Sunday, December 27, 2009

Out and about?

After Church this afternoon I went out to the mailbox to get the newspaper (we have a newspaper slot under the mailbox). I was surprised to see a visitor sitting on the newspaper:


There was a bee sitting on the plastic, flapping her wings, and drinking from the puddle of water (I watched the puddle go down a bit). I paused for a moment, and noticed that indeed the temperature didn't seem so cold. I checked the thermometer, and it read 49 degrees, right at the point where bees can fly.

I walked out back to check out the hives, and sure enough I saw some activity:

There were a few dead bees in the front (to be expected), and surprisingly some bees flying in and out of the green hive. The brown hive had a bee at the doorstep, but I suspect it is just a visitor from next door, since I could hear no buzzing when I put my ear to the brown hive.

I was reading that it's good for the bees to have some warm fly days during the winter; they can relieve themselves outside the hive, plus they can get to some of the honey in the corners of the hive that they can't get to when they are clustered up tight on cold days.


  1. Alright! Glad your girls have had a chance to get out. Mine haven't made it out since Thanksgiving and it's not supposed to get above freezing for at least the next ten days. I hope they can hold it!

  2. Hi Steven. My beeyard and garden look just yours do - still partially covered in snow. And some of my bees did the same thing and went on a cleansing flight today. My temps were not quite as warm, though. Only about 40 but they flew last winter at that temp.

    I'm still holding out hope that your brown hive is alive.

  3. We're in the middle of our first snow storm here. It's unusual for us to not have snow sooner than now. Tonight -11 so it's getting colder. I've got plastic quilt wraps around my hives so I hope that helps. Reading your blog and the comments I'm now wondering just how long the bees can 'hold it'?

  4. Aparently they can hold it for quite a while. I found a couple of references:
    here and here (scroll down to Dysentery).


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