Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Beekeeping Spring Update

Early last week, when it FINALLY stopped snowing(!!!) and warmed up above 50 degrees, I took the insulation off my beehive and was really bummed to find piles of dead bees. It was really traumatic, even though I knew their odds weren't good in the super cold.
This is a Langstroth Hive like Mine.

Two days later I picked up my new hive, from a friend who wanted to try beekeeping, but then ended up taking a new job clear across the country--so he said I could have his hive, which is a totally different type,which I have been excited to try. After consulting with experts last year, I found out the best way to move the hive was to:
1.Wait until spring, so they had eaten their honey stores, and the colony was at its smallest level, so the hive is lighter,
2.Wait until after dark so all the bees are inside sleeping, load it in the back of a truck, haul it to its new home (my backyard), and (still in the dark) unload it at it's new spot.
The ground had finally dried out enough to back the truck up, and the loading went very smoothly! YAY! I got the new hive set up around 10:45pm and dropped exhaustedly into bed. PERFECT TIMING! It started to rain during the night and didn't really stop all week.

This is a top bar hive like Dave's.

I really tried in the fall to make sure they had plenty of food, since I suspected that it would be a long, cold winter (HAH! Called that one!), but I knew the odds weren't very good for either hive. I have been pretty bummed since it appeared that neither hive survived the winter, but was too cold and rainy to do anything about it, so I just ignored it.

Today the sun came out, and I got to go out and check them and--


hives survived and have activity! Yay,YAY,YAY!! I am really happy that I gave them a lot of food, I think it may have made the difference!

In other news:
Saturday before last, SmallDaughter dropped my cake plate, and a piece of the broken glass cut the knuckle of her ring finger. So, we got to drive through the nasty, icy, sloppy snow (we ended up with 4 inches!), to the Emergency Room. The only reason for the ER visit was to get glued and splinted, because I knew she would keep breaking it open. I am grateful I was able to take BigGirl and her sweet friend Miss M, who kept pressure on the bleeding wound, and then kept her entertained and happy (she was very bored in the ER, and kept signing "all done")!

The cake plate incident distracted me from cleaning up the "bottle of black RIT dye all over the bathroom" incident. It looked like a troop of orcs were slaughtered in there!

The boys are all planning and plotting for a multi-week campout (consisting of most of the summer) in the woods behind the extra boy's grandma's house. With Machetes. And fire. I am...resigned. But doing a happy, hopeful, honey inspired dance!