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First hint of Ivy in Co. Mayo: 5th September 2019

posted Sep 5, 2019, 6:25 AM by Helen Mooney   [ updated Sep 6, 2019, 7:33 AM ]
The ivy has made it's first appearance in any of our colonies, as far as I can see- I found an orange pollen pellet on an inspection tray today and prepared a sample of it for the microscope.  I was not expecting it to be ivy.  I thought the colour was wrong and I have not see ANY ivy in flower in Mayo at all as yet. It just goes to show, the bees rapidly find what they need as soon as it is in flower, and we are oblivious!!

This heralds a great spell for the bees.  Ivy nectar is very medicinal and I am sure the pollen provides valuable protein and lipids and minerals before the onset of winter.  Sometimes there can be a surplus of ivy, but it sets on the comb and so needs to be extracted fairly quickly, and no apiguard can be on the hives at the time.  We prefer to leave it to the bees, because it is better food than refined white sugar.