It's a slow time for beeks right now. Time to read up on some articles or books, talk to other bee keepers, read blogs, go to a class or club connect. Make plans for the upcoming bee season. This time of year it maybe a good time to plan for what you want to do next year. Are you a brand new bee keeper? Or are you an old timer or maybe somewhere in between?
For myself? I'm hoping my girls over-winter well. My hive is quiet, no activities around the hive since it's in the 20's and 30's here. But my hive sits in the sun all day and from time to time I see a bee or two flying around. There is a massive pile of dead bees (which surprises me since we have chickens) at the entrance. This is not unusual it happens every-time we get a sudden cold snap and snow. Not really sure why that happens but it doesn't seem to have harmed the hive any, just seem to me that the dead ones didn't make it back inside before they died.
I've gone over to the hive and listened, there seems to be a constant hum. I'm not feeding them just leaving them alone. When we have a warm day or two they come on out.
I got a new bee suit for Christmas (Purple! AND made in the USA!) I also got new boots to go with it. I'm hoping my bees over winter well enough to be able to split next year. If not, my plan is to have 2 more hives in friend's yards. That way I can help them get set up, I'll work the hives, they can reap the benefits of the wonderful bees in their gardens and we will split any honey up at the end. I'm excited to give the T-bar hive a try.
One of my main gifts that I gave this year for the holiday was Lip balm. I made close to 40 containers of it. It's THE best lip balm I've ever used! Here is my recipe.
1 oz bee wax, clean
1 tbs honey
4 oz coconut oil
(optional... flavoring, I used honey)
in double boiler melt the wax, add the honey and oil mix well and let heat until smooth, using a turkey baster or large syringe extract the mixture and add to lip balm containers. Let set till firm.
Well, that's really all that we can do this time of year, just enjoy some home made bread with a slather of honey. Happy New Year!