Winter is the nervous season for beekeepers. December is the month that I prepare to celebrate Christmas and the month that I begin to obsess about whether our bees are alive or dead. My anxieties were further fueled this month when another Kentucky beekeeper posted on Facebook that she found one of her colonies had died. What was happening to our bees? The bees’ unknown condition continuously stoked my anxiety. Continue reading
Tuesday was warm for December (46 °F/ 8 °C), so I walked to the hives to see if any bees were flying. We went into winter with three colonies of bees: Alpha (our strongest colony with ~60,000 bees in two brood boxes), Bravo (~30,000 bees in two brood boxes), and Echo (~20,000 bees in one brood box). Bees were flying in and out of Echo and Bravo, but Alpha showed no signs of life. You can check out my last post to see how we got our bees ready for winter.