Nectar drop

During our inspection of Hive Orange today, a bit of nectar was spilled from one of the combs as we lifted it out of the hive. Right away, one of the girls came by to work on clean-up--you can see her red proboscis sipping the nectar. Also, a bit of pollen somehow ended up on here as well. This lipstick-red pollen may be coming from our horse chestnut tree, which is now in bloom, and covered with honeybees.

Here is a close-up of the horse chestnut's blossoms and pollen. Irresistible, no?

Here's the tree, which has a pretty magnificent form. The family who owned this house from the 1950s through the early 1990s planted this tree. (The story goes that they transplanted the sapling from a public park in Newburgh, NY--which, coincidentally, is where my grandmother worked in a hat factory during her youth. Perhaps she strolled beneath the shade-inducing branches of this tree's ancestors....).

To the right of the chestnut, you'll see a tiny plum tree with an old wooden box around the base of its trunk. The previous owners put the box there to protect the plum from the lawnmower. On close examination, I realized it was part of an old Langstroth beehive. The previous owner briefly experimented with beekeeping, probably in the 1980s.