Monday, 10 March 2014

Looks Bad. Looks Very Bad.

Just got back from an inspection of my honeybee yard. Bad news, I'm afraid. There is no sign of life in any of my six hives. In this area, we have had the coldest winter in twenty years. The climatologists blame a Polar Vortex. Anyway, despite having good success over the past five years of beekeeping, this winter has been a sad exception.

So, having dried my tears and ordered a couple of replacement nucs from a local bee breeder, I'll be making some adjustments to my wintering practices next time. It appears from the honey on the bottom boards that the colonies fell victim to perhaps their biggest wintering threat -- condensation.

One change I'll make is to place moisture wicking material on a screen directly over the top frames. Another change will be to allow more ventilation at the bottom entrance.

 
Too clean and too quiet.

 
Drips on the bottom boards -- a very bad sign.

 
Near the beeyard, a bluebird house awaits spring arrivals.



 
Indoor livestock Henry (left) and Ellie Mae
wearing lookalike white bibs.

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