The colonies are busy taking in large loads of pollen at the moment. This comes from all the local flowers in the area and although the nectar intake is low at the moment this pollen will help them through the coming winter as food. Only 15-30% of foragers will collect pollen, making up to 50 trips a day. Loaded up with one-half of their body weight, they accumulate 100-120 mg per load. While cleaning up a brood panel we can see the variety of different flowers the bees collect from and the colours that match. We worked on preparing our hives for winter today. One queen-less colony will be joined with another that was made from a split this spring. The other two, although still being robbed, are managing to cope. The eggs/larvae are not laid in an ideal pattern, which may be a concern, but with some care they should build up in the coming weeks. All the hives will be moved soon to a more shaded location for summer while still obtaining winter sun and warmth.