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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 16th year of beekeeping in April 2021. Now there are more than 1300 posts on this blog. Please use the search bar below to search the blog for other posts on a subject in which you are interested. You can also click on the "label" at the end of a post and all posts with that label will show up. At the very bottom of this page is a list of all the labels I've used.

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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
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Monday, January 04, 2010

Desperate for (about) the bees

It's deathly cold in Atlanta. I woke up to 17 degree temperature this morning and tonight it's supposed to go down to 15. I both want to and don't want to go put my ear against the hives to see if there's any stirring inside.

This is a rough time for the bees, but at least we are not in Nebraska or Kansas or Alaska. But it is certainly COLD......I would not want to bee a bee or for that matter a homeless person, a bird in a tree or any creature who has to be outside tonight.

And the bad news is that this is going to continue throughout the weekend.

Like the weather guy said in the paper today: in the South when we have these cold patches, usually it only lasts for a day or two and then it's back up in the 50s.


  1. Anonymous10:32 PM

    Don't worry Linda, my bees went through a few days of below 20 and a few weeks of 20's. I just saw them the other day and all 4 hives were out flying.

    If they were strong in the fall, with enough stores for the winter, they should be ok.

    I understand though how you feel as many beekeepers lose hives this time of year.

    Do the work, but surrender the results.

    Take care
    Annette from Placerville California

  2. It is sooooo cold in Georgia right now (we're in Winder so not far from you at all)...I hope the bees will be ok!

  3. Anonymous2:13 AM

    It was 14.9 degrees here on Sunday morning, so I know where you're coming from, Linda. I did a post about it too. Like Georgia, North Carolina rarely gets these extremely frigid winters. My girls went into winter with a bustling hive and lots of stored honey, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all is okay. I have mine crossed for you too!

  4. I wonder about the poor little birds too! I sure hope your bees stay strong and make it through what appears to be a very very cold southern winter.

  5. Hi Linda, don't worry about your hives, bees are able to survive the cold much better than we sometimes can imagine. I'm in Indianapolis, so a lot further north than you, and it's a crazy 10F right now. Last year my bees survived a winter with -4F for several nights and howling winds just fine. I try to keep the plus side if cold winter in mind too...this cold will surely do in some SHB, and that's a good thought... :-)

  6. We've had -20 that last two nights here in Nebraska and expect a few more overnights this cold for the next couple of days. The "good" thing is that we also have gotten over two feet of snow over the last month so hopefully our hives are well insulated under it. We can't even get out to check them but I guess we'll find out how they fare when some of the snow melts and we can get to them in a few months.

  7. Same BRRRRRRRRRRR weather here in Richmond VA. Everything xxed
    for our girls.

  8. Anonymous10:07 PM

    Hi Linda,
    We're just outside of Lexington, Ky @1000ft abv sea level. The wind chill has been running -7F to -10F. Luckily before the super cold weather set in, we surrounded each 4 deep hive body hive with the foil/plastic air pocket/foil insulation. This keeps the wind out and keeps the wind from chilling the SIDES of the hive bodies. To measure the insulation's effect, we dropped an inexpensive temp probe from Lowes which can measure OUTSIDE or INSIDE temp as well as MAX and MIN. AFTER the insulation was placed, the interior temp at junction of hive body 2 and 3(half way) ROSE five degrees within 15 minutes. It is critical to keep the wind off the hive bodies and provide some R value to allow the bees to access stores of honey or sugar solution (in division feeder since they CANNOT reach solution in hive top feeder). To hold this foil insulation on, use bungies so you can remove easily for "cleansing flights."

  9. Anonymous12:31 AM

    Hi Linda ~
    I'm in ALASKA & my bees are doing ok! :) I worry too when it gets cold & we had cold snap down to 1 degee ~ I'm in Anchorage & we're on the coast so we don't below zero often. I think our average temp in winter is something like 28 or 32 degrees F. Anyway, I'm sure they're fine! Go put your head on the side of the box & tap gently & you'll hear them stir ~ very reasurring! Take Care, Tam :)

  10. Anonymous11:55 AM

    Hi Linda! I'm in Nebraska and I've lost one hive to a snowdrift. When I dug it out they were already dead. I'm worried about my other hive. It's reassuring to hear good reports from around the country.

  11. It's so good to hear from so many people from all over the country. I know this is an extra cold winter in the south and east but if you can survive in ALASKA, I think we'll probably be OK in Atlanta. I do worry about the bees in the rescued tree sections. Thank you to everyone who has chimed in - it also is nice to know you are all out there, reading and following me.

  12. I'm relieved to say both our hives are flying today!


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