The bees were out today.
Winter is challenging for those of us who really enjoy the company of honeybees. We tuck them in when the weather turns cold. I provide extra food in the form of a "candy board". It is a type of hardened sugar syrup with added vitamins and minerals... a "secret recipe" created by the wise folks at Long Lane Honey Bee Farms, poured into a wooden frame that is insulated and rests on the top of the frames in each hive.
I wrap the sides and back of each hive in a small black moving blanket and when bad weather is expected, I add a tarp to keep them dry, and then I hope.
Some fun facts :
"Honeybees head to the hive when temperatures drop into the 50s. As the weather becomes cool, the honeybees gather in a central area of the hive and form a “winter cluster." A winter cluster is much like a huddle you may have seen at a football game — except it lasts all winter!Bees have one main job in the winter — to take care of the queen bee. This means they must keep her safe and warm.In order to do so, worker bees surround the queen and form a cluster with their bodies. The worker bees then flutter their wings and shiver. This constant motion and continuous use of energy is how the bees keep the inside temperature of the hive warm.In order to keep shivering, the bees must have enough honey. This is how they get their energy. One of the most important jobs of the beekeeper in the winter is to make sure the honey supply stays full so the bees can keep shivering.Though the queen is always at the center of the cluster, worker bees rotate from the outside to the inside of the cluster, so no individual worker bee gets too cold. The temperature of the cluster ranges from 46 degrees at the exterior to 80 degrees at the interior. The colder the weather is outside, the more compact the cluster becomes.In order to produce body heat and stay alive, honeybees must rely on honey for energy. Some studies have found that hives of honeybees will consume up to 30 pounds of stored honey over the course of a single winter. On warmer days, bees will leave the cluster briefly in order to eliminate body waste outside the hive."
So today, in the warmth of the winter sun, the girls were out. "Cleansing flights" they call it. Can you imagine the collective sigh as thousands of girls rushed for the exit to wee after holding it for days and days? I can't really explain it, but seeing them flying in front of all of the hives made me really happy. We still have months of cold ahead but just knowing that everyone has survived so far felt wonderful.
I just completed the download of my "Flower and Gemstone Essence Practitioner" epacket, and I am so excited.
I suppose day 3 of year 65 doesn't feel much different than day 2 but as I stared down my one gallon motivational water bottle...
yes, last week I thought that was a good idea, and threw the last of the Christmas muffins to the birds and squirrels, I had a serious moment of pause, questioning whether I am up to the challenges I have set for myself.... hmmmmm....
I will have to let you know.