Whether we’re talking about my bees or this blog, they are both back from the dead.
I haven’t written in a while because I didn’t think my bees we’re going to make it. In my mind, for the past 6 months, they were already dead. Things weren’t going well (documented in previous posts) and I figured the winter would finish them off. I was discouraged and didn’t want to talk about it anymore.
Well, I was wrong on all accounts. The bees have once again surprised and delighted me. And everyone’s advice has once again proven true: the bees can take care of themselves.
Going into winter, the colony’s numbers had dwindled considerably, and it looked like they’d already eaten all of their honey stores. Every time I checked on them, they seemed more doomed. Their numbers were down and I couldn’t find the queen. After that, I sort of left them for dead. I stopped feeding them and didn’t insulate the hive the way I’d planned to.
When I checked on them intermittently throughout the winter, I would always walk away pleasantly surprised with their condition, but I’d also walk away pessimistically, anticipating they wouldn’t survive much longer. That continued until about a month ago when I finally realized these girls have real fight in them.
On that day, I starting feeding them again. And when I checked on them yesterday, they were actually already bringing pollen into the hive. Where they were getting pollen in February after two weeks of solid freeze, I don’t know (one friend suggested it was from buds at the tops of trees) but I was delighted.
Never again will I give up on my bees. They obviously don’t give up on each other. It’s just another on the long list of things I’ve learned from them about how a community should function. When you work together, you can accomplish a lot.
So, I’m sorry to you and I’m sorry to my bees. I hope to write more frequently and better document my journey throughout the coming season, a year I have very high hopes for considering the early start they are getting.
Here is a slow motion video of the bees from a few days ago. Enjoy.