Sunday, January 31, 2010

January 2010 Snow storm (Round 2)

Wow! These are winter pics of our SECOND snowstorm! As I put these pics on my blog...the THIRD snowstorm is beginning right now! Credit goes to my daughter Meagan, she rocks! She does all our pictures for us. She has a good eye! See what you think.

We really do have honey on hand. This white sign stays in our yard, as long as we have honey on hand. I'll pull the sign if we run out of honey.

These frames are hanging here because there was a huge wasp nest on the inside of them a few summers ago. I sprayed the wasp nest with Wasp Killer, and took them outside to hang, letting the rain wash them off....they need to go back inside ya think? ha!

Great pic! I love the Bee Cozy. For more info on the Bee Cozy, go to
I think I paid about $13 for each Bee Cozy. Money well spent, in order to keep the colony safe and warm. When early April gets here, lets see how BIG the colony actually is. In the past, I've suffered too much "winter time dwindle". Going down from a full brood box, to only several frames of bees in the brood box. That's too much loss for me.

If you have too much winter time dwindle, it just takes too much TIME for the colony to build back out, and then up. This is lost honey time, in my mind anyway.

Stay tuned, more winter pics to come! This is rather unuusal weather for Oklahoma. We usually see just a dusting of snow and some cold days. So far, this winter has turned out to be a memorable one. And we're not done yet!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Christmas 2009 Blizzard (Round 1)

This is one of our Apiaries on a little hill. Despite the cold wind blowing hard, these hives are wrapped with Bee Cozy wraps in order to keep the bees much warmer. You can find Bee Cozy wraps at Cutting the cold wind off the bees is critical to keeping the colony alive and ready for Spring.

Sometimes, snow gets whipped around to the front, and blocks their little entrance. Here, I'm using my finger to open their entrance, in order for them to come out for a "cleansing flight". When it warms up a bit, the bees will take short flights in order to "poop". They don't potty inside their house.
Notice how the snow is whipped around the hive by the wind. This is an indicator, which tells me how much wind really hits the hives. Amazingly, they're all still alive in the center of this box!! The bees don't heat the entire box inside. They simply huddle closely together, called a Cluster, and vibrate in order to keep each other warm. A few bees that remain on the oustide of the cluster will die. But not many.
Notice the heavy brick on top of the lid. Sometimes, I've had winds so strong that the lid has been flipped off by the wind. And of course my cows like to rub on corners of the lid. A little weight helps to avoid such troubles.
It's all about protecting them from harsh, cold winds!
This colony has been an excellent honey producer for us. Blane owns this hive. Behind this colony, about 10 yards, is a few Blacklocust trees!! When in bloom, these trees produce tons of nectar! No wonder they do so well!!!!
The Bee Cozy wrap looks like it's pulled tight, but it's not. As the sun hits this wrap, it seems to swell with warm air. As the day warms up, it seems to losen. Very interesting tool for the Beekeeper, in order to keep his bees alive.

There's almost a 40 degree temperature difference from the inside of the hive to the outside. You would be amazed at how much HEAT honey bees can produce. It took me a few years to really understand, that these bees will be very much alive come early April. No worries!!