Today was one of those days we wait for all winter...in other words it was warm! For Ottawa, that means it was above zero and sunny. We still have plenty of snow on the ground and it will be a couple months until the dandelions show their sunny heads. It is the beginning of a new beekeeping season.
It was a great day to visit the beeyard and sure enough the bees were flying around a bit, enjoying the warm weather too! This one needed some snow shoes but soon took flight.
Up until now the bees have been stuck inside the hives and they take the opportunity in March to take short cleansing flights - aka bathroom breaks. These cleansing flights are very important for the hive to remain healthy. They've been holding it in for months and make a quick flight to do their business, leaving little specks of yellow in the snow. Hey - even bees do it! This is what cleansing flights look like on the snow:
Sometimes, if we're lucky, they stop in with us for a quick visit before returning to the hive.
The bees will also take advantage of the warmer temperatures to do a bit of spring cleaning. Over the course of winter, debris and dead bees have piled up on the hive's bottom board, and the bees use the warmish days to start taking out the trash.
We use these days to get ready for the great beekeeping season ahead and, of course, to play in the snow