There is a lot of concern for honeybees, and I have promised many of you to keep you informed as to the bees progress through the year. Here is a brief status on this mid-December day.
fter a a week of heavy rain, today offered a short reprieve. While there were some clouds, we saw the sun many times today with a high of 65 degrees here at Carmel Lavender. Many people ask me what the bees do when it rains. Well, they stay home and keep warm and dry. Just like we would do, if we could get away with it! But when the sun comes out, it’s back to work again. The bees and I used this break to get some work done outside.
While in the garden, I took this photo to the right with my phone. You can see the bees were very busy today doing all that shopping they didn’t get done while it was raining. Hmmm, I thought, I really should be doing MY shopping right now! This flower we always called the ‘Christmas Plant’ because it always blooms at Christmas. (If actually know the name, please post a comment below. I’m very curious. Someone gave this one to me, and I couldn’t find the official name.) Watching for a few moments, I could see them gathering yellow pollen on their legs. They were definitely finding food.
A quick check of one of the hives, and I could see that while there was brood activity, it had indeed receded lower in the hive, and the bees were busy back-filling the unused nursery space with fresh honey. So all is well. Before the rains, I had prepped the hives with moisture boards to assist the bees in removing excess moisture, and heavy bricks to weight the hives down for the high winds expected last week. No toppled hives or lost lids. So we survived. Whew!
Right now, my annual hive loss stands at just below 20%. Obviously, I never like to lose any hives. But if the bees do well for the next two months, that would only be just slightly above where I’d like to see them. There are still two more months of winter yet to come, however. So I’ll be keeping a close eye on their progress.
If you would like to try some of this delicious honey, and support our farm keeping these cute little fuzzy critters, please visit our honey shop!