I took a walk around to see what flowers were growing and being visited by bees. The dandelions were still in bloom in areas and quite popular. The onions I left over winter to go to seed were blooming. The bees really like onions. As yo can see in the photo above some plants had more than one bee at a time.
The huge poppies were very popular with the bees. These were here when we purchased the property in a planted around a worn out cement little pond or pool. I tired to transplant some last year without luck. They are not in a good area in the lawn so we have to mow around them until they stopped blooming. I tried before blooming but this year I will try after blooming to see if I can get some in a back yard planter.
The saliva was very popular last year and now that it is blooming it is very popular with the bees. There are at least three bees on the flowers in this picture. I really like this plant since it is easy to grow and a perennial.
We recently too a drive to Wichita with the grandchildren in tow. Our first stop was the Sedgwick County Zoo. This zoo in opened in 1971 with the American and Asian farms. This was our first stop were we were able to view some rare livestock I have only seen before in pictures. These animals are designated as critical or rare by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. They used to have a Lakenvelder cow but I did not see one. The girls enjoyed the goats until they got a little pushy. I enjoyed looking at the Poitou donkeys.
The American Cream that you can see behind the donkey was also a very really nice horse.
After walking around and seeing the typical birds and koi found off the paths of most zoos we entered a tropical forest with all types of interesting birds and bats. Yes the had bats loose in the area but they were the fruit bats and just hung around. The vampire bats could be viewed in a aquarium, type of cage. The enclosed huge area was humid and made me shudder at the thought of what it would be like in the summer. I was glad it was a nice cool spring day.
It was fun and challenging to take pictures in the area especially the waterfall.
I have been wanting for years to walk along the Arkansas River and view the Keeper of the Plains. The no cost attraction seemed to be popular with the grandchildren. Well I should say rocks were.
For whatever reason their were a lot of goose decoys set around the Keeper of the Plains. There were reals geese too that seemed to enjoyed basking in the sun.
Along the river is a walkway very poplar with local walkers and bicyclists too. The walk is 15 miles long for those of you wanting to get mileage on your fit bit. The Arkansas River Path also provides access to other parks and city attractions, including museums, the stadium, ice rink and the zoo. It is around 15 miles long. While waling to find the playground we discovered the Veterans Park. It had some very beautiful monuments for different wars.
We took the bridge over to the Exploration Place and found the playground. This playground has three different areas intended for different age groups. It has a large picnic area for a few or a large group.
The The Arkansas River is a major tributary of the Mississippi River which means in Kansas you can float in the river. The river starts in Colorado providing a great white water rafting and exceptional trout fishing until it proceeds into the great plains were the river flattens and widens considerately. With the 190-plus miles of the Arkansas River from Great Bend to the Oklahoma border you can float for a short time or months if you want to go all the way to the Mississippi River..
Last time I checked the hives inside I did not find any capped cells and just a few eggs. I did not see if happen by I suspect the hive swarmed. I noticed two queen cells that looked like they hatched. I will again check the hive as soon as I can to see if there are any capped cells. The rain has made it difficult to maintain my hives since it seems the nice days are when I work. I also noticed the bees from the other hive seem to be robbing this hive. This is a really bad sign and I just might end up loosing the while hive. It is a depressing sight since you have 1/2 of the bees and a lot of the honey is not a lot in the hive anymore since the bees packed a supply to swarm.
You might wonder what I could had done. Sometimes when they get in the swarm more it can be difficult to stop.
Adding a new queen
Sometimes the lack of queen pheromone in their food exchange and the swarming impulse is triggered. When this happens new queen cells are started. You will find those mostly at the bottom of the hive. they are easy to spot since they look like a peanut.
No eggs and only Queen cells found.
Thinks happen and sometimes the queen goes missing. It might have gotten killed when you were last in the hive or some other reason. The hive may be too crowded or lacks ventilation.. The best way to help this hive is to split. Put a queen cell or two in a nuc or another hive body. Hopefully they will decide the conditions are good again so the start feeding the queen and putting her back into the laying mode.
It too hot for the hive.
Yesterday I checked my hives and found one full of bees and brood even in the honey supers. I took a frame with 2 queen cells and a couple of brood cells into a hive body with some honey supers on top with quite a bit of honey. I am now crossing my fingers to get another hive and hope that hive full of bees and brood will not swarm. In place of those frames i removed I added new empty ones. The hive I am sure that swarmed I was still unable to find any eggs , capped brood or a queen. I am planning to go back to the full hive and remove a couple of queen cells and put into that hive to try to save it.
The bees are still enjoying the blooms of dandelions and the lilacs. I noticed I have blooms in a backyard flower bed and plan to investigate as soon as I can. I am excited that the wildflower patch in the side garden seems to be growing. It will be a matter of time before I find out what grew. Hopefully plants that will bloom later in the season for the bees.