Cold--but flying!

After being gone for 11 days, I had gotten pretty anxious about our bees, considering we're down to one hive now.  Checking right before we left, things looked good but there was a cold spell, as well as some warming into the fifties, while we were gone so I had some concern.  Today it's in the low 40's and, though too cool to open up if there is brood inside, it was good to see bees flying at a steady pace in and out of the hive.  It wasn't just cleansing or orienteering--they looked purposeful.  Temps are to warm into the upper 50's and maybe 60's by the weekend, so I do plan to open it up fully and, if brood is present and numbers and health appear good, I will do a split.  I'll try first having them raise a queen, and if that fails May would be a good time to get a new queen anyway.  I do think I might try to get to 3 hives this year.  Coming close to losing them all makes me want to have some good back-up.

It was nice to get outside a bit.  We were in upstate NY, where we had snow most days and it never got much above 40.  Pretty dark, cold and damp most of the time.  Not fun and a far cry from last year.  I looked around a bit at the yard.  I was excited to see our osprey have returned, likely while we were gone last week.  They occupy a nest in a cell phone tower just beyond our property.  We have a good view of it from the second floor of our house and I've taken a number of pictures in the past, including videos of feedings.

Here is a regrettably grainy image of her sitting on the nest this afternoon.  I'll have to set my better scope up for some good photos.  You can see a bit of the white on her head as she is sitting just behind the center upright post on the tower.  I saw at least two others when I was outside, so I suspect perhaps at least one offspring from last year has returned as well to the area.  A little bonus--while I was looking at her through the telescope, I saw a flock of American Pelicans flying in the background, so they are back as well.  Spring is in the air!

Getting back to bees, I have put a link up on my Links sidebar to the BeeInformed web site.  If you are a beekeeper and have not done so yet, please take about a half hour to complete their Winter Loss and Management Survey.  The more good data that can be collected and analyzed, the better off our bees will be.


Popular posts from this blog

There's Always More to Learn


Bee Escape