October 13, 2008

First Frost

We had our first frost last night. I think that's about 2 weeks later than "normal." The overnight lows seem to be manageable for the bees so far, but we did have a momentary scare the other morning. When peering through the window, there wasn't a bee to be seen! None on the combs, none on the feeding tray, not a single bee just walking around aimlessly (which they do – they aren't always busy, it turns out). Could CCD have struck home?! Why would they leave? Damn the window has so much glare!

Then it occurred to me. The hive was still in the shade, so a flashlight was in order. Sure enough, the bees had withdrawn into the recesses and tucked themselves tightly between the combs for warmth. In the deep, dark bee space, I could see tiny bee heads shining back at me. Later, when the sun had risen just a bit more and had warmed the hive, the bees came out and foraged.

Interestingly, at least to me, the drones have not been kicked out yet. We refilled the feeding tray 4 days ago, in anticipation of Winter's sneak preview, so they're probably thinking there's no need to ration yet.
10/23/08 Weather Update: First Hard Freeze - the girls are starting to get a little defensive now and are patrolling the sides of the hive. So much for the constant carefree window-peering.
Today's High: 51°F (Normal: 59°F)
Overnight Low: 28°F (Normal: 33°F)

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