By , on March 11th, 2012

First foragers of 2012

Zachary Huang, Michigan State University

Photos shot today, March 11, 2012. About 1 week earlier than 2010 (March 17, 2010, I posted a first bees of 2010, and also posted some crocus shots on March 28).

Last week Wednesday Alex was working with bees and saw some pollen coming in, so I thought the crocus must be open and indeed the yellow ones on my front yard were starting to bloom.

Crocus is always one of the first batch of flowers to bloom, with skunk cabbage and winter aconite perhaps slightly ahead.

These flowers provide the first pollen that the bees need critically (we gave them some pollen substitute last week, but still, nothing beats the real thing when it comes to pollen).

I waited till around 3 pm today, when it reached 18C (65F) to see if my half a mile away neighbor’s crocus would have bees.

1. The lonely flower.

2. A nice patch.

3. Here come the bees!

4. Working hard on pollen.






10. Working on a yellow one.

11.  Silver maple also blooming…did not see bees. Probably because it is so tall and so many flowers!

12. Red maple is still 1 week or more away.

13. Pussy willow is probably 3-4 days away, soon they will be filled with bees.

14. lantern flowers (Helleborus, Renunculaceae), probably about 2-3 days away.

4 comments to First foragers of 2012

  • Hey Zach. I really enjoyed your honey bee pheromone class Saturday. I also enjoy these wonderful pictures you share with us. I was out checking hives today at 4 different apiaries around Genesee county. The girls were bringing in small amounts of pollen in each of them. It ranged from a tan/cream color to a pale yellow. It was a beautiful day to be out checking them. I was making sure they weren’t running out of stores and added some dry sugar to some of them. I’m very pleased to report that 87 of 88 of my full size hives are doing well and 11 of 14 nucs are also still going strong.

    Jim Withers

  • Zachary Huang

    Jim, WOW! congratulations! you are good!

    I lost 1 colony from 12 in one yard, another one with 0 lost (out of 12), but the yard we used bees for mites and nosema….I lost 6 out of 9…it tells you mites and nosema are both bad….but the mild winter probably helped a lot. Zachary Huang.

  • Mr. Huang, I really enjoy your photos, they are so stunning and detailed. Very nice!

  • Jamie Berlin

    Lovely, thanks!

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