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Nothing to do!

Although the temperature was a brisk 18 degrees this afternoon, I visited the ladies in the backyard. There is absolutely nothing that can be done with or for the bees during the winter and after a summer and fall of thinking, watching, and interacting with them, I am experiencing feelings of withdrawal. I cleared the snow and ice away from the lower entrances of both hives and discovered a number of frozen bees, some on the landing boards and some stuck in the holes of the metal mouse guards. I wrapped both hives with tar paper to help protect them from the wind and raised the lid just a bit to provide a little ventilation. I have read and have been told that it is not the cold of winter that kills bees but an over abundance of moisture in the hive.

I put my ear up to the side of the main hive and could hear the quiet whir of their heating system- their wings; I smiled. I did the same to the small hive (the last group that swarmed in September) and could not hear anything. I know that doesn’t necessarily mean the worst scenario has played out but I do worry about them because they were small in number and have only the candy with which I supplied them to live on during the winter. I am sending them hopeful thoughts.

My husband and I recently visited Backwood Bee Farm in North Windham; I placed an order for 2 packages of bees (a package of bees = an Italian queen bee and approximately 10,000 honey bees). Their arrival date is mid-April!! I am very excited about the new additions and will begin preparing their hives. Actually, my husband will assemble most of each hive and I will give them a coat or two of paint. I wonder what colors these ladies might prefer!

Tucked in for the winter!

Tucked in for the winter!

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One thought on “Nothing to do!

  1. Glad to hear your little friends are keeping warm. I’m sure they would perform admirably on any Antarctic scientific expedition, icebound or not. Hopefully the quiet ones will find their heaters soon. I think an Italian queen is an excellent choice for a monarch. For her hive, I wonder if using colors from among those favored by Italian Renaissance paintersmight be nice.

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