Much to my darling wife’s dismay, there is always something to worry about for a first year beekeeper. The latest fear is whether my top bar hive still had live bees inside. It’s been rather cold lately and there has not been a lot of activity in the apiary. My top bar hive has an observation window, and while I try not to peek inside too often, I have not seen any bees in the window since our snowstorm a couple weeks ago. Continue reading
Bees With A Smile
I recently finished Fedor Lazutin’s book Keeping Bees With A Smile. It is a rather fascinating read about keeping bees naturally in the depths of Russia, where the winters really are six months long. I have to thank the Happy Hour at the Top Bar blog for recommending the book. I really enjoyed the different perspective on beekeeping and discussion of a hive style I was not at all familiar with. Continue reading
Happy is the bee that the sun shines on
The cold is slowly coming to Virginia. Most of our days have been warm enough for the bees to fly, with only a handful of fall days colder than 50 degrees (10 Celcius). A couple frosty nights here and there but again most nights well above freezing. Tuesday I finished some winter preparations on the hives, and it was in the mid-50’s. The top bar hive was especially buzzing for a good 15 or 20 minutes, with dozens of bees checking out the bee yard.
According to Jürgen Tautz in his book The Buzz about Bees, so-called orientation flights generally occur only when a queen is present. So I’ll take this activity as a good sign. Continue reading