Beekeeping: stopping, looking, wondering, learning.
Just when the 3 feet of snow in our backyard was beginning to melt away, this happens:Hives #2 and #1 on March 14, 2011 (10 minutes ago).I realize hate is a strong word. But sometimes it’s not strong enough. Argh!
Hives #2 and #1 on March 14, 2011 (10 minutes ago).
That sucks. We only got flurries here in Nova Scotia. Winter is almost over – just a few more months! :)
The snow annoys me. Let me count the ways. I have to shovel our double driveway for the 20th time this year (and we don’t even own a car). St. John’s is the least pedestrian-friendly city I’ve ever lived in, especially in the winter. And just when I was about to give our bees a few more pollen patties and candy cakes, we get hit with more snow and cold temperatures. We’ve got another 20cm forecast for this Saturday. I hope the bees can hang in there for a while longer. It’s been a generally unpleasant winter. Wet and soggy for the first couple months, and then so much snow that we were running out of room to shovel it. It’s kind of soured my mood. It’s a bummer.
I’m also officially looking for work with any warm climate beekeeping company between December and April of next year.
I can sympathize. We live at the end of a private road. Paid for plowing and the road was ice for a month or more.
Thinking this year I’ll put in some “bee plants” (new construction… doubt the mud will feed them very well). Next year get some top bar hives on the go.
In the meantime, I think I will put some mason bee houses out with the hopes of getting some sort of pollinator living near by.
I love reading your bee stories. Gives me hope that I might be able to keep my own someday!
Honey Bee Suite provides a good list of plants that attract pollinators.
I definitely want to try out some top bar hives too, preferably ones with a observation panel on the side. Though it probably be we’ve expanded to about 10 hives and have secured more land.
There are many types of hives to choose from. I’d like to try them all eventually.
I also hate the Fahrenheit scale, but I’ll leave that one alone.
I was just outside checking on the hives, shinning my little flash light through the top entrances. It’s good to see young fuzzy bees crawling around, chewing on the candy cakes.
I couldn’t see any bees yesterday when I took a look. My guess is the new snow and colder temperatures drove them down into the frames to keep the brood warm.
I wish I could see inside the hives. I’m going to make an observation hive eventually.
Nice sunny day yesterday, but it was cold. I think there were a coulpe hundred bees dead. I think they are getting desperate to defecate (poop) but it is too cold for them to get back.
It was 8°C inside our house when I woke up today — inside the add-on room at the back of our house that I use for an office and that gives me a direct view of our beehives in the backyard. We don’t bother heating the room over night. I’ve seen it go as low as 5°C (41°F) in the dead of winter, but today is the first day of spring. It’s -2°C in the backyard! It snowed last night!
I know I shouldn’t be surprised by this. It’s not usual for most places in Atlantic Canada. I guess all I’m saying is it’s been a long lousy winter and I wish it would go away.
I’m really getting eager to take the top cover off and look inside the hive. I will fell much better when I can see signs of new Brood, yet for the weather to warm enough that is at least a month a way.
Oh it is time for this winter to be over.
I shine a little flash light into the top entrances of my hives every day or two. I can usually see the bees clustered on the top bars without the flash light, but I get in close so I can see if they’re still eating the candy cakes. They are. The cakes are placed all over the top bars and also close to the top entrances. I can see them eating away the cakes. So I know they’re not completely starving yet. Judging from the first photo in this post…
…they probably have plenty of candy left and probably some pollen. I’ll add more pollen if we ever get another warm day.
As for brood, I obviously can’t inspect the frames now, but the bees that I can see look young and fuzzy, so I’m taking that as a sign of new brood.
It could still be awhile before the weather warms up, though. This winter has been a real drag.
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