December 4, 2010

Last night we ended up with several inches of newly fallen snow and although I could see the white piling up around my hive, it would do no good to get out in the middle of the night to uncover it, so this morning I put on my knee high boots and trudged out to the hive. 

Usually this process goes well but today instead of scraping the snow off the top of the hive like usual I decided to lift the box with heavy rock inside that keeps the telescoping cover from blowing away. Well, the box was frozen to the cover so with a loud crack the whole box, rock and cover came off. Do I even need to say that my bees did NOT like this one bit. A few girls came out to see what was going on but then flew off, one bee darted out so quickly that she hit snow instead of air and although I moved quickly to scoop her up it wasn't fast enough to save her life.

Of course, I did my best to put things back together and finished cleaning out around the hive. The girls are calm once again, buzzing loudly, working hard to stay warm.

Til next time...

Pam J. said...

Very dramatic! I envy you only because you inadvertently got to see that the girls are OK. My summer worries about the girls swarming or whatever have been replaced by winter worries that the entire colony is now dead or dying, the result of a pest infestation that I can't see. I was skulking around my hive today, with my ear up to the hive box and I couldn't hear any buzzing. that I think about it, I was listening only to the 2 honey supers, not the bottom brood boxes. That could make a difference. I'll listen tomorrow. I love the cold weather but you seem to have a level of cold that even I would grow tired of. Maybe.

Michelle said...

Hi Pam,

Something is always happening with the hive that I'm just not prepared for. When the bees came out looking for the cause of that loud cracking sound all I could think was, wouldn't it be ironic to get stung on a winters day when all I did is anticipate getting stung all summer. I think they had trouble spotting me when they came flooding out because they flew around but never came too close or else they recognized me and remembered that I'm a complete wimp, therefore, harmless (of course I didn't move an inch and I was dressed in a white winter coat, which certainly helps).

I'm worried since it seems all the action is in the top hive body and I thought they were suppose to move up slowly from the bottom :( I go out once a week to check for humming but we are having an early winter start and I don't think that bodes well for the bees since our winters don't end til the end of March.

Did you feed yours supplemental sugar syrup and treat for mites? I didn't do either. I was told not to do the sugar syrup and I wanted to do the Thymol treatment but didn't realize it was temp sensitive, so I ended up being too late :( I hope the girls do well without out all the extras.

TeresaR said...

Oh dear! Things never go exactly according to plan, do they? I'm glad your girls are mostly doing well though. :)