Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Spoke too soon...

Last week I talked about the January thaw we experienced.  Well, February decided differently.  Here is what our Groundhog Day looked like:
Real nice, huh.  Kathy did work up the energy somehow, after the two plus hours of snow removal we both worked at (we have a long lane), to wade through the drifts to check out the bees.  She said there were no drifts by the hives, which sit just to the east of a double row of pine trees.  It has proven to be a good location, providing snow break and wind break from the west.  Where we live, on top of a pretty decent hill, wind breaks are essential.  She cleared away the landing pad and listened to the hives but heard nothing.  It's interesting that I am the one who has no difficulty hearing the bees even though I am almost totally deaf in one ear and do not hear so well out of the other.  I do seem to do well with low frequencies though, so the congregate hum of the bees I pick up quite well.
Let's hope the month goes out like a lamb.  Wait, that's next month...

4 comments:

  1. Jim,

    Are you suppose to clear the landing pad? I thought I was suppose to so I did the first half of winter and the other beeks said not to because it was a good insulator. What do you think?

    I've not heard my bees in weeks. I'm not looking forward to opening the hive. Hopefully the nation will warm up in the next few weeks so we all can get to our hives and see what they are up to. Good luck!

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  2. Michelle,
    I'll have to research that a bit. The hive is tilted, so when the snow melts it should run off the edge and not back into the hive. I have the smallest opening, but I want them to be able to pull out the dead and get out on nicer days to drink and check things out. I can't imagine that little bit of snow would provide a lot of insulation, but I'll see what I can find on beesource. Good question.

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  3. After doing a bit of reading, I think I'll stick with clearing off the landing pad. The little benefit from the insulating properties of snow just on the pad probably isn't worth the loss of needed ventilation. My hives are pretty drippy-wet inside as it is, so I'd hate to reduce the amount of air flow. Also, they really need to be able to drag out their dead, which I've never seen them do through the upper opening. As some have said, the snow comes and goes anyway, so is of minimal overall advantage. So, that's where I am on this for now, but all things subject to change :)

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  4. Thanks for your input Jim. I must get out there and clean off the landing pad. I've left it too long. It has been so ungodly cold here the past week, I've not wanted to venture out even to my car. This week we are suppose to warm up to the mid 30's. Hopefully the bees will come out.

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