Beehive Fail

When I had a beekeeping friend inspect my hive early this summer, she said that the hive was way too small and not building up properly, and was likely not going to make it through the winter.  I requeened in September, and I fed and hoped.  The hive dwindled down in numbers, but I didn’t realize they had gotten so low on stores, until they started dying off.  Within a couple of days, the hive failed and the bees were almost all dead, of starvation and cold.

Some of the bees were head-down in empty cells.

These look like they’re going about their bee business… but they froze in place.

This is all the bees that were left in the hive.  There was a pile scattered on the ground in front of the hive as well.

In the interest of finding at least some silver lining, this means that the hive can be used again; there wasn’t any sign of disease or poison.  It doesn’t help much on making me feel like less of a bad person, though.  I do want to try again in the spring.

Chickens Don’t Like the Snow

We got a little snow last night.

It snowed a couple of inches yesterday, but then melted off, and snowed again overnight.  This morning, we had just a dusting on everything, but it was all fluffy and frozen.

I always think our house looks best with snow on it.

The garden got just enough snow to look forlorn, without getting enough to look Winter Wonderland.

I opened up the coop, and the chickens all huddled in the back, giving me a beady-eyed glare that clearly stated, “Screw this cold white stuff, we’re staying inside.”

A handful of hen scratch eventually lured them out…

… except for Freebird, who decided that she didn’t like the snow AT ALL, and kept walking back and forth in the un-snowy space under the eaves.

She was clearly torn – she really wanted the corn, but she was afraid of the snow.

I eventually gave her a little bit of corn under the eaves.