Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Two hives gone

Last week we had some brutally cold weather and I lost my TBH and the nasty hive.  Both had enough honey to last so not sure what happened to the TBH.

The nasty hive has been dwindling and when I checked this morning (60 deg.), there were only about a hundred bees left, all dead of course.  So I began processing the honey, probably about 15 lbs.  Haven't opened the TBH all the way yet so I don't have a clue as to how much is in there.  The last hive which I keep in the shed with an exit hole to the outside, is strong and active today in the warm weather.  Gave them some of the honey comb from the nasty hive, which I think they appreciated.  I think that hive will do fine for the rest of the winter.  Lets hope anyway.   Later

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Happy New Year

Happy New Year:  Well I guess the world didn't end on the 21st so I'm back to caring for the bees. Today its 55 degrees but foggy and damp.  Gave the bees some fondant (cooked sugar water with an added bonus of Honey-B-Healthy), which I have been doing all fall as none of the hives I feel have enough stores for the full winter.  Took the nasty hive into the basement as I thought they were much to small a colony to survive outside.  Another of my mistakes, as they somehow found an exit from the hive and filled the basement with bees.  Got most back and then took them back outside for the duration.  As of today I still have all three hives alive but we have a severe cold snap coming so we'll see how the do.

On another note, the Japanese Plum that I bought is filled out with buds, so I may see it blossom this year.  I didn't expect that, so that's a plus.  It blooms in late February so will be a big boon for the bees, just as they need the extra energy.  I lost the big Silver Maple to Super-storm Sandy and that's been taking up most of my time, at the rate my wood pile is expanding I think I'll have enough wood for the next 10-15 years or so.  Its 5' through at the trunk, still not sure how I can cut it up, maybe make slabs for table tops or something.  I lost my Pussy Willow last year also so that's another tree to replace, this time it going into the back yard where it's wetter.  All in all I lost 4 trees to the storm, plus 2 of my hand made canoes and my truck camper.  Meeting the adjuster here tomorrow, as I didn't like the check they sent.

Have to get some more Cedar and get busy and make more hives.  If I get a couple swarms I will put a complete package up for sale.