We don't need to tell anyone how long, cold and snowy this winter has been. But from the warmth of our house looking out into the apiary one wonders how much tougher it must be on that little colony of bees trying to survive to better, abundant days of spring. Winter does take its toll, we've lost three of our hives since last fall. We are not sure of the reason but likely they just ran out of access to their stored honey and the numbers so declined they could not maintain the cluster through this seemingly endless winter.
They should have been able to withstand, but other factors may have contributed. One of the worst factors is for one single, short warm period on a single day followed by extreme cold for several days. The cluster will break up and the bees will move about, move honey, clean up the hive and go for short flights around the hive. If the cluster does not reform back in a fashion to partially cover some honey supplies, they simply run out of food and starve. The cluster can be only inches from a plentiful supply of honey.
With that said, we are awaiting the spring warm up and to see how the remaining hives are doing. Earlier checks showed they had plenty of honey stored. Hopefully, we will have a great spring with plenty of locust blooms. In the meantime, we will start new colonies this spring replacing those lost through the winter of 2014. We will post and get the word out if and when our 2014 honey will be available. Thanks for dropping by.