I received a call from a local farmer in dire need of additional hives to better pollinate their watermelon, cantaloupe, and pumpkin plants. Luckily, I had a few additional strong hives that I could divert from another contract, and thus was able to deliver the hives to the farmer's fields by 9:30 last night.
I just learned from a beekeeping friend that watermelon plants provide more fruit when each flower on that plant is visited at least seven times. Since this farmer has over 1,000 plants on this two acres, my girls have a lot of work to do!
As you can see, my Russian hive found last evening's temperature to be a little too warm for their liking and many of them chose to beard up on the outside of the hive to cool off.
My Carniolan hive seemed more accustomed to the heat. In general, Carniolans (Apis mellifera carnica) which were native to the regions of Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and southern Austria are better adapted to this region.
Russians (Apis millifera) as you can imagine are used to colder climates. Each have positive attributes and are good to have in your apiary.
We'll be keeping an eye on the progress at this farm!