Here in Oklamania we have the extreme temperatures. There are several reasons for it, so I am told, but I don't like it whatever the reason(s). Anyway, last week we had below -0- temps every night for a while and then it was only 5 or 6 F the other nights. I did wrap my bee hive but I don't know how any warm weather bug could survive -0- temps.
I went out last Tue. or Wed. because the sun had been out most all day. The temp was still only about 15 - 16 F and guess what. The stupid little creatures decided to go out and play. They did, however, forget their little fur coats so the ones who made it out the door froze. I counted eight bee bodies in the snow I could plainly see. There may have been other I couldn't see.
If this weather continues I will not have any bees. Next year, after I start all over, I may put all my bees in Styrofoam containers with a small light bulb for warmth. That couldn't be worse than losing two hives. Of course, that sort of thing is unheard of and the light would probably short out frying all of them. I do not think I could have fried bees for Sunday dinner.
For those not from Oklahoma, this is an unusual winter. Our temps seldom get to an actual -0-F and when the temp does get there, it does not stay long. Yes, I should be singing, "Oh Lucky Me, I get to learn the worst on my first winter of my first year." (To be sung to the tune of Happy Days Are Here Again. Yes, it can be done, just squeeze some of the words together)
According to the experts, it is time to start feeding bees a formula to promote more broods. Wellsir, that will be hard to do as I have a great deal of difficulty getting to the hive and then if I raise the lid to put in a feeder, that will let in 12 F cold air and freeze all the bees that are left alive - if any.
I think I shall wait to start the brood formula as I can't afford little fur coats for all of them.
I have ordered two starter hives and a new queen for this hive. I want a queen from a gentle hive as she would produce more gentle bees, not like these smart alecks. You would think they were all Middle School girls all trying out for cheerleader.
You may recall that this is the aggressive bunch of bees. I can just say out loud, "Today is about the time I should check to see if the bees still have feed," or any other subject of that nature. That hive of bees knows when I get in a hurry and do not get completely suited up.
They quietly walk around the top bars and quietly whisper orders. They wait until I have the top cover off, have taken off the feeder and have my back turned to place the feeder on a stand and then...
"ATTACK" some beeness screams and here they come.
After I have replaced everything they continue to buzz me. I usually back as far away as I can but one or two continue to harass me.
Keep in mind that these are not Africanized bees, these are just naturally mean little buggers. The hive that froze (called the West hive) was the same bees; in fact, the aggressive bees came from that hive. I could work the West hive with very little or no protection. I would just be slow, gentle and careful.
This bunch, the pink hive, have been mad at me ever since I captured them in their first swarm. I really believe they thought they were going to start a new colony in some far away exotic place. "But NO!! That same old man got us and moved us about 30 feet away. Here we are in the same old place and there are absolutely NO wild flowers anywhere as we were promised by the Beeness who talked us into leaving the original hive."
I have it on good authority that confabulation took place. The rest of that story is that they have tried to wreak revenge ever since I recaptured them as they swarmed and put them in a new hive box in the same yard.
And I thought I was being so clever.