Everyone asks us, "What do your bees do in the winter?" The answer is, not much at all. They just kind of huddle up and try to stay warm. The temperature inside a beehive can stay pretty warm , due to the heat generated by the bees. They crowd around the queen and try to keep her warm. They also eat the honey they have stored up (the honey we didn't steal from them).
Today I walked outside to get some pictures of the hives covered by snow. It was a beautiful sunny day, even though temperature was still only hovering above freezing. I did not expect to see these bees buzzing around outside their hives! Some of them seemed a bit confused about the snow. I guess bees can get cabin fever, too.
And here is a picture of our 'honey house' near completion. Isaac has been working hard this winter; building frames for future hives, preparing pollen patties to feed the bees, and working on the interior of the honey house. There is a lot left to do, as we still need to install all the extracting and bottling equipment that is currently in storage. Hopefully it will completed in time to use it this summer!
When you are married to a beekeeper, you never know what you might stumble upon when you open the door to your freezer. Just the other day, I found a dead bee. Apparently, Isaac was saving it to show to the bee club (it is a queen bee). The freezer seemed like the best place to preserve it, of course.
Becky has started planting today, and is seeding her leeks that will grow for several weeks in flats in the sunroom, until we fire up the heater in the greenhouse in mid-March. The smell of the potting mix really brought back memories of Spring. It gives us something to look forward to. But for now... I am going to enjoy the snow, just as our bees are doing.