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Momma Said There’d Be Days Like This . . .

The weather guy predicted a high of 40 today! The reality was more like 33, but that’s close enough, and besides that, the only moderatly-viable time in the foreseeable future to feed the bees. So, Robin was flying solo and figured she could knock this task out in 45 minutes.  Phhbbbbbbbbbt.

The path to the bee yard wasn’t as bad as I imagined, but 4WD was very handy.

[reevvvvvvv] Let’s do this!

A sight for sore eyes! Hives still in place!

We’re still standing!

Uh yahhh, suit up, even in the winter, because I’m a sting magnet. And true to form, Lena was a royal nag and the net was a good thing.

2-15 RP net

Safety first, safety always … or a shot in da butt.

All five colonies were looking good! Didn’t want to leave top off for more than a few seconds, to conserve heat, but here was a quick photo of calm bees after I threw a few winter patties on the dinner table.

2-15 inside hive

Dinner is served.

And then there is Lena. Lena is grumpy even when I bust my tail to tromp out in the snow and feed her troops.

2-15 Lena

“WE SHALL BOIL OUT OF THIS WARM HIVE, TO CERTAIN DEATH, TO ATTACK YOUR GLOVED HANDS! ARRRGGGGG!”

And here is one of the ~20 bees from Lena that decided by gloved hands MUST DIE.

2-15 sting

“TAKE THAT YOUR CRUMMY POLARTEC GLOVE … OVER TOP OF A LEATHER GLOVE!!”

Yep, the mice are still enjoying the insulated confines of the winter hive set-up.

Rodents.

It’s always good to see live bees guarding the breathing tubes.

2-15 bees in tube

Bees in da tube.

So there I was, only about 30 minutes into my task, feeling good about seeing many bees in healthy-looking clusters. Time to pack up and go home!  But wait, my spider senses tell me that something is amiss here…

2-15 flat tire

[insert profanity here]

And here is where the beauty of small town Iowa comes into focus. While stranded in the middle of a prairie a couple miles away from town, I put out a ‘ahhhh, I’m in a bind out here‘ Facebook post, and a short time later the calvary rides over the hill and saves the day!

My hero! Brent Smith gets free honey! (Assuming the bees decide to make honey in 2015…)

Here ends the story of winter feeding. And everyone lived happily ever after – including the tire-fixit guys at Trickles.  *sigh*

 

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About Idiots Keeping Bees

We're always looking for new adventures, and well, learning about beekeeping seemed like a good idea. We had one hive in 2011, and we've increased since then Our goal is 10ish colonies, but we haven't hit our mark quite yet. We've found talking with other beekeepers to be invaluable, so we're starting this blog to keep long-distance conversations rolling throughout the year. If we can figure out beekeeping, so can you!

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