Time for a second floor

We check our bees once a week and when we arrived we found one of our hives bearded up.

Bearded hive

Bearded hive

We initially thought the bees were just hot because we have been having record heat for late February.  It was 87°F (31°C)!  But after we opened up the hive to really see what was going on they were full and needed a second floor.  The bee population within a week literally exploded in this strong hive.

Full hive

Full hive

We will likely split this hive very soon to prevent the queen from swarming.

Yanni with his hive.

Yanni giving the all good thumbs up.

So before we said goodbye we added a second deep with both built and unbuilt frames to give our bees some more room.

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Spanish Needle

Spanish Needle (Bidens alba) is a wildflower that blooms year round in South Florida. It is a source of both pollen and nectar for bees.  Many people consider it a weed because it can spread very quickly and has seeds that are hard to remove from clothing and pet’s fur.  I used to consider it a weed too until I started beekeeping and realized it is a great wildflower for them.

Bee on Spanish Needle flower

Bee on Spanish Needle flower

2 bees on Spanish Needle flowers

2 bees on Spanish Needle flowers (The second one is close to the bottom of the photo.)

Spanish Needle growing in my backyard

Spanish Needle growing in my backyard

There is an area in my backyard full of it, but I resist cutting it because I see my bees and many other native foragers enjoying the pollen and nectar this plant provides.