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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Two Probable Deadouts

After a week and a half of chilly weather, we got a break today -- mid-50s F. Unfortunately, it also rained most the day, which wasn't conducive to cleansing flights. However, about 3pm, the downpour turned into a drizzle, and some of the bees went outside for a quick stretch before darkness fell.

I saw signs of activity around all the hives except Persephone and Bubblegum. I even knocked them about a bit (a couple of swift kicks actually), but not a single bee poked her head out, so they look like deadouts. 

Persephone is no great loss, especially since her queen was slated to get whacked in the spring anyway. Bubblegum, though -- that one breaks my heart. I really expected her to make it since she was one of the strongest colonies all last year. It just goes to show that you never can tell with bees.

9 comments:

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    1. I have my husband's stethoscope from the days before he gave up practicing medicine, but 55 deg is plenty warm for the bees to break cluster. If they were alive and choosing not to fly in the rain (like Bubblegum), a few sentries should have come to the entrance after I kicked the hive a couple of times. But the entrance was clear, and there still wasn't a single bee in sight.

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  2. Sorry to hear this. What a bummer! I hope the rest of your hives make it through to Spring. I'm always amazed how weak hives can survive and seemingly strong hive fail. Duncan's mom is a doctor, so maybe I'll see if I can borrow her stethoscope to check his hive!

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    1. Thanks, Don. Yeah, I know to expect some failures by now, but it still makes me sad. Fingers crossed for the others. BTW, from a purely external examination, Hippolyte looks to be the strongest. Of course, it would have to be my meanest bees that make it into spring!

      Hope you can use your neighbor's stethoscope. Fingers crossed for Hello Kitty!

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  3. So sorry, Julie. Hope your other hives make it through the rest of the winter.

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  4. Hey Julie,

    How did you and the girls do during the storm? I feel pretty good, my one entry was frozen such with almost 3 inches of ice. My old bread knife came in handy to clear it out; but not without waking one or two girls who had to came out to see what was going on. In my silliness, I lent my hand to try to show the way back to the hive. You know what happens, right up my sleeve....no quick shake out. I was defrosting the car which at least gave me a place to disrobe many layers to find her just having a great time hanging out. I showed her back and just laughed a bit. Hope everything is good with you. Cheers from Barnegat, NJ

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    1. LOL! No good deed goes unpunished! That's hilarious! Hope you came out of the storm ok otherwise. Did you get a lot of snow?

      The storm here was a bust. There was a lot of wind up with the weathermen predicting a walloping storm, then an inch, then a foot... In reality, we got less than two inches, I think, and it's supposed to be in the 40's-50's most of this week, so it shouldn't stick. I'm good with that, though. :-)

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    2. Sorry, to read your last blog post, happy some you thought were gone are there but the other hive what a disappointment. Best of luck next time you go in.

      It was over a foot of snow at first, after that it gets hard to tell, because then we got some rain for several hours then more snow. My best guess is like 15/16 inches. Happy it's starting to melt. Wishing you good weather. Cheers

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