Friday, December 18, 2009

Hunkered down honey bees! We're ready for a significant snow event...

Welcome to winter everyone! Okay, I should clarify and say that winter is here in my area now. The first official day of winter on the calendar is three days from now, but that makes no difference to old man winter who has a mind of his own. While other areas of the country have already had a taste of winter weather, my area of North Carolina is currently experiencing the first significant winter event in years. Sure its been cold, but this is the first time that wintry precipitation has hit my area of the state this year. 

Right now, the snowfall amounts vary. Some places are reporting 6 to 8, even 10 inches of snow in my area, and to the west of me in the mountains, they're reporting up to 12+ inches of snow right now. And the wintry weather is not expected to end for another 10 or so hours. The last time we has a simular snow event was back in 2002. 

People from other areas of the country always laugh that Southerners in the United States make a big deal of winter weather...that's because around soon as the forecasters call for snow or ice...people rush out and buy milk and bread like they'll be stuck inside for weeks. What can I say? Its a southern thing! Plus you can always make French toast with all that left-over milk and bread. 

When I checked my hive this week, I noticed that my bees had stopped taking their winter syrup. Even though the weather has been fairly mild up until now, it is evident that my girls have all the winter feed they need, so they stopped taking the syrup. I took the feeder off, dumped the excess syrup, and shut the hive up for the rest of the winter. I looked down into the hive which is completely packed with capped honey, a dark gold color, so they have what they need for now. I'll keep a check on the hive through the rest of the winter to see how their food store is doing, and if needed, I'll start the syrup feeding again. But for now, I'm sure they're all warm and snuggly in their winter cluster deep inside the hive. When I tapped the side and listened with my ear against the lower deep, I heard the steady buzz, so I know they're doing okay.

The picture above, showing my hunkered down hive, was made just after the snow began. The picture to the right was made from my office in downtown Reidsville. As soon as I can get out later, in the daylight, I'll make some more pictures of the area, including of how my bee hive fared in this pretty significant winter weather event for this area.

Oh, and for the first time in forever, the weather forecasters are calling for another snow event here...on Christmas Eve! Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and he may find snow when he comes to the Triad area for Christmas! Gosh..I'm so excited!

More later!


  1. Hi Mark. Couldn't wait to see your post. We were supposed to be in K'ville for the weekend for parties, but used our better judgement and didn't get on the roads yesterday. Thank goodness! I-40 and I-26 thru Asheville were both closed with over 600 accidents reported. Local roads were impassible. The snow came too fast and hard for the plows to do much good.

    I talked to my friend in K'ville this morning and they were out digging paths so the Scotties could go out. We have about 8" but the sun is out and it looks like it's going to be a pretty day. I think we all may have a white Christmas :)

  2. You folks really are getting snow! Glad your bees are doing well. Enjoy the days and have a wonderful Chrismtas and New Year!

  3. Mark what type of feeders do you utilize? Do you use the plastic frame feeders, top hive body feeders, or some type of jars mounted in a makeshift top.

    Curious to know as a learning beekeeper.

    Eastern NC



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