It has been ages since I blogged - it's quiet time for the bees so I guess I was taking a break too. Also, there is not much observable activity going on with the hives during winter. But, there is activity going on in the hive - here is a great little article explaining some of what happens in the hive during winter.
On sunny, warmish days the bees will leave the hive to do "cleansing flights" (yes, they won't defecate in the hive so they hold in their poop until a nice warm day comes and then they take a little trip to do their business). They will also clean house on warm sunny winter days - they will drag out the dead bees that accumulate on the bottom of the hive. This is natural and actually a good sign that the bees are keeping their home tidy.
My home hive seems to be doing well - I have seen them flying on warmer days and they have done lots of housecleaning. This has been a record season for snow in Philadelphia but so far it hasn't seemed to bother the bees -
In fact, we are getting another blizzard as I type - I will have to take new pictures when the snow is done. I am not sure how the other hive at the garden is doing. I have been feeding them honey and the last time I checked on them, about a month ago, they were doing fine. I will check on them again on the next semi-warm, sunny day.
Otherwise, I have been planning for the spring. I am hoping to get three more hives this spring. I have them on order and I think I have a place in my neighborhood to house them on but it's not 100% guaranteed yet. Once I figure it out for sure I will write about the new apiary site. I have been getting my 3.5 year-old daughter excited about helping me with the bees this year - we did a little project together - we have the best looking bee boxes this side of Paris -
Next post I will talk about my first venture into bee-sting therapy! Fun Fun Fun...