|One of our bees exploring our apple blossom|
- JUST BLOOMED TODAY
- GARDEN UPDATE
- THE BUZZ ON BEES PART II
- GARDEN GIGGLE
|Window View of A Rainy Cold Garden|
Sitting in front of a cracklin' and poppin' fire with two puppies glued to my sides, and another one snoring under a blankie in the chair next to me. We are keeping a close eye on the thermometer outside so we can rush and put on heaters in the greenhouse and the chicken area once it hits freezing;Getting close as we are at 35F right now and it's raining.The snow level is supposed to be down to the 2000ft level (we are at 4000ft).
Everything is all nice and covered up, if the wind will keep cooperating. We get asked a lot how we have such a beautiful garden when it freezes and snows! We protect the leaves and young sprouts from frost each night with a simple sheet or tarp, which is removed during the day, except for a day like today. There is too much of a chance that, although it SAYS 35F, it might be colder with the wind chill, so the plants will stay all covered up today and tonight.
Yesterday we left our bees telling us how they pollinate flowers. Today we learn one reason WHY they are compelled to gather pollen! Pollen and nectar are usually combined together to form a provision mass, which is kinda soupy but firm. It is formed into various shapes and stored in a small chamber or cell with the egg laid gently on the mass. The cell is then fed and then sealed.
A honey bee queen may lay 2000 eggs per day during spring buildup, but she must also lay 1000 to 1500 eggs per day during the foraging season, mostly to replace daily casualities, most of which are workers dying of old age, or loss to other predators.It is common for females to produce fewer than 25 offspring when all is said and done.
From 1972-2006, there was a dramatic reduction in the number of feral honey bees in the U.S., which are now almost absent. However, in late 2006 and early 2007, loss of bees reached new proportions and the term colony collapse disorder was coined to describe the sudden disappearances. Research seems to suggest a DNA-based virus and a fungus combination could be the deadly cause.In 2009, some reports from the U.S. suggest that 1/3 of the honey bee colonies did not survive the winter, though normal winter losses are known to be around 25%.
There are three castes of honey bees: queens, which produce eggs; drones or males, which mate with new queens and have no stinger; and workers, which are all non-reproducing females. The queen lays eggs singly in cells of the comb. Larvae hatch from eggs in three to four days. They are then fed by worker bees and develop through several stages in the cells. Cells are sealed by worker bees when the larvae pupates or grows. Queens and drones are larger then workers and so require larger cells to develop. A colony may typically consist of tens or thousands of individuals.