On Friday, December 16, 8" of snow fell in my area of the mountains. Up to 2' of snow was recorded in other areas of the mountains and some folks are still without power. Thankfully, power was not lost at my house. My biggest concern has been that I couldn't get into the garden to check on the hives. The gate has been frozen shut. Today, December 27, I finally got it open enough to squeeze through. On my initial visit to the hives, there were no bees to be seen. I rapped on both and got a reassuring hum from Ora, but nothing from Walter. This had been exactly the opposite response 2 weeks ago. I pulled the boards from underneath the screened bottoms and could see obvious signs of activity in each hive so I was not too worried. I also removed the entrance reducers and could see some dead bees in each hive but not enough to be concerned. Bees die in the cold. I walked back to the house and after a few minutes I thought I saw some bees flying and decided to take another trip to see what was going on. There were lots of bees pouring out of Walter! Hungry bees! I keep sugar syrup stored in the fridge, just in case, so I took out the Boardman feeder and back to the garden I went. The following pix show the girls hungrily lapping up the sugar syrup. The bees in Ora never did come out, but obviously things are fine inside and this hive is still heavy with stored honey. Once again, the 2 hives have behaved in complete opposite manner to the other but bottom line is that both are fine. I keep humming George Michaels - "You Gotta Have Faith".
Chart of bee growth for all castes
8 hours ago