Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Break in the Sky

My brother called me to see if I wanted to hike up to the top of the property to see if the continual wind and rain of late has done any damage. I agreed since I really needed to take advantage of the momentary lack of rain to check on the seven colonies of bees I have up there. I haven't been up there in the last three weeks and at this time it was too wet to drive the truck up there.

I knew that most of the standing timber that could be knocked down had been destroyed by the storm a few years back, but we found water gushing everywhere. The trails were slick clay when I first moved here, but over the years soil and grass nicely covered over the trails. This rain washed away some of the soil exposing the clay beneath. The inclines were slick, but still passable and none of the trails were washed away.

When we got to the bees I was saddened to see one rather large colony was totally dead. Normally colonies will cut their own population to a couple thousand bees, but this one did not. I had left them enough food for a winter strength colony, but this colony never depopulated itself. It takes a lot more food to feed 20,000 bees than it takes to feed 2,000 bees. Being that I hadn't been able to get up there for the last three weeks; sadly they starved. I also found another dead colony, but all the others were alive and strong. I suspect the stronger colonies robbed the honey from the two colonies that starved.

I gave the there five colonies up there a good dose of food, and I went to check on the colonies by my house. I had lost two of those colonies earlier this winter, but the others were fine. Even the Brownsmead bees were doing well.

Now if I can keep up with the feeding through the rest of the winter the bees may have a really strong start this spring.


Blogger darev2005 said...

I'm glad to hear that they weren't all dead. That would have been a tragedy. Even if I don't care for bees much, the world would be a much smaller place without them.

8:30 AM  
Blogger Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

Great drawing to go with your post and glad some of your bees survived and you got up there to care for the ones left. Do you follow Birdchick? She's into bees, too.

6:15 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Darev, Me too. They can be expensive to replace.

Teri, I haven't yet but I shall.

5:34 AM  

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