Sunday, March 20, 2011
It was 0 degrees, overcast, but warm. There was still snow on the ground, wet and heavy, from the rain/snow mix the night before.
It's a sign of spring. We can feel it in the air, the back of winter's deep chill is broken. It still gets cold, mostly at night, but not the bone chilling cold of deep winter.
Spring will find a way. And so will the bees.
A week ago I added rim spacers and sugar baggies. I checked each hive and on 3 of the 4 hives the bees were down in the frames. On Hive #2 the bees were in the frames and on the top bars, surrounded by the sugar baggies but they weren't breaking cluster to crawl over them.
I put some tiny holes in the plastic edge close to them and they responded to the sugar droplets.
Next week's forecast is all in the pluses--+7, +11. I should think the bees will break cluster and find the feed there waiting for them. (I'm not sure at what temperature bees break cluster?)
Outside they were flying and bringing out the dead. The chickadees were quick to swoop down and fly off with the bodies.
It's sad watching the bees hit the snow and struggle. I put a finger down and they clasp on readily. They warm themselves from the heat of my hands. Then they reward me by pooping on my finger.
Below was supposed to be a photo but the camera was set to video and I was moving quickly - so it's actually a 2 second video of Hive #2 with the sugar baggies on the top bars.