Tuesday, January 8, 2013

January Muddy Update

Even with a day in the upper 50's the little bit of snow we got is being stubborn in many areas. Slowly melting and making everything a muddy mess. The slow release of the melt water means the ground isn't drying out at all. It was warm enough to get some work done outside but muddy enough to make the whole experience rather unpleasant especially if you forgot something inside and had to go through the entire de-muddifying process to go get it.

The working girls were flying for the first time in more than a month this afternoon and I still have seven hives that appear to be over Wintering well. They had plenty of workers out taking cleansing flights and were even bringing in some orange pollen from something already.

I lifted each hive a bit to be sure they had some weight to them which would mean they still have some honey stores remaining. None of them felt especially light but I went ahead and put some sugar feeding stations out to give them something to hit for the next few days since it is suppose to stay in the 50's, 60's and maybe even low 70's by Friday.

The first leg of Winter is over now but the hardest stretch of February through Mid March is yet to come. We are not in safe territory yet. The drought kept the girls from building up as well as they should have and I am still very worried over four of my remaining seven hives. Having enough of a population to create a proper Winter ball for heat is just as important as having enough food but there is nothing I can do about it from my end and the drought kept them from hatching as many workers as they should have.

The other problem is I am running without wind breaks this year. I typically place hay bales around the hives but the shortage of hay put an end to that practice this year. I should have put up some plywood wind breaks I guess but just never did, one the areas will be difficult to drive posts for anyway. Perhaps that will be a good project for this weekend.

Hibernation is about over now. It should be warm enough to even get back into the shop again tonight we will see.

The next few days should go a long way to curing my Winter doldrums.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!



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