The Blooms are starting

We’ve both been sick for a week, so, getting a little behind with spring chores around the farm, and yes, we are now legally a farm, even the BC Assessment Authority agrees. Today we went for a drive into town to pick up the pieces that will become the new greenouse.  On the way home, we spotted an important bloom.  The Pieris Japonica along the hiway in town, beside the Husky station, has some flowers open, the bloom is just beginning there.  We have a hedge of these in front of the house, and when they bloom, the bees are all over them, for most of a month.  Last year, we saw the first flowers on Feb 28 on ours here at the house.  This timing looks ‘normal’, things along the hiway in town tend to bloom a week or two earlier than they do here at the house.  In the front yard, the snowdrops are up, and in flower this afternoon.  It’s been wet and miserable for a few days, but, if we get a sunny day, I’m expecting to start seeing bees all over these plants.  The weather forecast says, that’s probably going to happen by Tuesday. After we got back and unloaded, I mixed up another batch of patties, and will put them on the hives tomorrow if the weather will let me.  I’m experimenting a little with this round, added one drop of lemongrass oil to the mix, otherwise it’s the same as before.  We’ve read so much about how different smells will make things more attractive to the bees, so, I thought I’d try this once, and see if it makes a difference in how fast they consume the patties.  We do have some blooms now, the bees will be bringing in some some pollen from natural sources when the weather lets them, but, forecast over the next week or so is mostly rain, so, we want to make sure they are not running out of protein and carbs for feeding themselves and the brood that’s on the way.  The long range forecast is looking nice, it shows a week of sun starting in another week.  But, it always seems to say ‘next week’ for the nice weather, so, I dont want to take a chance, we’ll get the patties on now while we can.  If the weather does hold up to the forecast, we should see a parade of blooms starting in another week or so.  The Pieris is another week or so off here at the house, then we’ll have the skunk cabbage and the willows should start any day now.