Saturday, 19 December 2015

Two Days To Go

This morning, with only two days to go before the North Pole reaches it's furthest tilt from the sun, we finally got our first snow fall. For me, it was a welcome sight. This pristine blanket brightens an otherwise dark and dismal landscape. It completes our familiar seasonal rhythm and as the poem, Desiderata reminds us, "... no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should".

A male cardinal strikes a greeting card pose.


A gold finch looks plump and prepared for the cold months ahead,



I'm experimenting with a couple of new beehive winterizing strategies. Firstly, there is the addition of slatted racks above the insulated bottom boards. These will elevate the honeycombs from the cold and drafty bottom entrances. And secondly, I've added small, three sided boxes which fit over the top entrances to deflect wind from the interiors. Luckily the hives are only a short walk from the house as I'll need to monitor all entrances to make sure they are frost/snow free and allowing carbon dioxide and moisture to escape. Anyway, I like to visit the hives regularly, press my ear over each entrance and listen for that reassuring hum from within -- my own personal 'Message From The Queen'.

Each of these boxes house a honey bee queen born in 2015.


These two dwellings enclose honey bee queens born in 2014.



8 comments:

  1. This is so delightful! You work so hard for your bees!!!
    Aren't you happy with snow?! Just a bit...

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    1. Yepper, I'm very happy with the snow. And now we can resume our snow tracking detective work. Regarding the bees, they work much, much, much harder for me. And now I'm enjoying the sweetness of their honey and beeswax candles.

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  2. Are the boxes/hives wrapped in insulation, or are they panels? It looks cold to me. Two days, and we start to have less sunlight hours each day !!! I feel we have hardly entered into summer at all.

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    1. These coverings are foil laminated plastic bubble wrap. Unlike tar paper which rips when removed in the Spring, they remain intact and can be reused over and over again. Also, I think it looks prettier than tar paper. I often think of our reversed seasons, Jean, and how nice it must be for you now to awake to the sound of bird songs. Our turn will come.

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  3. Do you ever get to see a few bees come out when it warms up? I cant imagin how they survive but they do...my hives have been having a few orientations...and pollen coming in. Red Maples are budding and Chinese Tallow.

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    1. If it warms up to more than 50 degrees F. and is not too windy the bees will have a quick reconnaissance. However, in February or March if it's really sunny they will come out to relieve themselves. The snow will become splattered in hues of yellow ochre. If it's too cold, many will not make it back. The chickadees are pretty quick to clean up the bodies. Your bees are so lucky, Carol, to live in Florida.

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  4. I find your bee posts fascinating. I'm learning so much. Did you know the old superstition about spying a cardinal? The spirit of a deceased loved one paying a visit meant to cheer you up. I see two and they always cheer me up!

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    1. I've not heard about the cardinal superstition, Jocelyn, although the sight of a cardinal always does cheer me up.

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