Archive for March 9, 2014

Bees before the storm


It was 47* F yesterday. The bees were not happy, but they were moving. They have to get out of their hive to evacuate their digestive system. Earlier this spring when we had a warm day, the snow in front of their hives looked like someone had sprayed tobacco juice. Kinda gross to think about bee poop, but as Perry would say, “Everybody poops!”.

We hadn’t put entrance reducers on our hives last fall and only realized this when we went to confirm survival rates. Most of our bees either froze or starved, so I’m doing everything I can to keep these two remaining hives alive. A snack of sugar water while the temperature is nearly 50 can only help. So I tromped through foot high snow with sugar water and entrance reducers. It is Michigan, so of course, they are predicting 20- temps tonight.


I was promptly earned my badge of honor- my first bee sting of the year.


Long, hard winter for the bees.

The cold killed many honeybees this year. Some directly. Others starved because it was too cold to move from their cluster in the center of the hive to reach the honey in the edges.


We made the trek out to our hives this afternoon in knee deep snow and bright sunshine.

Only two of our five hives have bees as of March. We are very happy to have the two that made it through this cold.