Friday, February 11, 2011
Honeybees in the winter months...
I am hooking up with Verde Farm today for their Farm Fun Friday. I thought I'd chat a bit about honeybees, since I am the bee lady, afterall.
Honey bees do what they can to survive hot, humid weather, such as it was here in this picture. If it gets too hot and crowded in their hive, they'll hang outside.
In the winter months, when it's freezing out, such as it has been the last two months, they vibrate their bodies to warm the hive.
The problem arises when we don't get any warm weather for a long stretch at a time. The bees cluster around their brood to keep it warm. They will starve to death before letting their brood get cold. So, a warm day now and then in the winter months is critical to a beekeeper. And it's been two months, at least, since we've had a warm day. This Sunday it's supposed to start warming up. And it is supposed to stay warm at least for the week. In the 50's by mid-week. This will be a good time for me to find out if any of my hives have survived this winter so far. I cannot tell you how anxious, nervous, excited I am about this. I am jumping out of my skin right now just thinking about it. I have two bags of sugar waiting to make syrup, and if any hives survived they will be getting fed this mixture. One of the worst things that can happen to a beekeeper is to have his/her hives live through a winter such as the one we are having, only to have them starve to death now. Please say a little prayer for my bees. Last year was tough and I only lost three hives, but this year has been a lot worse than last. I will be doing the happy happy bee dance if any of my hives survived. What is the happy happy be dance? I don't know yet, I haven't made it up, but it might be similar to the chicken dance! s c a r y
And on a side note, I would like to encourage everyone to go buy something... anything... that animals eat. I'm not talking about your pet, I'm talking about nature....deer, birds, etc. Our ground is still frozen from the ice storm last week and the foragers are having a rough time. They're hungry. My husband has seen a lot of deer on our property in the country. So he bought some corn and put it on the ground where he saw the deer. They were eating it within a half an hour! Go to the bread store and buy some old bread or go to the farm store and get some suet, sunflower seeds, peanuts, corn, whatever.... Animals are desperate for food right now. Help them out. They need it, and it'll make you feel good!