Just a few weeks ago, the hills were covered in snow and it was bitterly cold. Yesterday dawned chilly with the thermometer reading 26. The world was shrouded in white; not snow, but a chalky fog and all surfaces thinly coated with glistening ice. The sun burned away the fog and ice, and the mercury quickly rose to the mid-40s.
M has been worried about the bees with the odd weather –hot, cold, hot; wet, and more wet—the sudden damp shifts are quite difficult for a hive as it makes it more difficult to regulate interior temperatures. In the winter months, the bees stay inside and do not venture out, but rather cluster around the Queen to keep her warm. Having said that, bees like to do housekeeping, and on a warm day in January, one can see them leaving the hive, carrying out waste. Around noon, with the sun shining directly on the hive, M and I wandered over to see if there was any activity. The hive was all abuzz with many bees flying around the entrance. One of the bees even buzzed by our heads, perhaps to give us a greeting. Hooray! A very welcome sign to see the bees alive and hard at work, taking advantage of the warm winter’s day. Thank you, Mother Nature, for rendering a perfect day for us to check in on the bees.
Today, however, snow flurries and a very gray sky are on hand, and the hive from the outside is quiet, but we now know that it is humming with activity inside.