Monday, January 19, 2015

They're Alive!

During the long winter months (even here in the South), one wonders about the bees. Are they alive? Will they survive the winter? I've been known to place my ear next to the hive, trying to hear the low, rumbling buzz of thousands of bees inside.
Honestly, our hives are rather humble-looking. They're not fancy, nor painted, nor pretty. But the bees seem to like them. The two hives in the middle were newly-formed this past summer. The taller of the two was a swarm that we successfully captured. Remember? The shorter one (called a nuc box) was a simple split off of the hive on the far left.
The straps are to keep them more secure on windy winter days. We've occasionally seen a bee or two flying out on warmer days, but today, they were really flying! Temps must have been nudging 60ยบ, which is lovely for them. Many of them were coming back with legs loaded with pollen.
I took photos, and the air was abuzz with bees, but they just don't show up in photos well because they're moving.
If you look carefully on these, you can see a few crawling around on the landing board and on the front of the hive. We put the sticks in the gate during winter to cut down on cold drafts into the hive. And narrower gates are easier for the guard bees to protect.
The good news is this: We have four very healthy, active hives in late January. We're both excited! Oriental seems to be a good place for bees. Soon things will begin blooming and the hives will grow. Adam will be in better health this spring and summer, we'll pull honey and split the hives again. Should be a good bee year!

4 comments:

  1. What a lovely thing! I have a friend who kept bees for years. She enjoyed them so much.

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  2. Yay, happy bees! Always a worry in the winter!x

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  3. I'm so happy about this! I was just thinking about bees this morning when I took the lid off a storage container in our church kitchen, where several beeswax votives were among the items stored there. The aroma of beeswax had concentrated and when the sweet air came out it was like an exquisite breakfast. Bees are the best insect, I think.

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  4. I love your humble bee hives! They look like primitive art. Glad to hear they will be producing lots of liquid gold! :) You have so many interesting things going on at your place!

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