Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Bees are Flyin

This time of year is just a  real pain. There never seems to be time to get more than one or two extra things done in each day. I know the wood furnace maintenance takes up some extra time each day that I usually didn't have during the Summer months and the days are just so short and to top it off the actual hours that are pleasant are much fewer in number. It just seems by the time I make myself get started I get a very few things done and it's already time to wrap it all up.

Oh well another couple of days and our sun light hours will begin going in the right direction once again.

It was fairly warm yesterday and even more so today although the snow and ice are still hanging on in the shady spots and the wind still makes it a bit cool. It was warm enough however that the bees were out and about and I actually got to pop their tops and see how they were doing.

The hives up near the house in the Garden Apiary were active and didn't appear to have used any of their emergency sugar feed from the Winter tops I put on. However these were the only hives that didn't need fed, all the others had used all of their stores except one and it had some weirdness going on with it. More on that in a bit.

One of my strongest hives this year had very little activity but it could be that I just missed it's scheduled flight time. They don't all get busy at the same time and I did see some coming and going. The only real concern was St. Augustine colony which has a new type of cover I used that was suppose to be better. It still had all it's sugar on top and a large number of dead bees. I wonder if maybe the new top isn't all it's suppose to be and the girls froze while trying to get the sugar up there. I have one other hive with that same top and they appeared to be fine but they also had one of the Winter feed inner covers. I may need to put a regular top on the other hive the next warm day I get.

St. Augustine was the first swarm I captured last year and appeared to be building up nicely. It still had some good activity going on today but if that particular top is causing them to lose heat and bees I want to get it corrected ASAP.

All in all however each hive still lives and I dumped another 10 pounds of sugar into the hives. Suppose to be warm again tomorrow but rainy and then more freezing rain and snow this weekend.

At least the first leg of Winter is passed with no casualties. I believe I lost my first hive about this time last year.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!


  1. This is the first year I've had a robbing situation in DECEMBER. We had one day get over 55, and that was all it took. That hive now has a number of dead bees outside. I can still hear them in the box, but I don't know if they'll make it through the rest of the winter. Sigh.

  2. It seems at different times of the year, our priorities change. What was a back of the burner issues become #1. The question is how many don't even do any of the things most of us prepare for as a way of life?? Zero to very few.

  3. Still too cold over here, nothing is flying but a few flies. A lot of people lost hives last winter but it could be that something environmental weakened them. I am ready for the shortest day to come and go!

  4. PP,

    This warm weather has your bee's going stir crazy to get out. I hope they all return to their nice warm hives you've prepared for them. What was the name of this new top you tried out? Maybe something worth staying away from.

    Stay warm, more weather coming this weekend here too.

  5. I have the same issue with always feeling like there's something else I need to be doing. Particularly in winter when there really is more to do, and less time to do it in. I'll be glad when the days start getting longer again too.


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