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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 19th year of beekeeping in April 2024. Now there are more than 1300 posts on this blog. Please use the search bar below to search the blog for other posts on a subject in which you are interested. You can also click on the "label" at the end of a post and all posts with that label will show up. At the very bottom of this page is a list of all the labels I've used.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Bees are Out and About - Pollen in December???

Today as the "winter" temperature rose to the high 60s, the bees were out and about at all four hives. There was orientation behavior, particularly at Mellona and at Aristaeous2. I was pleased to see so much flying because I know there is life at all the hives - what a relief.

At Persephone, I saw two bees with full loads of yellow pollen in their pollen baskets - can you believe it? What in the world might be blooming in December? BTW, I "googled" pollen in Georgia in December and found that the only pollen present right now in Georgia is cedar...so it must be the source of the yellow pollen being brought into the hives.

In addition, that probably means the queen is doing OK because there must be babies to feed, although they may simply be refortifying their stores.

If you click on the picture below, you can see the bee at the entry way with one pollen-laden leg. Both pollen-carrying bees went into the hive too quickly for me to catch more than that.

Of course, another task when it's flying weather is the carrying out of the dead. Many bee bodies lie cast away on my deck. I'm sure the wren will have a feast.
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  1. Anonymous5:47 PM

    Hi Linda -
    I live in Decatur and my bees are doing the same thing - very busy and loaded with pollen. I wonder if it's the camellias that are blooming now that they are having such luck with?

    I have a dwarf lemon tree that comes in the house in the winter and it is blooming as well, so each nice day I carry it out to the hive and let the bees poke around in it too.

  2. Anonymous10:49 AM

    Linda, my bees were also bringing in pollen on Tuesday as the high's in Western NC rose to the mid-fifties. As a new beekeeper, I was puzzled, but also glad to see such life in my hive. I don't have a clue what might be in bloom here since spring is so very far away.

  3. A friend emailed me that mahonia is blooming at this time of year - there's mahonia all around my neighborhood. I'll look the next time I'm out walking to see the blooms which apparently the bees love.

  4. Anonymous7:33 AM

    Hi guys, I posted on Beemaster. I'm in Richmond, Va, and most people have the type of Camelia that blooms in very early Spring like February, but there are other varieties that bloom in November/December/January. I have both, and my bees are all over the ones that are blooming now! Bringing back the bright yellow pollen, and I believe ample necter. Take care! Pat


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