In my blog I plan to chat about nature, crafts, baking, gardening, beekeeping, family, and whatever else seems appropriate at the time. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Some hives are alive!

I'm hooking up with Verde Farm for Farm Friend Friday

I was reading some weather information from last year. I wrote "I'd be surprised if any of my hives made it through this winter." That's exactly how I feel about this year. This winter has been the worst we've had since the famous blizzard of 1978.

If you look closely you'll see a few bees flying around this hive. That does NOT mean this hive is alive. It could mean that another hive is alive, and they are robbing food from this hive, because it's dead.

One sign that bees are alive are these brown spots in the snow. You've heard the saying, "Don't eat yellow snow." Well, don't eat brown-spotted snow either!

Honey bees will not poop in their hives. Yes, I'm serious. And as you know, it's been a few you can tell from the looks of this hive they barely made it outside. In the spring, my husband and I have to clean our cars because there is always bee poop all over the windshield! I know, you didn't know you'd be getting a bee poop education today, did you. Well, it is a sign that there is activity in a hive.

Some of my hives are definitely dead. NO bee poop, no activity, nothing. So they didn't all make it through the winter. I didn't expect all of them to make it. I'd like it, but that has never happened for me. I'm always happy if some of them make it.

This, is a better sign a hive made it. A lot of bees flying in and out of the hive.

I was sooo excited to see this hive! I didn't have anyone to take pictures of me doing the happy dance, but I was happy! When you see a lot of bees flying in and out of a hive, like this, then you can be pretty certain it's alive. The only way to be 100% sure it's alive is to open it. I am not opening my hives right now because I think it's going to get cold again. If you open the hive, you break the 'seal' they made to keep the hive warm, and I don't want to break that seal. I did take some sugar water out for them, and it didn't take long for them to find it. So they are hungry.
This is the time of year a lot of honey bees will die because they starve to death. They've made it through the worst part of the year, but it's possible they could have eaten all of their winter food they stored. So, it's imperative to feed, feed, feed, the bees. I'll be checking on them again today. They just changed the weather forecast to warm and sunny!!!! It's happy bee dance time!
Note: For the people that live in my town, crafters, fooders, farmers, etc. There is a Farmer's Market open house for people interested in having a booth. It's today, Friday, from 12-6 at Ivy Tech in Alumni Hall. I'm going to go just to visit!
Cindy Bee


  1. Thank you so much for the lesson I learned things I did not know. Good Luck. B

  2. Wow, that was interesting, I had no idea that bees even pooped! When I opened my blog to do some reading I saw your thumbnail and snippet, your blog wasn't completed loading and the title, so funny and appropriate, I thought it said 'The Hives Are Alive With Music', yes I immediately was singing it like Julie Very nice post dear, have a great weekend.~Ronda

  3. I've never thought about bee poop before, lol. Glad alot of them made it though winter for ya.

  4. yay for your little bee babies!

  5. Thank you, thank you! I now have a new topic as a conversation ice breaker...bee poop! No, really glad things are on the up and up so far in the bee world and that you got to do a happy dance.
    Have a great weekend!

  6. I'm so glad I found your bee blog!

  7. I have one weak hive, but the other two look good. My 87 year old neighbor and honey partner still has both of hers she took into winter. We are feeding here now too.

  8. Jeez- where were you last summer when I had to pay a bee keeper 500 bucks to get the 40,000 swarm that landed and made their home in the sofit by our chimmney. Scott called the honey Liquid Gold. Very upset I was giving away to the neighbors.

    Sweet Honey Wishes to you for the Weekend,
    Kate -T.G.B.

  9. Wow...I as well didn't know that bees pooped. Fascinating. You kind of make me want to have bees but I am not good with bees. But I have plenty of space for bees, and if I can make my own hummingbird juice then I can make bee juice.

  10. I am glad some of your your bee hives made it. I knew they would. The sun is warm and toasty today...i bet they are liking that.

  11. Yeah for the bees! You just keep on dancing your happy dance I am glad for you. Did not know about bee poo though. New interesting fact for me today.

  12. This is such a great post. I am amazed by the bees and the bee poop thing-never considered that. When you say you fed them the sugar water and didn’t break the seal--do you put the sugar water outside for them to find or how do you feed them? Where did you get your kits--boxes? I want to start 1 hive this year to learn and go from there. Would you recommend that as a good idea?
    Thank you for sharing this great post with Farm Friend Friday :)
    Hugs, Amy

  13. I'm so glad to visit here and learn more about bees. I keep thinking I'd like to try keeping bees, but I'd hate to kill them off. I'll have to come back and keep learning.

  14. I am so glad your bees are doing well. I don't have the courage to try again. thanks so much for visiting my blog.

  15. Thanks for the interesting post. I learned a lot!
    We used to have bees, but that was in SC and we really didn't have to worry about the weather.

  16. Well there you have it! I learn't a lot about bee's today :-) Thank you!

  17. Hi Cindy, Thanks for stopping by my blog, it's always nice to know when I'm not just writing to myself... a somewhat new bloggers woe.

    We seem to have a lot in common this is going to be fun watching our blog too. My hubands family had bees and sold the honey. So we grew up with some pretty funny stories from when we were kids and then have some from our own kids too all around bees and honey!

    Congrats on building the house... this is an adventure all of it's own kind. I love that you wrote on the walls. We wrote a love letter to each other on the walls that would be our master bedroom in each of our bedrooms of the houses we built.

    Oh no you de ent Toto!! oh so sorry the puppy is making a mess around the house. That is so hard to break them of bad habits - and still love them. Get rid of little baby who cuddles and makes such cute faces hummm hard to do too.

    BTW All of our Metcalf's are in Texas except for us and a cousin in AR who's kids are in TN. But you don't see many of us and not many who don't put an E on the end... so I wonder ~

    Have a great weekend I look forward to getting to know you through our blogs!

  18. Hey you all - thank you for visiting my blog. I will be visiting all of the new blogs that posted on mine, but it might take me a day or two... I have to tell you I am excited about moving to the country now that I am 'visiting' all of you country folk. I love my place in town too and wish I could have both, but I can't. Our place in town is a double lot and the back yard is a park-like setting. But the front is a neighborhood and we are like a family neighborhood. Enough about that...

    For those of you who make it possible to e-mail personally, I am responding to you via e-mail. For others of you who didn't ask specific questions or don't need a personal e-mail, I'm answering right now.

    First of all Garden Bell - OMG! I have never even been paid $5.00 for getting a swarm of bees. I am just happy when I get a swarm phone call! The next time call Your Local Extension Office and ask for names of beekeepers, then go down the list until you find someone that will get a swarm for cheap or free. Now, I will say that I've never taken bees from the soffit of a house either. $500.00! Do me a favor and post about it, or if you already did, let me know where that post is. I'd love to read about it.

    Teresa - Verde - and Hookin It - I HIGHLY recommend you take a good beekeeping class from someone in your area before starting beekeeping. It's not as easy as it sounds, but it's well worth it. I know where there are classes in Indiana (done for this year) and Illinois. It's best to take them from the area you are from. Different climates create different problems/situations.

    Mrs. C - TRY AGAIN!

    Clara - glad I could provide you with an ice breaker for conversations....ummm...they might think you're a tad "off your rocker" though...if you know what I mean....Hi, my name is Clara and I don't know if you know this or not, but Bees Poop. I'm thinking you should stick to crochet topics! Then maybe slip the bee poop conversation in there later on, after they get to know you.

    Dreaming - I'm going to visit your blog, but I wanted to say that my first thought when you said you used to live in SC was Africanized bees. They are a threat in some southern states and they scare me. SC is one of my FAVORITE places to go on vacay. Love it. Especially this time of year.

    Gotta go. I'm so glad you are all enjoying my bees. I love them.

    Cindy Bee


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