2017.07.21 -- BUTTERFLY AND BEES

Yay!  Our first Monarch of the year emerged...

There must be at least thirty chrysalises hanging in the baskets.

I'm taking this to mean the hive needs a little more room...

I had to smoke the heck out of them AND scoop a bunch back in before I could add a third box before closing it up for the week.

2017.02.17 -- 671 -- BEES ARE DEAD

The weather was sunny and in the mid-50s today, so I knocked off work a couple hours early to check the bees...

It didn't look good as soon as I got to the gate...  There were no bees flying, and only two-or-three dead in the snow.  The snow was white and not covered with bee poop.

I knocked on each and heard nothing.  I pulled the top and quilt box off the first.  The bees had never gotten to the top box...  It was still full of honey.  Not a single cell had been uncapped.  All the wax was cold, hard, and crunchy.  I pulled out a couple frames from the top box to look down into the middle box...  It looked to be the same.  There was a scattering of dead bees, but not even a cupful.  I closed up the hive and put a cork in the entrance.  The second hive was the same.

Sometime in the spring I'll pull the hives apart to see how many dead bees there are in the bottom.  They could have been stupid and flown off last fall, but I don't see both hives doing that.  The hives are dry, insulated, and full of food, and the weather has been pretty mild.