My Bees Are Flying!

Thanks to the Polar Vortex it’s been abnormally arctic in Southwestern Ohio this year.  We aren’t used to this kind of heavy snow, ice and below zero temperatures.

Local beekeepers are understandably anxious. Are their hives still alive? Will the bees make it until the dandelions start blooming? Should they have winterized more?  Or in my case, winterized at all?

I went into December with two healthy hives. I started the season with four.

One of my hives never really got going, and the other was robbed by its next door neighbor. Needless to say, I’ll be moving those hives farther apart this year!

Over the past few days we’ve finally gotten some blessedly warm weather. Last Friday it hit 59 degrees, and with great trepidation, I ventured out to my backyard (aka Mt. Everest) to survey the bee situation. I was delighted to discover that both hives appear to be thriving!

I didn’t harvest any honey last Fall, so I’m pretty sure the bees have enough food for now.  Nonetheless I’m planning to open the hives up for few minutes today to do a quick check and and slip in some fondant.

It was too sunny to get good pictures, but if you look closely you can see my happy girls flying. Happy Bee Season!!

My "Beautiful Beehives" are in need of a new paint job!

My “Beautiful Beehives” are in need of a paint job!

Buzzing Away!

Buzzing Away!

The hive on the right is thriving. The hive on the left not so much...

The hive on the right is thriving. The hive on the left not so much…

Happy girls!

Happy girls!

Cat visits her bees!

Cat visits her bees!

22 thoughts on “My Bees Are Flying!

  1. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

    Does the cat play with the bees?

  2. YAY!! I’m so happy for you Deborah! Spring is coming, really it is!

  3. andy1076 says:

    Uhm when you say the next door stole the hive, you mean someone walked off with it? :O

  4. Glad that you have some bees that made it this year. It has been a “trying” year for me and I lost both my hives.

  5. Emily Heath says:

    Joyous! Such beautiful hives too.

  6. So glad that there is a flight of activity. I’ve been so worried about all the hives hereabouts (Chicagoland) with the extreme temperatures.

  7. kim says:

    After attending my first class at Bee School last Thursday, this is an inspiration! Cannot wait to have my very own hives. 🙂 Thank you!

  8. bdbatta says:

    Deborah,
    I purchased Nucs from a gentleman in southeastern IN last year. So far both colonies are thriving. Both appear to be plenty strong. I’ve already caught them hauling in loads of pollen. Anyway he’s not far from Cincy. If you would like contact information let me know. He works with Purdue bred bees.

  9. Rachel says:

    So glad to hear your girls are alive and well. May the warm sunny weather commence!! (and stay around).

  10. Amy says:

    Do the bees still visit the flowers that have been spray with the deer repellent?

    • Probably not so much. Bees have excellent senses of smell! Thank goodness many of bees’ favorite plants are deer-resistant! Examples are lavender, nepeta and goldenrod.
      That’s a good question!!

  11. Amy says:

    I am getting 2 nucs for the first time at the end of the month..Excited yet nervous…do you treat for varroa mites?

    • I don’t treat for mites or anything else. I keep BeeWeaver bees which are very disease and mite resistant. I don’t think we are doing bees any favors by propagating hives that can’t keep themselves alive without human help. Yes, I lose some hives, but not very many, all things considered. My Big Hive colony I(multi-colored one above) is over six years old and has never been treated.
      If you are interested in going this way, read up on organic beekeeping. I also plan on posting about this soon.

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