although it was long cold winter, spring brought activity to the apiary, also known as the hive. As the temperature warmed, the bees’ diet changed from honey that was stored inside the hive to pollen. You are probably wondering how they got pollen before any flowers appeared. I began to feed them a pollen substitute and provide fresh water beginning in April. The flowerpots in front of the building provided a natural source of pollen and could be seen on their little legs as they returned to the hive.
Last fall, I harvested 2 ½ gallons of honey. This was a successful harvest considering last summer’s drought, and the fact that we only have two hives. This season we expanded to 4 new hives for a total of 6 hives! The new bees came from the same local farm as last year and when they arrived, I unwrapped the existing hives and prepared them for another season. I also installed a monitoring system allowing me to monitor the internal temperature, humidity, weight, and count each bee as they come and go. All this information will be viewable on a computer or my phone.
If you want to learn more about the bees, I will be hosting a class on Tuesday, June 21, at 10am at the Mpls Campus Library. If you have other questions, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you all for your interest in honeybees!
Michael Nelson, beekeeper.