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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a Master Beekeeper! Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.


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Thursday, January 14, 2010

My bee hives in the snow last Friday ago

If we get snow in Atlanta, it rarely sticks. The major snows here in the 30 years I've lived here are mostly in March and late February....a freakish cold snap as spring is beginning.

Out of character for Atlanta, we had a major snow last Friday. It wasn't deep but it did have a layer of ice under it - which in Atlanta as humid as we are - stops traffic.

Here's what my hives looked like. My friend Diana told me that she knew her hives were alive through the snow because a heated area melted on the tops of her hives (due to the heat generated by the bees inside). My hives didn't accumulate that much snow and what was there didn't melt in any unique or significant way. (Can you tell I'm jealous of Diana's photo opp - and BTW, she didn't take a picture of it!)



Obviously there's no flying from these hives. The temperature remained in the teens and 20s all week, so I worried about my bees. It's around this time of year that the bees sometimes get fooled by Mother Nature. They have experienced some warmer days; the red maple is actually already blooming; and they start thinking spring is here when it isn't. So hives that have made it through the winter until now may suddenly be dead of starvation.



I'm too scared to put my ear to the side of the hive. I wish I were brave enough but I don't want to find out that a hive has died.
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2 comments:

  1. OH NO!! I hope they're ok!!

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  2. Anonymous12:12 AM

    One thing to consider for future is insulation BETWEEN the tin/aluminum metal and the wood when assembling the telescoping outer cover. It helps keep the heat INSIDE during the winter and OUTSIDE during the summer. Also, there is LESS condensation when the water vapor hits the cold wood. You can use the same foil/plastic bubble/foil insulation (Lowes) which I recommended for wrapping the entire hive against the bitter winter winds we've had in Lexington, Ky. Our bees have emerged after -10F wind chills for their first cleansing flights. Inspection of hives, refills and interior temp checks shows everything fine. Btw,our hives are placed on screened bottoms ALL year-not bottom boards. When you use the interior/exterior temp probes (~$10 from Lowes), you don't have to listen for the bees; you simply note that the INTERIOR temp>OUTSIDE temp by x amount and keep track of it. If ur bees are metabolizing sugars, the temps gonna be higher. If no bees alive, the temps gonna tell the story without opening the hive.

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