What does springtime mean for honeybees? What is happening in the beehive coming out of winter? What do bees do with all of that nectar and pollen from spring flowers?
SPRING FLOWERS BLOOMING
Coming out of winter, spring brings longer daylight. It also brings warmer temperatures and the average ground temperature increasing wakes up seeds left last fall. Those seeds start to warm up and start to grow mature into flowers. Examples of the earliest flowers you can expect to see at the end of winter and early spring: Crocus, Camelias, Snowdrops, Hyacinth, and Tulips. You will also notice flowering trees such as the Crab Apple, Several Varieties of Cherry Trees, Pear Trees, Plum Trees, Peach Trees and others. These are all vital sources for the honeybee in early spring. Each provides pollen, nectar or both that help the flowers get fertilized and the honeybees build up their colony numbers to make honey to survive the next winter.
INSIDE THE BEEHIVE
When spring approaches the beehive comes to life, the buzz on a warm early spring day is exciting. They start sending out foragers, the female worker bee that has completed all of the other jobs and ready for her last. Honeybees only live an average of 6-8 weeks and end up working themselves to death with wings that become tattered until they can't even fly. They are determined because they know that the survival of the colony depends on them. They spend every waking hour of daylight, when the temps are above 55 degrees, scouring for flowers.
The pollen collected in their protein source. The honeybees will bring it back to the hive, pack it in the cells of the honeycomb and let it ferment into something called beebread. This beebread is fed to larva to ensure a healthy future generation that will be ready to help the colony make honey.