One of my favorite spring and summer activities is to take an appropriate early evening beverage, grab my better half, and head back to the bee hives to watch the girls returning to the hives with pollen. Pollen is a protein source for the bees.
Bees have three pairs of legs. The front two are used to clean their antennae. The middle aid with walking and packing loads of pollen onto the pollen baskets on the back legs. The back legs have comb-like bristles that force pollen into the basket where the powder is pressed into a firmer cake. The brightly colored pollen is clearly visible as the workers return to the hive. As different flowers have various colors of pollen, it is a clue to the forage targets at different times during their season. It truly is one of my favorite things to attempt to tune into nature’s cycle and guess where the bees have been collecting! This photo was taken on May 23rd – any ideas?