January Doldrums

I checked the hives the other day.  It was only in the low 30's, but I wanted to check the hives for food.  Anyway, it was full sunshine and quite warm really back by the hives.  Bees were flying about.  All 3 remaining hives (we lost the little colony we had started late summer, which probably should have been combined but I just felt the other hives were so full of bees they didn't need more company).  I gave food to all and the bees, from my minimal investigation, looked ok.  I ordered more winter patties from Mann Lake and a bucket of their dry feed which I will give them in the spring (fingers crossed!!) when we want to get a good start on brood production.

I wrapped the hives in tarpaper this year, with the quilt boxes and feeding spacers in place as well.  If I can continue to get food out to them, I hope to get them all through the winter.

I've been reading more about oxalic acid treatments.  I'm just not sure the MAQS treatment worked well this year, but I might try it again in the spring and consider the acid treatment in the fall.  I think I'm favoring the dribble method instead of the vapor, but I may reconsider if I can spend some time in the summer tinkering with a vapor method.

My daughter sent me a link to a nice graphic showing the movement of honey bees in the U.S. for pollination purposes, put out by the National Geographic.  It's worth looking at.  In my mind, we need to change the way we pollinate our crops and efforts should be made to increase the number of native bees in these areas.

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