My Bees are Freezing!

Last year, one of my hives didn’t survive the winter.

The hive. And the other hive.

The hive.
And the other hive.

The long, cold days took their toll on the inhabitants of that hive so, over the summer, I made a split from the remaining hive.

Everything was going along fine, but now, we find ourselves enduring another brutally cold and exceptionally windy winter.

Windchill temperatures have plummeted well below zero for days at a time, week after week, with only brief breaks in between.

Oddly, these in-between breaks have been unusually warm.

During the cold spells, the sun would be more of an ineffectual bright light in the sky than anything else. During the warm-weather breaks, temperatures could skyrocket into the high 20s or even (gasp!) the low 30s.

I realize this doesn’t sound particularly toasty.

But, when you’re talking about an increase of 40-50 degrees, it feels like nothing short of a heat wave.

Venture forth and freeze!

Go forth and freeze!

Add to this the warming effects of a shining sun on a cloudless day, and you’ll find yourself with beehives whose occupants are being fooled into thinking spring has sprung.

And so they venture out.

And then they freeze and die.

I have found dozens of frozen bees scattered in the snow around the hives.

DSC_0011

I was told there would be nectar. This is not nectar.

I realize that the hives are still buzzing and that there are many thousands still alive and well, but I find these inadvertent suicides troubling.

Perhaps, soon, it will be warm for real and we can let bees be bees once again.

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About applewoodfarm

Restaurateur, farmer, bartender, beekeeper, friend, wife, mother, dog lover, cat tolerater, chicken hypnotizer, blogger, and sometime yogi
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3 Responses to My Bees are Freezing!

  1. Ru says:

    poor things. I don’t have hives but I do worry about my bees in winter. I feel so sad when they die, especially because I know they are so vital for our food production. This crazy weather worldwide is messing with quite a few of the pollinators.

  2. back to my “good ol days” of beekeeping, the scattered bodies are normal. You just don’t see them when there is growth on the ground.
    Something “fun” . . . on the really sunny days, do something like this: http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?250699-Bee-Feeders
    i used to use 2 liter bottles with sugar water, but you can use just about anything. Instead of nectar, give the curious bees something to go after.

  3. Pingback: My Bees are Freezing! | applewood farm | WORLD ORGANIC NEWS

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