A Year at Bees of the Woods Apiary: January

| 1/4/2016 12:04:00 PM

Tags: bees, honeybees, honey, market gardening, home based business, beekeeping, Jennifer Ford, New York,
This is the first part of a year-long series that will follow what we do, and what happens in our beeyard through the course of the year.

Unusual Winter So Far

This has been a strange winter in the Northeast. Above average – way above average temperatures, and very little snow, as you can see in the picture below! This picture was taken in early January, and is definitely not what we usually see this time of year. Normally this time of year, the bees would be clustered together inside the hive, eating honey and vibrating to produce heat.

This year, because of the warm temperatures, the hives have been much more active. It’s not every year that bees are out flying on Christmas Day! Because of the increased activity, the bees eat up the honey stores faster. If we then have a harsh or long winter, they could face starvation in the spring.

January Beeyard

So, this year we have done something we’ve never done before.  We purchased “winter patties” – a supplementary food source - and placed them on top of the frames in the top super of honey on each hive. I’m thinking of it as insurance. If they do get low on honey stores, this will give them a little extra to feed on.

We also have a few supers of capped honey frames that we froze, and then stored. If a hive seems low as we approach spring, we can use some of this honey to help them through. Fingers crossed.

New Year’s Day

I have a tradition of going out to visit the beeyard on New Year’s Day. I put my ear on the side of each hive, and listen for the “hum” to make sure they are still alive and well. With the warm weather so far, I expected to find that the hives were all alive, and I was not disappointed. Sixteen out of our sixteen hives had a strong, healthy hum.

1/4/2016 4:38:48 PM

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