Great news! I opened up the hive today to see how the bees are filling out the second hive body and it was positively packed with bees and brood. I didn’t see the queen, but I only pulled a few frames. I did see eggs though, so she’s in there somewhere. I also saw a drone, which is good because that means the bees are still finding flowers out there, otherwise they’d kick him out because the workers won’t tolerate drones in the hive after the honeyflow is over (they eat too much). Weird lookin fella! Gigantic eyes and big fat body. Not my type, I guess. Anyway, I am really pleased because they have almost totally built out the last frame with comb, which means I can stop feeding syrup in a week or so. After I do another mite check, assuming we’re looking good as far as mites go, I can put the honey super on just in time for the blackberry bloom. Blackberry honey in August!
It really seems like the coffeeberry bloom and a few other natives around here are perfectly filling the gap between the spring bonanza honeyflow and the blackberry bloom, which makes me very happy. I was warned about the honey starve at the very beginning of summer here in Nevada County. Because our climate is very dry in the summertime, we have a real dearth of flowers after the spring rains stop and the ground dries up. Then the hardier blackberries kick in later in the summer. I’ve never paid this much attention to the different blooms – I’ve enjoyed them as something pretty to look at, just not as bee food! – so it might be that this is just a good year as far as the timing goes. But I’ll gladly take it. I’m so excited to try honey made right here at the ranch!