Tuesday, December 15, 2015

quick check in

With all this unseasonal warmth, and please know that with the expression unseasonal warmth comes, in this house at least and I suspect in many homes here in Maine, a good deal of unhappiness and anxious anticipation and longing and discussion of and fantastical conjuring dancing, for snow. I keep finding ice cubes in the toilet, noticing pjs are on inside out, and spoons fall out of the freezer every time I open it. These are all, I am told, foolproof ways to get the snowflakes flying. There are several members of my family who would really like for winter to get on with it.

But one of the advantages of the warmer temperatures has been that I have been able to put off wrapping up our hives for winter against the wind and snow and cold. One of the disadvantages is that the bees are warmer and active and are likely eating through more of their winter honey supply with no available forage for them to replenish. Luckily, I have saved honey frames in the barn freezer for this possibility. I am feeling pretty happy about that right now.

A few days ago, watching the bees fly, and tidy, and do their winter smaller cluster thang, I remembered something else about colder winters: just so miserably cold it can be to do the wrapping and small nail placement and dropping in the snow and hammering in barehands when one waits to do so until the cold is upon us. And so, I decided to take advantage of the relatively pleasant experience it can be to do this work when I am not needing to wear ski gloves and a parka beneath my veil.

I took a quick peek inside and saw both hives have good hearty small clusters. And hefted the hive and decided they had in fact been eating. So I slid out several empty honey frames and replaced them with ones I had saved for them.

I popped on my homasote boards for moisture absorption and upper insulation. And wrapped them in some fancy new sheets of tar paper. Aren't they lovely?

It was warm enough that day that I did need my veil as the bees were active and flying some.

I even matched my winter hive straps to their wrapping. Nicholas calls it my goth wrap. I may need to go with this theme for holiday gifts this year.

1 comment:

  1. Does the tar paper help to keep them warm? I am interested as we would like to keep bees and would need to work out a way to keep them warm in winter.


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