Grocery shopping has taken on a new meaning in the pandemic. Grocery shopping is my favorite of all the household chores. I love the orderliness of a grocery store, the bright lighting, and the products from around the world. I like trying to find the subtle Jedi mind tricks that the grocery store uses to get me to buy more. Grocery shopping has become a more harrowing and utilitarian chore since the pandemic. I no longer linger in the aisles. I get in and out like a commando hoping that I haven’t contracted a deadly virus along the way. Our local bee club hosted a virtual club meeting this month with the Kentucky State Apiarist, Dr. Tammy Horn Potter. She educated us on honey bee nutrition and discussed what forager bees have on their “grocery list.” In this post, I will share with you some of Dr. Potter’s facts, which blew my mind. Her talk resonated with me since I like both bees and grocery stores. Continue reading
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.