Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bee Update

Our bees made it through the winter! Hooray! We were nervous since this was our first winter as beekeepers and we have heard that many beekeepers have losses over the winter. One main reason why the bees die is starvation, so we left all of last year's honey in the hive for the bees. Of course being their first year there wasn't a lot of excess honey, but we did keep it in the hive just to be safe. We also began feeding them with a sugar board over the last few weeks to make sure they have enough food until they can start foraging again.



We are also working on moving the hive back a little bit to sit on our new hive stand that will hold all of the future hives. In order to make sure the bees return to their hive, it is best to only move it several inches each day and take some time. This way they won't get confused and disoriented when returning from foraging during the day. Apparently they don't like change very much!

Making sure his veil is secure before moving the hive!

It's still a little bit too cold and windy to do a full inspection of the hive, but from the population we're seeing out flying each day, we're hopeful that the hive is strong. We even saw several bees bringing pollen back today. I'm so happy that the bees made it through this harsh winter!

~Tammy

52 comments:

  1. That looks like ice the bees are all over--chunks of sweet bee-ice, they call it.
    I'm worried about the material the hives are made of. I noticed last time that they are made of plywood: do you know that all plywood in this country is soaked in formaldehyde? It's not good for humans, bees or any creature. Jus' sayin'. Most buildings are toxic and any structures made for creatures out of plywoods (even the chicken house--though there's a bit more air-flow). It can take years to 'off-gas' and sometimes never does. Something to consider. What about traditional skeps? You know, the ones modelled after the hair-style women in the '60 used to wear along with those cat's-eyes horn-rimmed glasses. (You needn't get a pair of those to put on the skep: I don't think they're necessary.)

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  2. there is something to be said about a local honey...it's the best. This is certainly good news Tammy

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  3. yay! that's great for your first winter!

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  4. Great news! I know you are both thrilled.

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  5. Glad to see your bees survived the winter!

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  6. You and your hubby have been very busy bees also, putting in a vineyard and raising bees! I love the view of your home from the vineyard in the last post- you have a beautiful piece of property. Wishing you all the best with both of these endeavors and it's so nice to see your progress! xo Karen

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  7. I'm so glad to hear your bees survived this crazy winter!

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  8. I guess I didn't realize that they stayed outside all winter. I assumed they had to go inside or somewhere a little warmer. That's great news that they made it :)

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  9. Amazing Tammy! I'm sure it was nerve racking seeing of they made it through but sounds like they are survivors! I love to see what's happening there, so fascinating!

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  10. Glad your bees are hanging in there! Mine are too but it has been quite the winter and we still have over a foot of snow on the ground. Many of our local beekeepers are losing bees. It has been so cold, the bees can't even move to their honey stores in the hive. And they haven't been able to get out on cleansing flights. So far my bees are alive but it ain't over yet!

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  11. I am glad the bees made it through this cold winter. Can't wait to see more of them in this spring's photos on here :)

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  12. I am glad to hear it. I have seen that some have not been so fortunate.
    Happy Spring!

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  13. You all must be doing everything right!

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  14. Oh Tammy it looks like you made it through this horrible winter for your first time in bee keeping you and David seem to be naturals at this. I am so happy for you both. Yeah. Hug B

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  15. Great job! Nice to hear about the food for bees. I am bit afraid of it because if it stings us it will pain a lot. Be careful while working with bees!

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  16. I'm glad your bees made it through the winter. It's always so sad to read about the hives that die out. We won't be ready to get bees for a couple more years so I look forward to reading about your experiences with them.

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  17. Fabulous! Looks like the bees did great with the candy board. You might also consider a split if the numbers are explosive with that hive. You may not get honey this year if you split them, but you would have another hive and add to your apiary that way. Also, you would prevent swarming too. Food for thought. I am so happy for you all!

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  18. Good luck with your bees Tammy! I know you are doing all you can to keep them happy and healthy.

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  19. That's awesome news for your first winter with your hives! Very happy for you :)

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  20. So good to hear your bees are doing well.

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  21. That's great news, hope you get lots of honey in the summer.

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  22. Yay for the bees! So cool! I can't wait to see your hive thrive (giggle... I made rhyme).
    xoxo

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  23. Great news, honey here we come!
    Janie x

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  24. I am glad to hear your bees made it. My neighbor has bees and sells honey and she lost a lot of bees this winter.

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  25. Yay!!! That's so exciting that they survived! :-)

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  26. Hooray!! Congratulations! Especially with it being such a crazy winter.

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  27. Yay! Strong bees! I am looking forward to all that you will share with us as beekeepers.

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  28. Glad to hear all is well. My bees are buzzing in and out of the hive.

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  29. Congrats - it seems that you successfully made it through your first winter - your homestead is really progressing"

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  30. I'm impressed! Ya'll did great with the bee project. I'm sure it was a little nervous for you for the first winter, but looks like it was a success.

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  31. That is so wonderful Tammy, your certainly living the dream.

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  32. That is amazing. You are smart for leaving your bees some food during the winter.

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  33. How cool.. I bet your happy that they survived the winter. I love to read all the going ons at your place my friend.

    Hugs~

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  34. Oh my gosh, that's awesome actually. It really was such a brutal winter in the states where it's cold, and even some where it's usually not! I'm glad your bees are doing a-ok!

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  35. That's such wonderful news!! Makes me so happy to hear. You deserve a pat on the back for keeping the bees well and alive through winter

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  36. Glad to hear they fared well. Our Kuwaiti neighbor who kept bees died last year from cancer. Was very sad. He used to share honey and fresh dates with us and all sorts of things that he grew. I wonder if his kids kept up with any of the things that he loved so much. Wishing you a wonderful weekend. Tammy

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  37. Hooray that is great news! I love the pic, is that you behind the veil? Also love the long term plan and how you set up their stands... good friend, very good! Happy weekending

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  38. What a relief! Ours made it too. We were worried because it's been a touch winter on them. We're rewarding them with some honey water. The maples are blooming and the bees are really working them. What breed are your bees? Ours are Russian and seem well suited to this climate!

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  39. Amazing. I am so fascinated with bee keeping. Is it expensive to get into?

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  40. This is so awesome & exciting! I just got done commenting on another blog post about throwing clay.. that I fell in love with the potter's wheel when I was a kid & saw one working on PBS. Well potters & beekeepers were BOTH something I was introduced to through PBS and I always had a deep fascination with. :) Excited for you guys.
    We'll have a while to wait yet, but we're hoping last years newest apple trees have survived the winter, too. (Apples & honey on the mind, now.. thanks for the sweetness, Tammy!)

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  41. I was out inspecting our hives yesterday. There were a few bees going in and out of the hive!! So happy ours made the winter too!

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  42. That is wonderful news so happy they are indeed coming along. Hip hip Hurrah!
    Enjoy your week
    Hugs Sheila

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  43. That's wonderful Tammy that your hive made it through this hard winter. I'm trying to remember - but there is another blog where they lost their whole hive. They were saying that it was just too cold for the bees.
    That's a WOW hive stand!! How many more hives are you planning on getting??? Will you be ordering them or building them yourselves??
    It's so wonderful!! Spring has Sprung!! :-}}}

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  44. Hope you don't mind...I just pinned your photo of your stand. Like your setup for the hives!

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  45. As much as I love honey I am not brave enough to try bee keeping. Well done you guys.

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  46. So happy to see that your bees made it through the winter! We see so few bees anymore it is just heartbreaking.

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  47. We are also thinking of getting bee's. We had been told that in our area the bees died due to the cold temps this last winter, and that when you feed the bee's sugar it weakens them since the honey is already digested. That when it gets below 40*F that they are less likely to get out of the hive, and if it gets below 20*F they won't leave to excrete their waste and so the hive becomes toxic to them.

    Anyway sounds like you all did good this year! :-) Congrats!!

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