Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bees in This "Polar Vortex"




Last week, actual temperatures dipped down to the negative double digits.  I saw -15 at one point, and the wind was making the wind chill well below -20.  Then yesterday.  So weird.  I had to go out and so I waited for the torrential RAIN to slow.  The temperature was in the 40's.  But with the rain, I do not imagine any bees tried a cleansing flight.  As I drove, the rain turned into a virtual white out of snow for about 20 minutes.  Upon arrival, parking my car, the sun came out and shone brightly and the sky turned to bright blue.  But the temperatures headed back down.   Last night, back into the negative numbers with an even greater wind chill.  All fine for those of us inside--people, dogs and cats.  Even the chickens have a heat lamp and don't seem to be too stressed out in their cozy coop.  

But again I am losing sleep over "bugs in a box." (John's quote)   

Last night I placed an order for a new package of bees in the spring from our local supplier at Warm Colors Apiary.  Today I am thinking I should make that two packages of bees.  At $104 per package this is a costly winter.

The price of bees is going up.  When the price of honey goes up, more bee package suppliers want to keep their own hives strong so that they can produce honey, rather than sell their bees.  I think the honey pays better than pollination services.  Also there are just fewer bees around to sell because of their dwindling numbers.  

As you all sit inside by your fires, because I know it is very cold over most of the US right now, think of how you might positively impact our bee populations.  Look at the lists of things to plant that will benefit the bees.  And having the bees in your gardens will benefit your plants.  Also, consider joining the ranks of those who keep bees.  I will be offering a class at the beginning of February that will help those who are looking into becoming beekeepers.  If you are in my area, and are interested, the class will help you with the most immediate questions you may have about beekeeping.  You will want to join a series of classes from your local bee clubs afterwards. And because the supply of bees to purchase is well below the current demands, you must put an order in very, very soon, or you will not even have the option of starting up this year.  Please watch for the details coming up soon on this blog.
If you are interested you may contact me though my comments or directly by email now and we will chat.  I encourage you to go ahead and order your bees before this class.  There will be ample time to learn about their care in the next few months.  I will offer more than one session if there is enough interest.
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