Signs of Spring

The blue and great tits in the garden appear to have developed a symbiotic relationship with our bees.  In “Housekeeping”, I talked about how mortary bees clean the hive of corpses, and how the blue and great tits seem to like them.  The birds have become bolder over the weeks and now perch on the bees’ landing platform, and I’ve even seen a couple of them attempting to poke their head into the entrance.

Today they caught my attention as they didn’t hang around for so long awaiting their tidbits.  The reason was that the bees were out on mass today, seeming to have found the first signs of spring pollen.  This is remarkable in itself, as our first ever colony would never go out in less than temperatures of 14 celsius.  Today it is 9 –  a hardier breed!  I took the opportunity to take a closer look and also catch some photos of the lively activity at the entrance to the hive.  bee-on-varroa-board-sm

I’ve put a varroa board under the hive to check its health.  As I was dusting it off, one of the bees became curious and joined me.  I took this picture with board in one hand and camera with a heavy macro lens in the other.  Not the best means for gaining a sharp pic, but I was pleased with the detail on the legs in this shot.

Bees-communing-sm
Two bees communing.

The picture of the clamour to get in and out of the hive, below, is a little blurred, but I wanted to show that they are bringing in pollen already.  (Pollen sac circled in red).  This particular sac was the largest I saw, others seemed to have small amounts of orange-coloured pollen.

Hive-entrance-sm

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