Friday, December 14, 2012

Settling in for winter, waiting to see what happens

The garden is plowed, the cold weather has begun, and the bees are -- mostly -- in the hives.

Cold weather in East Tennessee, of course, doesn't mean what it does in Nebraska or Vermont. We're waking up this December to some heavy frosts, with temps in the upper 20s at best, and then looking forward to early afternoon highs around 55 or 60.

So, to lots of folks, this ain't cold.

Still, it's the best we can do down here close to the Smokies, and we'll take whatever comes along.

We're down to six Langstroth hives and two topbars. The Langstroths appear to have plenty of bees, but I'm not so sure about the topbars. The Langstroths have plenty of feed on them at the moment, and we put some protein patties on the topbars, so we will see what happens.

That's what beekeepers do most of the time: wait to see what happens.

Would that it were otherwise, but one thing beekeeping teaches you is to take the long view. There have been years (too many) where there were no bees in the hives at all. The spring couldn't come soon enough in those sad seasons.

Now, however, I can take some comfort in the fact that I need a rest from the bees, and they undoubtedly need a rest from me.

We'll leave it at that right now, and continue to do what beekeepers do.

Here's how things look in the freshly plowed garden:

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