The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

First winter hive check

I took advantage of temperatures above 50 to check on our hives Tuesday.  We've been feeding sugar water pretty much continuously for the last six weeks, stopping only when winter set in and started freezing our feeders.  My hive check showed that the girls have been dehydrating the sugar water and packing it away very nicely --- we're now up to 46, 64, and 69 pounds of honey in our three hives, which should carry them all through the winter.  I'm a little concerned at the apparent lack of pollen in the hives, but hopefully our early blooming hazels will provide pollen just as brood-rearing begins in the spring.

Dead honeybees

Outside the hive, dozens of dead bees litter the ground.  Although it looks like a massacre took place, this is perfectly normal.  Every hive cuts down its numbers in early winter, first kicking out the drones then letting the older worker bees die as well.  I guess that's one way to control your population so you don't run out of food!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Careful. I might take that personally.
Comment by Errol Wed Dec 16 09:36:44 2009
Heh! Are you a drone or an old worker? :-)
Comment by anna Wed Dec 16 09:43:36 2009

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