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The pollen is flowing!

They're bringing in pollen, so things are good...for now

Larvae and capped brood: both great to see!
Lots of bees and brood.
The top feeder level is dropping. Always a good sign.

Yes! Both hives' bees are bringing in pollen, the west hive with much greater volume than the east hive, but nonethless, pollen flowing into the hives means the queens are active, accepted by the workers and laying eggs. I had to re-queen my east hive on May 4, as the original queen escaped while I was trying to get her from the cage she came in into the hive.

Although this hive's numbers are seriously depleted as a result of about half of them being dead on delivery on April 21 and probably due the cold spring we're having, if the new queen can lay enough eggs to fill the starting brood box with eggs, I think this hive has good chance. There's certainly a lot of pollen sources out there right now with cherry, apple and red maple trees blooming along with Nantucket shadbush, dandelions and wild strawberries. I've several different shades of yellow and orange pollen packed onto the hind leg pollen baskets of my bees in both hives.

Still, in a fit of anxiety over wondering whether either of my two hives would prosper well enough to grow and produce enough extra honey for me to harvest, I gave in to my peanut-butter-and-honey sandwich lust and ordered another colony of bees from an apiary in Lafayette, Ga. called Pigeon Mountain Trading Company. When I call them about a week ago, they had plenty of three-pound bee packages, so I ordered one. They shipped today and should be on island by Thursday or Friday. I can't wait to install them and add a third hive to my burgeoning island apiary. My tracking # info on the USPS site said the expected delivery day is Thursday, which would be great because it's supposed to be warm and sunny, and it's when I'll be checking both my other hives to check on their progress and sugar syrup supplies.

That's pretty much it for now, I'll post again next week after the new hive is set up and I've checked on the other two hives.

Good luck to the rest of Nantucket's beekeepers!