Saturday, October 25, 2008

Halloween Bees

Our son was playing in the marching band at the Longmont Halloween Parade today, and I couldn't help snapping a few shots of the cute little bees.

Even the little dogs were dressed up like bees today!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

First Frost and Fall Hive Inspection

Well the Indian summer is over and we had our first frost last night. Here is how the Squash plants looked today:

Now begins the preparations for winter. I inspected both beehives and found that they were in good shape and had stored plenty of honey away for the winter season.

This is an example of how the top 10 frames from hive #1 are looking. This is all capped honey and is quite heavy. This will sustain the bees through the winter.

The frame above is from hive #2 and shows an area in the center that was previously occupied by brood and has been recently been refilled with capped honey for winter. This hive has more than a dozen frames like this in good shape.

This will be the first fall that we have decided not to feed our bees any sugar water. We have left them to gather their own honey to store for winter which must be much healthier for them anyway. If they run out, we have some reserves of their honey from previous harvest we can feed back to them.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Fall Colors in our Garden

Well fall is here and the leaves are changing, but we haven't had our first frost yet. This is unusual for our location and it means we get to enjoy a second burst from our garden. The mild weather has given the garden a new burst of color and blooms that makes this a great time of year. Today was a bright overcast day, which made it perfect for snapping a few pictures. I thought I'd put some here to share the color we are enjoying. All of these were taken in our own garden today. Click to see full size.

Maple leaves from our one and only maple tree.

Yellow Flowers

Red & White Dahlia and a Red Poppy

Pink Holly Hocks

Bicolor Zinnia and Blue Delphiniums

Pink-Yellow Rose

As you can see from the pictures that even though the asters, russian sage and spirea have all faded, the bees are still finding plenty to feast from in our gardens.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Giant bee from Japan

I was in Japan recently and while walking around the Japanese Gardens at Makuhari Seaside Park I saw this giant bee on a flower. I've heard of the giant Japanese hornets, but this one didn't look like a typical hornet and with all the hair it seemed more like a very big honey bee. Can anyone identify it?

(Click the image for an even larger view.)