Today, January 23, the temperature rose up to 62°F and the rain stopped around noon. Our honeybees from hives #1 and #2 came out to relieve themselves and get some fresh air. Hive #2 went into winter with fewer bees than hive #1, but today, many more bees emerged as the population clearly has grown.
It seemed more bees than from Hive#1. With only a .75 inch entrance, there was a lot of traffic in front of the hives. I managed to shoot a quick video of them
Some of the bees were taking their dead out. Many of them flew off with the bodies but some of them just dropped the body right in front of the hive. They have little hooks on the bottom of their feet that are non-articulating therefore difficult to manipulate, so I watched them struggling to dislodge the bodies. From the clip below I counted eight bees that made the trip out with bodies.
One the one hand, I’m happy to see them alive and well after a couple of zero degree temp’s, but I’m afraid that they will run out of food before spring arrives. The sad part of the day is that I don’t think hive #3 made it. No one came out today. There was one dead bee just inside the entranceway. Probing the entrance with a twig will always bring a guard bee to investigate. But this time it brought no live bee to investigate. A very bad sign indeed. Still, quoth the song; ‘two out of three ain’t bad.’
7 thoughts on “Mid-winter, A Warm Day”
It’s sad to see so many died and the live bees carrying the dead ones away. But I guess it’s a happy thing to see 2 out of 3 survived the harsh winter. I guess, hereafter the weather is going to be better ?
Two more months to go.
Very sad news about No 3, but good that No 2 seems to be thriving so well. Any idea what the difference might be? Will you have to feed them until spring arrives?
Hive #3 is very small so they probably froze to death, even with a thick insulation. A temperature of below 0 Fahrenheit is not an ideal for honeybees, especially the Italian type we have.
So presumably the key to survival is to have lots of bees and be the bees in the middle.
The queen stays in the middle and being pampered. However if she doesn’t do her job well (laying thousands of eggs), she’ll be replaced.
Flexible monarchy 🙂