Sunday, February 22, 2015

They're Alive!

Winter has been crazy cold this year.  For the most part, daytime temps have been in the teens. The other day, we actually got up to the low 20's, and it felt like a heat wave. The coldest night we've had so far was -8 deg F, though with the windchill, it was something like -30 deg F. Today, though, we got a freakishly balmy day. The high was 41 -- can you believe it? I feel that number should have fireworks or something around it!

Last night, we got enough snow to cover the entrances on Peach (the nuc on the table), but most of it melted today.
In fact, I'd say about half the snow on these hives is gone. Could spring be around the corner for real?

Between the cold and snow, I haven't checked my hives in about a month. However, with this glorious reprieve in the weather, I had to have a look-see.

The snow is so deep in my yard that it comes almost up to my hips in places, and last night, we got another 6 inches or so. Trekking out to the hives in boots is impossible, so I strapped on some snowshoes to get out there. Imagine my delight when I saw that the freshly fallen snow all around my beeyard was covered in yellow splotches. Poop has never looked more lovely to me!

Don't eat the yellow snow!

Both Austeja and Persephone had bees flying at their entrances. A few even came over to check me out. Maybe, in my white jacket, they thought I was an enormous snowdrop. In any case, we had a lovely time saying howdy.

Hello, Friend!
I didn't see much activity around Peach or Bubblegum, but a quick listen with my DH's stethoscope revealed that they were very much alive. I've been so fretful over my girls these last few weeks. Having confirmation of their well-being is just wonderful.
Finding a heartbeat
Tomorrow night is supposed to get down to -11 degrees, and another foot of snow is predicted for Wednesday. I'm feeling much better about my colonies' cold hardiness, though. Fingers crossed that they make it through this last run-up to spring. 


  1. Glad your girls have made it through all the cold and snow. I expected to see your hives buried given all the snow you've gotten, but I love the little hats they all have. I'm amazed that your bees fly with temps in the low 40's - mine don't venture out unless it's close to 50. It's always a joy to see them flying after a long cold spell and I'm sure you have been able to breathe a sigh of relief after this inspection. Enjoy the warmer weather - there should be more on the way!

    1. Do you have Italians? I've heard that they need warmer temps to fly. Mine are mostly Carniolan/Russian, and I've seen them do cleansing flights when it's only 36 degrees outside. They're a lot better about that kind of thing than my dog! ;-)

      This week, we've gotten/are getting at least 3 days in the 30's! Watch out! It's a heat wave!


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