The temperature outside as I type is 16 degrees F (-9 degrees C). The worst part about winter in Kentucky is that all of January and most of February is gray. Glimpses of the sun are rare. Everybody gets depressed and ill tempered probably because we are all starved for vitamin D. Winter brings an extra layer of frustration since I developed eczema. The cold, dry air makes eczema worse, and I am unable to wear sweaters because they aggravate my skin. I just keep layering long sleeve cotton t-shirts to fortify myself against the cold. To counter my gray mood, I scrolled through my 2019 pictures and am sharing my favorites with you. Think of this post as honey flavored eye candy. Enjoy. Continue reading
Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. Doug and I have a huge project starting in 2020 that we are happy to share with you. We are creating a 26 acre conservation area and pollinator habitat. This is unlike anything we have ever done before, but if Morgan Freeman, can do it so can we. (In case you didn’t know, Morgan Freeman recently converted his 124 acre ranch in Mississippi to a bee sanctuary. I am a huge Morgan Freeman fan. He actually helped me learn to read thanks to his work on the Electric Company.)
Snow is covering the ground here, and the bees are all clustered around their respective queens keeping them warm for the winter. Just before the really cold weather hit, Doug installed quilt boxes and inserted winter patties into each hive. Quilt boxes contain burlap and wood shavings that can absorb condensation. Moisture is a killer of bees in the winter. The bee cluster stays about 80 degrees F, and moisture can condense on the inner cover of the hive. The quilt box catches the condensation instead of letting it drip back onto the bees. Most of our bees have lots of stored honey, but the winter patties are an extra source of nutrition just in case they need it. Since the bees are all snuggled in for the winter, I decided to write about what I have been doing to transform my flower garden into a monarch waystation.
Honey bees have the perfect self-governing system. All the bees gladly subjugate themselves to an omnipotent queen. When a queen falters, the members of the colony rally together to produce a new queen. Every action a honey bee takes from the moment of birth until the moment of death is done for the good of the colony. Honey bees are sophisticated, selfless creatures. Humans occupy a higher rung on the taxonomy chart, but in my opinion, it is the honey bee that is more virtuous. For this reason, I become annoyed when honey bees are used for political purposes and that is what happened this month. Continue reading