Saturday, January 1, 2011

Bee Ready For The New Year

We have been in a (wonderful) deep freeze for weeks now. It was 9 degrees the other morning (Loved. It). Thursday the breezes blew in from the south and the sun came out. Ewenice and Renny had some company besides The Adventure Chickens.

Bees in a hive stay in a cluster around their queen when it's cold, taking turns generating heat by vibrating their bodies, and are able to keep the inside of the cluster around 80 degrees or so. On warm winter days (50 degrees or so) they break up and fly outside and go to the bathroom.

They also carry out any bees that have died. New Year's traditions instruct us to clean everything up so we don't carry the previous year's dirt into the new year. I think these bees are in good shape.

I walked out to the Frog Pond hives and spotted a bunny napping under what Stella and I refer to as the Mouse Hive. Looks like we might need to change that to the Leaning Tower if we aren't careful.

Back to the bunny. While you sure wouldn't want a skunk or possum or some other sort of bee/honey predator hanging out around your hives, I can't see what harm a rabbit could do. Maybe I'm fixin' to learn a lesson, but I'm hoping it was just a good nap spot hidden away from overhead raptors.

I've seen a couple rabbits lately. We haven't had any around here for several years. I wonder if Hank keeping the coyotes and foxes at bay has allowed them to regain some territory. I sure don't want them in my garden, but I enjoy seeing them out back.

Click to biggify if you'd like to see some dead bees and bee poop. Since a good part of my job revolves around cleaning up poop, the thought of someone doing it themselves is quite refreshing ;-).

You can see the bee on the right dragging away a dead bee. I like how you can see her legs working so hard, dragging away almost her own body weight. Bees are just fascinating, eh?

Happy New Year! I hope you were able to clear out all your 2010 dirt and detritus. I didn't do a great job, but as the past year was pretty good to me, I'm not too worried about carrying it forward into the new year. Hope I'm not fixin' to learn another lesson ;-).

Spend some time today doing things you want to be doing for the rest of the year. I'll be up at the Wool House from 1:00 to 4:00 if anyone wants to come out and spin, knit, weave, rug hook... We'll keep cleaning toilets and folding laundry to a minimun ;-).


Jody said...

I will be doing fibery stuff today for sure. It's raining here and the snow is melting too. We are getting March weather in January.
Tomorrow is my 50th birthday (eeeek) so I am enjoying my last day of being in my 40's! (where did they go???)

Tiggeriffic said...

I didn't know this about bees.. Very interesting.. They are so strong carrying the dead ones out of the nest..
I loved the little rabbit.. curled up sleeping. Flopsy,Mobsy and Cottentail are close by I'm sure.
Have a great day...ta ta for now..from Iowa..

Linda said...

Happy New's 10 belos F. here this morning......NO bees yet.

Phyllis said...

Thank you for yet another gift, Sara -- unbeelievable. Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Sara, I'm looking forward to another year with you and your wooly sweeties. :)

Pam said...

Mmmmmmmm...bunny hunny!!!

Mom L said...

Amazing shots of the bees! Wish I could hire some to clear out my old stuff. Most of our snow melted the other day, but we'll be getting more, I'm sure.

Happy New Year to you!

Nancy in Iowa

Alice said...

Looks like you have a pretty nice survival rate for your bees. Glad to see that we aren't the only ones who have to clean on a week end holiday. Wonder if there is a Bee Bowl on today!

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

looking forward to another year of your blogs

Gayle said...

I find your bee work fascinating. We've have bee/hornet allergies so I've never become involved with them other then the natural pollinating they do of my flowers. I think I would really love them as much as the worms.

Michelle said...

Today I've spun on my mS and I'm going out to ride my horse; wouldn't mind doing both of these things every day this year!


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