It’s official, all three of my colonies are still alive!
We’ve had a very cold winter for our area, and I wasn’t sure what to expect since this is my first overwintering with bees. So far things have been pretty shut down buzzwise with no activity at all and a lot of dead bees outside the entrances. Today was the first warm sunny day we’ve had in weeks and to my great happiness I noticed bees flowing in and out of all three hives.
Some of my hive parts are a little worse for wear with all the moisture we’ve had and will likely have to be replaced in spring. All that really matters though is that there seems to be good numbers of girls busy cleaning out bee bodies, going on cleansing flights and generally looking very healthy indeed.
Winter isn’t actually over yet, but I’m optimistic all my hives will be around come springtime when they will hopefully swarm, and I will hopefully catch those swarms!
I’m always amazed at how fast the snowdrops come up. These have been blooming for a week already! Such beautiful and cheerful little harbingers of spring.
While I was away visiting family for the holidays I received a text from my house sitter right around x-mas: “You have a new duckling”.
I knew my two Muscovy hens had been sitting on eggs for some time, but I didn’t expect any to hatch in the cold weather we had been experiencing. Apparently there were initially three ducklings but two didn’t make it past their first day. I gave instructions to add a shallow water dish and change the feed over to chick crumble in order to try to keep the remaining duckie alive.
We’ve been having the coldest winter since I moved here and I wasn’t sure this little duck would be able to stay warm, but somehow he has. He’s a few weeks old now and doing very well. Since the gardens are now kaput I’ve opened up the duck pen to give them free reign of the yard and now they meet me at the back door every morning for their portion of fermented grains. Such a cute little family!
I always leave boxes and packaging out for shipments I’ve received so the cats can fully exhaust their “usefulness”. They loved this fancy shredded paper from Scotland! It will be destined for the compost pile after hanging out under some rabbit cages for a bit.
Of course it means waking up to this scene every day for a week. Totally worth it.