Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday Reading - Snow, Buds and Bees

The snow is melting fairly fast even as we speak. we managed to get up into the 40's yesterday and I even saw a few worker bees crawling out of the garden hive by mid-day. Most of them got cold and if they didn't manage to find a spot in the sun more than likely froze but when I went by I rescued a couple and warmed them up enough to go back into the hive. None-the-less there were still a few dead bees on the snow this morning.

Today it warmed up even more but I did not see any girls out flying. I did however walk over and wrap on the hive once and could hear the ball buzz loudly so I know they are still alive. The problem is the ball was as high in the hive as they could be which means they are either getting into the sugar I placed on top of the hive or have worked their way all the way up to the top stores.

If the garden hive has worked it's way up that far I am seriously worried now because the garden hive is my oldest and strongest colony and should have the greatest amount of stores. I even left them a surplus honey super full this last fall. The bees will work their way up the hive eating the stores on the bottom frames before the top ones. So you can see why I am super worried now for the hives that had less stores to work their way up to.

As you know I have already lost 3 of the 6 new colonies I captured or split off last year. They just didn't have the stored honey nor the numbers to make it through Winter despite feeding them almost constantly all Summer and Fall. The Summer heat shut them down as far as egg laying and that in turn created a dearth of workers to get the stores built up.

2012 was just a  lousy  year for bees. It started off good but that sure didn't last and it has really put the pinch on 2013 so far.

The trees are beginning to show some signs of life now. Even the walnut trees are showing some buds but we have another Winter storm on the way and they are saying 3 to 6 inches Monday night. This is not a good time for this from a worried bee keeper point of view anyway. Yes we need the moisture but I also need some nice mild temps to get some more feed into what remains of my hives. An extended cold and snow covered period right now when stores are at their lowest could spell disaster for the hives and the dead nettle and henbit were looking like they were going to come up to save the day last week too.

I know it isn't even March yet but I was really hoping for an early Spring after the dismal Summer, Fall and Winter..

Keeping my fingers crossed Still.

With barely two days of being able to dig out, dry out and melt it looks like tomorrow is now another prep day. I barely got the tarps put away and cars back home and it looks like I will be dragging the log splitter back out tomorrow as well to top off the full load for weight in the truck bed again. I already filled the tanks back up.

The baby lambs have survived nicely and are growing super fast already. Momma is ready to get out of that stall though. She does like the special food however. damned entitlement sheep.

So we are not out of the woods yet but each day get's us closer.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!


  1. I am guessing that it was the drought that started the whole ball rolling downhill?

    1. The drought with the heat. It killed pretty much all the flowering plants. My bees mostly work clover as their mainstay except for certain times when specific plants bloom. The Aster and Goldenrod bloom was short lived and dry. The White clover which is drought resistant ended in July and the girls just basically shut down. By the time they kinda started building back up it was too late so they didn't have enough workers to really bring in the stores they needed anyway. No matter how much I fed them they just didn't have the numbers to store it.

  2. My grandmother was born in the 1870's and drove an oxen team into Ark., where they cleared the land and farmed until she married and followed the oil boom.She was a farmer at heart all her life and told me to never trust the winter until after Easter.Easter is the last Sun. in March this year, so we won't be sure of Spring until April. Best wishes for the girls.


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