Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Warm Winter & A Project

I'm no meteorologist, but it's been a warm winter. In mid-January, the porch bees were busy flying in and out of both entrances.

It was good weather for a beekeeper's list of winter projects.

Mark worked outside in short-sleeves to assemble bee boxes.

And, being the OCD kind of guy he is, he had it down to a science. Our bees deserve perfectly square boxes!

I love it when he concentrates so hard he sticks his tongue out. Adorable.

Cary Haycox, the art teacher at Heritage Academy came by to check out our hives and talk about a project. About a week after this photo was taken, Mark delivered 65 deep supers to the art room. The art students in the upper grades at Heritage Academy are going to paint our hive bodies. We're supplying the paint, Mr. Haycox is supervising the process, and we hope to have 65 unique and creative homes for our bees when we make our splits. Mark got the idea from one of the beekeeping magazines.

After the guys rode down to Bee Hill without me, I made Mark take me so I could get some photos. Bees were *everywhere*!

The entrance reducers prevented the bees from flying in and out easily, so it almost seemed like summer time when they beard on the outside of the hives.

Opportunities to fly during the winter are good in that the bees need cleansing flights -- they won't soil their own nests, so to speak. But, the downside is that all of the extra flying = more energy burned = more food consumed. We left them a lot of honey, but Mark needs to go around and check and make sure they all still have enough.

Beekeepers in south Mississippi are talking about splitting hives earlier than normal due to the warm weather. We have a bunch of henbit blooming across the road, and pear trees are starting to bud. And it's not even February yet! Hold on bees! Wait until it's time!