Red Bucket Farm is an urban farm on a quarter acre property in an average residential neighborhood. We are located in Wisconsin, USDA Zone 5. We focus on chickens, bees, orchard fruit, and raised garden beds for fruits and veggies. We hope to reduce our footprint on the planet by growing some of our food, reducing our use of fossil fuels, and gardening with sustainable practices. Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spring Hive Cleaning

Look very closely at this photo. Can you see what it is? On the ground immediately below the entrances of the bee hives are hundreds of dead bees laying in the leaf litter and mulch.

The caretaker bees are cleaning out the hives. It's amazing to watch them haul out the dead bodies. There are so many dead bees on the ground outside the hives that I might be worried, except that there are also hundreds of active bees. They keep the inside of the hive remarkably clean without any human intervention.

Our prematurely warm spring is giving the bees an early start. I have removed the winter insulation wraps from the hives. The bees are actively gathering pale yellow pollen which you can see in the pollen sac on her back leg in the photo above.

We're thrilled that both hives survived the winter, although we mostly credit the success to a mild winter. One of the hives is small but feisty and the other hive is rather large. Happy spring cleaning!

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