Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Some days you eat bear........

Some days you eat bear and other days the bear eats you. That's our catch-phrase for "you win some, you lose some". I have been suspecting for a while that our bees were all dead; the hives were placed facing South and were pretty well protected, but they have been eerily silent of late. Our suspicions were confirmed today when I opened the hive to find scads of dead bees. Our weather comes from the North and West but this winter we had weeks of howling wind and snow blow up from the South. That has never happened since we've lived here and I worried at the time that the bees wouldn't survive. We wrapped the hive to try to forestall a disaster but it was all for nought. They basically starved to death. Since bees cluster to keep warm and can't really move when cold, they can starve when there's food 6 inches from them. We found several frames still partially filled with honey like the one below.

So we pulled them out and brought them in the house. The children cleaned the dead bees from 3 boxes worth of frames and brought them in the house and will do the other 3 tomorrow. Mice love to nest in empty bee boxes and feast on the wax, so we needed to take the wax frames out of temptation's way. ;-) Now the house smells wonderfully of honey! Of all things farming, beekeeping smells the best, it just permeates the air and fills your lungs with the sweet, earthy scent of honey.

I finished off our second gallon of syrup today and have been thinking about making maple jelly. Maple jelly on toast, maple jelly with peanut butter, maple jelly on waffles with whipped cream............. I've never tried it before but it gets rave reviews, so maybe I'll experiment.

I am going to draw the syrup winner this weekend, so be watching for your name!

2 comments :

  1. That's a shame about the bees. I heard earlier this week that the Audubon Society is starting a study about the demise of the honey bees. Seems a little late in coming, but more power to 'em.

    Can't wait for the drawing! Keeping my fingers crossed!

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  2. Oh, that's too bad about your bees. I didn't realize that they could die with food so close.

    Your children are getting such wonderful life lessons and experiences, Paris. Wish I that we could have kept living on the land we had when the children were young. That is the way they should be raised. Oh well, it is what it is.

    I have never heard of maple jelly. Sounds yummy.

    Have a blessed day, my friend. :0)

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