Tuesday, October 22, 2013


It grows to 5 or 6 ft tall…it does look like some of the pictures of Goldenrod that I have found…but not sure.

There are patches like this through out the tree farm.  Only a few hundred feet from my hives. (in a bee line)


Whatever it is…the bees love it.



I was taking pictures of Honeybees on this plant….and was surprised to see this bee.

It has big eyes similar to a Drone…but Drones do not feed themselves. They go to the hive and have the workers feed them. It is marked similar to a Honeybee..but the body looks different. Anyone know what it is?


Thursday, October 17, 2013

More Honeybee food….again…I don’t know what it is.

I’m trying to ride my bike everyday and increase the distance. Today my ride took me past some pretty blue flowers. Lots! of pretty blue flowers.


They are growing in a tree farm that has been left alone for quite awhile.

The bees are working it.


There are many bunches of this flower that is 5’ or 6’ high and, in this case, 20’ wide. Some even grows up into other bushes or trees. The light colored bush to the R is the one I asked about a few posts back. Don’t know what that is either but it is also being worked by the Honeybees.


Here are some closer looks….from buds to blooms. It’s very pretty and much more blue than the pictures show.


If you know what it is…leave me a comment.


It is less than a mile from my hives….in a “bee line”.

It looks like it is spreading. There are several patches in the tree farm and much more along the sides of the canal.

It’s close enough to us for the bees in our hives…but I think I’ll dig up a bit and plant it along our road for next year.


Monday, October 14, 2013

Bees working the bushes 10.14.13

I know…..you’re probably sick of looking at Honeybees…but I’m not.

The bushes are really starting to bloom and the bees are working them hard.

You can see the difference in the budding and blooming. There are 3 stages in this picture. On the L they are budding but not open yet…the middle has been open for a few days. That is where most of my pictures were taken. The R is just starting.


This is the light colored middle bush.


These first few pictures were taken in the morning.



I took this after lunch.


I took this snapshot out of the video. You can see two colors of pollen. The orange is most likely Brazilian Pepper (Pepper bush) and the yellow from the plant above. Still don’t know what it is.


I have noticed that the bees with the lighter yellow seem to be carrying more. They could be more experienced foragers or the pollen grains are lighter than the orange and they are able to carry more.

Here they come….

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

It looks like Bee food 10.8.13

I haven’t been able to find out what this bush is…but today I saw a few blooms open…


And a few Honeybees were working it.



10.9.13  Wed.

They are gathering pollen from them too. I check them everyday to see what is going on. Today it looks like there are little yellow stamens on the flowers…and the bees are gathering pollen.


Now I need to see if my hives are bringing in yellow pollen…if they are…I know where they are getting it.

White: Skunk Vine      Orange: Pepper Bush    Yellow: ?? bush down the road. 

Of course that is not necessarily true…there are so many other vines and plants blooming right now that I can’t be positive…but it’s a start.


I may not know what this bush is….but if the bees like it….I love it!

I remodeled the bee hives…I was calling them “left” and “right”…Jim liked “one” and “two”….so now they are “pink” and “blue”


My view from the porch. It’s a “jungle” out there…


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Hive check 10.5.13

I bought 2 packages of Honeybees from Sam Comfort of www.anarchyapiaries.com  on 9.5.13. My hive had swarmed twice and I needed to get them a Queen. Since the numbers were down I got them a package with the Queen.

I did a newspaper combine with the original hive. I have been concerned about it because there was robbing the first two days and I had several dead bees on the tiles under the hive. Although the Queen most likely wasn’t out of the cage then…I was concerned.

Here are a couple frames from that hive. I didn’t think this was a great brood pattern…but glad to see brood.


I was taking pictures and guessing at what I was aiming at…so pleased to see brood and larva.


Here’s a closer look….and there are a couple cells that look as though they have started to cap them. There is one on the R edge ..almost closed up. Look at those cute little future Honeybees!


The other hive was a very nice sized package and I have been pleased with their work. I have a window on the back of the hive and can keep track of their comb building but could not check the cells for brood.

Once I had removed a frame from the second hive I was able to see this nice frame of brood so I didn’t pull it out.


Another closer look..don’t know why they have Drone cells…most hives are evicting them now…but we are in a nice Pepper Bush, Spanish Needle and Skunk Vine bloom and I guess they know what they need.


I could see through the window that one of the combs had a bend in it and I needed to fix it.

I just slide this frame and the next over till I got to it. One of the starter strips had pulled out. It had capped brood in it. Jim brought some string and we tied it into an empty frame and put it back in. No pictures. Jim wasn’t suited up and we didn’t want to take a chance..I got stung 3 times a couple days ago when using the machete to chop some weeds in front of the hive, but I’ve been reading that they get testy at this time of year…especially if they’ve had to deal with “robbers”.

Both hives were very docile…only smoked my hands and arms…didn’t have to smoke the hives.  So maybe Jim was right….he figures I swatted a Honeybee on it’s way back to the hive…I was in their flight path.

They both had room for the Queen to lay…nothing in the supers yet…but with new bees emerging there will be more foragers. I’d like to see the supers full for the winter….then I might not have to feed them. Much rather they were able to take care of themselves….but will if necessary.  I’ve saved 4 quarts of honey that the first hive had stored before they swarmed. Emergency food.


Friday, October 4, 2013

Honeybees are working 10.4.13

The Pepper Bush (Brazilian Pepper Tree) is in full bloom.022cs

I thought all the Skunk Vine had given out but when I was looking around the yard to see what the bees were working …I heard a loud humming overhead and found 2 more big patches of Skunk Weed in the trees and they were loaded with Honeybees. You can see how close it is to the hives. (white box in the lower center, second hive behind green plant.) So they don’t have far to travel. Jim spotted this patch.001sm

It’s pretty …but invasive.


I rode my bike down the road to see if the bush I posted about yesterday..was in bloom. It’s not..but the bees were working the Spanish Needle. Another weed that can spring up everywhere. We don’t cut it because the Butterflies and Honeybees like it. Once it quits blooming we’ll cut it back but it will be there for them next year.


This yellow flower (primrose family?) grows on a tall bush. Some of them are 5’ or 6’ tall. Lots of them down the road side.


If you know what this is…let me know. Sure grows like a weed.


This gives you a better look at the plant.


I noticed Honeybees on this plant at the nursery…so I bought 2 in the spring. Little $5 plants…now look at them. This one might be 5’ across. A hard rain lays the branches down and more grow and the process repeats until you have this nice full plant.


I have them where they get condensation from the porch roof.


I forget the name but is in the Salvia family.

The Honeybees like it so well….I have 4 more about half this size.


Lots of little purple flowers.


They don’t have a perfume smell…more like sage.


Thursday, October 3, 2013

What is this bush?

I am hoping we have another supply of bee food. This bush grows in the tree farm where they have quit plowing between the rows.

They get about 10’ tall and there are acres of it.


Right now they are full of buds. I’ve no idea what it will look like when they open or if the bees will like them.


Again…..this is another plant that I drive by most every day and never took notice of…until I got the Honeybees. Now I look at everything with them in mind.