Tales Of Wintering Bees

So Far So Good

After an active summer with my bees I strapped down the tops on the hives to let them be. I left each hive enough honey to last the winter, but since it has been so cold and wet I figured it was time to look in on them today since the sun was shinning.
Honey bees don't like to be messed with when it is cold, rainy or windy. Though there was a stiff breeze today it was the best day in the last six weeks to open them up.
All six colonies in my upper bee yard were strong and healthy. Some even flew out to check me out. As a treat I poured about a half cup of drivert sugar on top of each cluster of bees. This is finely ground sugar. They can eat sugar in a dry state and another benefit is that it knocks off any mites that may be on the bees.
There are another seven hives down at the bee yard by my house. Here the news wasn't quite as good. All but two colonies were healthy. I had one colony that was totally missing, a symptom of Colony Collapse Disorder, and I had another colony that had starved. This is something I never like to see, little bee butts protruding from the honey comb sells. I had left them more than enough food to last the winter, but it appears their honey had been robbed by another colony, leaving them with nothing.
My Russian Blue colony was as nasty as ever. No sooner
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