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Winter bees

Winter bees

If previous years are any indication, the first spring flowers will be opening up within two or three weeks.  To the human eye, hazel flowers probably don't look like much, but they mean high-protein pollen for our bee colonies to feed to their young.  In fact, if I was unkind enough to open our hives in this dreary winter weather, I'd probably find eggs being laid as the queens gear up for spring --- if no eggs now, then soon.

Instead of bothering our bees, though, I just gave both hives a tap.  Sure enough, hearty buzzing met my ear in each, despite the pile of dead bees in front of the strong hive and the fact that the barn swarm didn't seem to have enough bees to survive this cold winter.  Perhaps the quilt I added to the top of that Langstroth hive has helped the tiny colony stay warm?

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