The history of bee hives at the Genuine Faux Farm is not replete with success stories. In fact, we have not had a hive survive the Winter until... this one!
Last year was the first year Tammy tried her hand at managing the bees herself (rather than having someone else do it). Before you tell us it must be something we did, I think she will confirm that we still barely know what we are doing with them. We suspect it had as much to do with the location we selected and a mild Winter than anything else.
About the only other thing we can think of is that we did not harvest honey from this hive last year (other than the little bit that they deposited on the pallet under the hive itself). After all, their main purpose is to serve as pollinators on our farm.
We have always taken pollinator habitat seriously on our farm, so you can't really argue that this is the sole difference. Perhaps we have finally built a system that provides food for bees for a much longer period of time? I've tried to ask the bees and I believe they are thinking about it.
Why do I say that? Well, the response I always get when I ask them a question is "Hmmmmmmmmmm."
Tammy was able to get the hive open this past weekend and she put some extra food (sugar water) into the hive just in case there is a bit of a shortage for a time. But, we noticed the Nanking Cherries blooming today and we're seeing the violets and ajuga blooming in the grassy areas. It won't be long until the dandelions go nuts and some of our flowering bushes and trees burst into bloom.
Hang in there bees! The smorgasbord is on its way!