Update on My Honeybees February 28

Hello!! I’ve missed you!! I hope you’ve missed me!!!

I have not been posting often because we’re working on the last minute details before we make our “pitch” at the Washington County Entrepreneurs Challenge. We’re attempting to win $5K for Adventure Mendota. If we don’t win, we’ve had a tremendously positive experience, but hey…I still am in it to win it. With working, keeping things done around the house, and attending one class each week, I haven’t been blogging. Plus…let’s face it. The subject in Mendota, Virginia has been focused on one thing! SNOW! This picture was taken last Saturday morning, and it snowed for many hours after the picture was taken.

Snow Day on Saturday back view

I didn’t have to work that day and it was so pretty. I really enjoyed it. There’s the shop at the base of the hill. I thought of it way too late but we should have blown up some of the Adventure Mendota tubes and went snow tubing. Oh well.

Snow Day on Saturday

We drove over to Asheville today to meet Mike’s son and family for our annual late Christmas get together, and I noticed how little snow pack was in the NC mountains compared to Washington County, Virginia. Even today, we have quite a bit left. As my sister Pat said, farmers are licking their lips thinking about how sweet the hay will be in Mendota this spring. I can just smell it now.

Sticky Snow

So what about those honeybees? My bees have been outside under all this snow and bad weather with temperatures far below zero. They’ve been wrapped in bubble wrap and tarped–loosely tarped–so that ventilation could still get into the small upper vent hole. Still…confession…I’ve been worried about that tarp being too close to the ventilation hole. Very worried.

Bee Tarp 1

But today, I got some good news. Mike went out to put wood in the woodboiler, and about 100 bees were drinking water from melting snow. He did not tell me in time to get any pictures, but I knew where those bees came from — my hives!! Happy dance!! I’d pulled the tarp back early today, because I knew warm sunshine beating down on the hives would be welcome. I went back out this evening. Here’s one of the hives. Do you see that little black dot in the snow just outside the hive? That is a dead bee. This is actually a good sign. There were about 20 dead bees outside of each hive. These bees were not there this morning, but the worker bees are moving about inside the hives, and they are removing the dead bees.

Small bee

It will be a miracle if all three hives survived. I am hoping. I can’t wait to see if Gerald has seen any bee activity as well. He did not get to tarp his, and that is actually a helpful thing. We can see if I’m wasting my time or if it has made the difference in temperature inside the hive–just a little higher–so that the hive could survive.

If it continues to warm up, I’m going to give these guys a little treat of sugar water and Honey Bee Healthy in about two weeks–just a little sip to tide them over in case they are getting low on honey.


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  1. Christine says:

    So happy for you and the survival of your bee hives! You put a lot of work into keeping them alive, and it has paid off.

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