December 04, 2013

That makes me mad.

My husband and I were talking about healthcare reform, and about how we're getting screwed because [big inhale] he's self-employed, and his current bare-bones actually affordable insurance is being cancelled – because it doesn't include the mandatory maternity component (and other crap he doesn't need) – AND we're not allowed to file our taxes separately so that he can get a subsidy, which translates to we're being penalized for being married. Which all led me to say,
"You know what? That makes me mad."
But wait there's more! (and it is about bees).

I'm also freaking out a little bit because yesterday's high was 55°F and it's double-digit subzero right now. The bees were likely quite active yesterday and with this kind of sudden drop in temperature, it's also likely that some bees got caught outside the safety of the cluster. They may desperately bunch together, but two separate clusters does not always work. Neither may have the mass needed to generate the heat that enables a cluster to move to get food. Food is fuel. Fuel is heat. What can save a colony in a situation like this, is having wrapped the hive with insulation. Insulation does not warm the hive. It simply moderates temperature extremes, so instead of 55°F down to 5° within hours, the bees only feel 55° down to 10°, gradually. This few degrees and the extra time can mean the difference between forming a proper cluster and isolation starvation.

I didn't feel comfortable telling our hivesitter that he had to wrap the Warré hive. After all it is his hive, but since Prime is dead — about which we both said, "I wonder what happened?* How sad." — it's been earmarked as ours (or at least to split from) come Spring. I reminded him that the hive wrap was in his garage somewhere, twice, and left it at that. I have a horrible feeling that I should've insisted, and that in a week's time I'm not going to be sad. I'm going to be kicking myself, saying, "You know what? That makes me mad."

*even sight unseen, I'm saying it was varroa.


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