Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Ever so Slowly
Today was really not much different than yesterday. Sunny most of the day and rather pleasant if you wore a sweat shirt while working in the Sun. Step into a shaded spot however and it was a little too chilly and then when the wind hit you all you could think of was going and getting your nice comfy Winter hat with the earflaps.
I have a number of prepping/sustainable projects to work on. From clearing some more brush if I want, to finishing up the shelves in the barn. The garden is almost dry enough to give it a good tilling before our final frost date and I still need to level the old fence line out a bit more before hauling in some RR-ties for a low wall.
However the most pressing matter currently at hand is getting all these dead out hives squared away. It is finally warming up just enough to cause the frames with dead bees head down in the cells to begin molding and causing a real mess if left there to rot. Now many a beekeeper has told me when you give these frames to a new hive they will clean them out but, well, No. It's icky, messy, smelly and can't be all that sanitary and if I was a bee I am not sure I would look on it as a bonus. So I scrap off any frames that contain comb with dead bees, eggs or larva stuck inside. If it is really bad I will chuck the frame on the burn pile. If we were in a grid down situation I wouldn't, but for the moment frames are cheap enough that I will throw a bad one away rather than getting sprayed by liquid bee remains while I scrape the thing.
When I made my rounds to replenish the feeders I discovered that once again the North Apiary is getting a night time visitor who is raiding the feeders and removing them from the hives. I am going to have to deal with that tomorrow by adding a super to the top and putting the feeders inside the hives. All the hives at the North and West Apiaries were out foraging, even the little remains of the hive I opened yesterday seemed to be showing some activity. Those apiaries are much more protected from the wind than the Garden area and so the bees there can get out and forage while the new survivor hive is still stuck inside.
Still no blooms other than the henbit and dead nettle and the buds still have not opened up although I saw my first Asparagus shoots today and one, count it one dandelion. To put this whole cold Spring into perspective last year at this time I had already caught two swarms of bees, the Redbuds and Dogwoods had already bloomed along with the apples and had leaves and we had already eaten so much fresh asparagus we were giving it away.
The last few days I have even had to start a fire in the furnace at night. The ground is just no where near warm enough to wake anything up and get it going yet. On the bright side however each day is more or less a degree or so warmer than the last on average. We have had a few teasing little spikes up but more depressing valleys than peaks so far. It's kinda like playing the stock market more or less.
It also has at least warmed up enough that I can start feeding the hives regularly which is a huge bonus. The problems before were that it was too cold to open them however I have learned a valuable lesson this Winter. If you think your hives are light it might be better to at least pop the top and put some food in than do nothing for fear of heat escaping. Either way the hive will die and at least with some food they might bounce back.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!