Friday, February 7, 2014
A Little Winter Adventure
It warmed up to a balmy 12 degrees so far today. When it hit 8 this morning I decided it was time to get back to work and try and get some more wood brought in. The only place I felt relatively confident of getting into and out of was up by my Northern Bee yard.
You can see why I was so determined to get upper entrances on all my hives. When it snows I don't have to make a trip to open up the entrances this way. The top pic is actually the back of the hives which face North so in this case I am hoping the snow gave them a bit of added protection. You can clearly see the ugly pink foam insulation I wrapped all the brood chambers in.
At this point though I am not sure my Winter Bee Preps are going to matter. I wrapped on the side of a couple of the hives with my ear up against the top entrance and heard.... Nothing. Usually I can hear the ball buzz when I disturb them with a light knock but not today.
All I can do is steel myself for what I fear maybe very bad news when it finally warms up enough to actually open the hives and check. I have sometimes not heard them buzzing before but I don't have a lot of hope at this stage. I don't know if the girls were prepared for these temps or not, certainly it has never been this cold for this long in any of these hives' lifetimes. I fed the new hives all the syrup they would take all Summer and Fall and I left a good amount of honey on the producing hives along with dry sugar on top for emergency use.
We will see I guess. Maybe I should have put up a wind break.
Here is my target for today. You can see the trunk coming in from the left then it takes a dip and buries itself in the snow and doesn't show well in the picture. She's an old Elm that died a few years ago and I left her standing to dry upright. she was in a really easy spot to get to and I have been saving her for just this type of weather. I went ahead and dropped her last week in anticipation of the snow coming in this week.
There wasn't much small stuff left but the trunk gave me about 3/4's of a load which I will go ahead and split up tomorrow. Supposedly we may get above freezing sometime tomorrow so some of the snow may melt but that will make it more difficult to get out so splitting becomes my best bet. Sunday they are predicting we go right back down to zero again which will allow me to use the frozen ground to get in another load.
Thank the Lord for four wheel drive is all I can say!!! I probably didn't need 4WD getting out with a load of wood but I sure needed it getting in while empty.
As much as I love the scenery, the quiet and the beauty of snow in the hardwoods I must say I really wish Spring would come to ease my other fears. I have not worked in my shop once this Winter. Have not gotten any new ammo pressed out nor fired a bullet once. It's been dealing with cold almost non-stop this year. I am ready for a break.
Also this snow is really slippery. We got about a half inch of ice before the snow hit and it will slip you up quick if your not careful.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!